Heavy winds blew through St. Louis early Wednesday, bringing down trees and knocking out power to thousands across the bistate area.
Approximately 17,000 Ameren customers in the broader metro region covering Missouri and Illinois were without power at one point early Wednesday. But that number dropped to about 2,600 customers in Missouri by the afternoon. In Illinois, the number fell to about 3,600.
The National Weather Service office in Weldon Spring had issued a high-wind warning until midafternoon for areas including the St. Louis metro region. Forecasters expected wind gusts as high as 60 mph.
St. Louis Lambert International Airport recorded a gust of 63 mph but airport officials said the weather didn’t significantly affect flights as more than 24,000 people checked in for air travel.
The high temperature on Wednesday was in the upper 40s, with overnight lows around 30.
The winds arrived as part of a broad storm system that brought heavy snow to the upper Midwest and scrambled Thanksgiving plans for millions of people during one of the busiest travel weeks of the year.
The storm dropped close to a foot of snow in some areas even as the system weakened and headed toward New York and Pennsylvania.
The West also was not free of foul weather. A “bomb cyclone” caused by a rapid drop in air pressure brought snow to the mountains and wind and rain along the California and Oregon coasts. Drivers on Interstate 5 near the Oregon-California border spent 17 hours or more in stopped traffic as blizzard conditions whirled outside.
On Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, the forecast for the St. Louis region calls for a 50% chance of rain, mainly after 1 p.m. It will be a cloudy day with a high of about 41 degrees. Winds will be around 6 mph, the weather service said, and organizers of the Ameren Thanksgiving Day Parade in St. Louis said the winds aren’t expected to be strong enough to disrupt floats and balloons.
Rain is forecast to continue through at least Saturday, when thunderstorms are possible. The high temperature Friday could reach 44, and the high on Saturday 61. Sunday brings a 30% chance of rain and a high of about 46 degrees.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.