January 24, 1967: Violent F4 tornado rippes through St. Louis County
On January 24th 1967, a violent F4 tornado ripped a 21 mile long path of destruction across St. Louis County. It ranks as the fourth worst tornado in history to hit the St. Louis Metropolitan Area and is the last F4 tornado to affect St. Louis. The tornado initially touched down around 6:55 p.m. in western St. Louis County at Olive Street Road near the Howard Bend Pumping Station where damage was reported to the Chesterfield Manor Nursing Home. The tornado moved northeast at 40 mph striking the small community of Lake, the luxury homes at River Bend Estates and Old Farm Estates valued between $25,000 and $33,000 (1967 dollars), Creve Coeur Meadows and Glenwood Subdivisions, and the heavily populated communities of Maryland Heights, Bridgeton, St. Ann, Edmundson, Woodson Terrace, Berkeley, Ferguson, Dellwood, the Hathaway Manor Subdivision, and Spanish Lake. The tornado apparently dissipated or weakened as it crossed the Mississippi River, as there is no record of significant damage in Illinois. The damage path ranged from 50 to 200 yards wide and the tornado was on the ground for approximately 35 minutes. Remarkably only 3 fatalities were reported while 216 people suffered injuries. Damage included 168 homes destroyed, 258 with major damage, and 1485 with minor damage. At least 600 businesses were damaged or destroyed. The total damage was estimated to be around 15 million dollars. The tornado was given a F4 rating on the Fujita Tornado Ranking Scale. The F4 occurrence was likely small in aerial coverage with the majority of the severe damage being classified as either F2 or F3.