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Hail, high winds hammer area

Hail, high winds hammer area

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Waves of strong storms ripped through the St. Louis area Saturday, leaving behind windshields smashed by hail and trees uprooted by high winds.

Storms that struck about 6 p.m., inflicted heavy hail damage, particularly in Maryland Heights. Police there received numerous reports of vehicle windows smashed by large hail.

The Weather Service also reported 1¾-inch hail in St. Ann, at Hampton Avenue and Interstate 44 in the city, at Washington University and in Washington County, Ill.

Trees were uprooted in several areas, including south St. Louis and Webster Groves.

High winds knocked down power lines and limbs in O'Fallon, Mo. But police in St. Peters, St. Charles and Florissant reported little damage.

In Brentwood, power was out after a transformer blew, and at the Brentwood Whole Foods, customers were herded into a back room as the storm roared through.

A Weather Service employee from O'Fallon, Ill., reported three-inch disc-shaped hail.

The first wave of storms in midafternoon brought peak winds of 42 mph at St. Louis Downtown Airport in Cahokia, with an unofficial recording of 60 mph in Granite City, the Weather Service said. The second storm, which struck about 6 p.m., had winds of as high as 53 mph in Cahokia.

Later Saturday evening, more storms passed through, with the heaviest to the south of St. Louis. The Weather Serice reported 1 1/2-inch hail in Monroe County.

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