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St. Louis's worst power outage left Cardinals fans clambering to seek shelter

Monday, July 19th 2021, 4:51 am - On this day in weather history, a derecho hit St. Louis, Missouri.

Listen to The Weather Network's This Day in Weather History podcast on this topic, here.

This Day In Weather History is a daily podcast by The Weather Network that features stories about people, communities, and events and how weather impacted them.


On Wednesday, July 19, 2006, a storm struck downtown St. Louis, Missouri. It was the third consecutive day that a major derecho hit the area, but this time it impacted the city's metropolitan area.

The derecho travelled across the area at 6:45 p.m., producing destructive winds and two F0 tornadoes. The storms destroyed trees and power lines, creating the most widespread power outage in St. Louis history.

Over 1.2 million residents were left without power during an extremely humid heatwave.

Initially, the storm didn't give too much warning. There wasn't any severe weather forecasted for the area. The storm surprised the city, including nearly 44,000 St. Louis Cardinals fans.

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The crowd was packed into the new Busch Stadium (that has a seating capacity of 44,494) to catch the game between the Cardinals and the Atlanta Braves. The game's attendees ran for shelter as winds reached 130 km/h. Wind broke the windows of the press box.

The wind lasted for around two minutes, and then it started to rain. Around 30 people at the stadium were injured.

Busch Stadium Busch Stadium. Courtesy of Rogelio A. Galaviz C./flickr

The storm continued to other cities including, Alton, O'Fallon and Edwardsville in Illinois. Throughout the areas it hit, the storm uprooted around 30 per cent of trees.

By the time the derecho dissipated, it had caused nine storm-related deaths.

In response to the event, Busch Stadium marked designated storm shelters throughout the venue.

To learn more about the 2006 St. Louis storm and blackout, listen to today's episode of "This Day In Weather History."

This Day In Weather History is a daily podcast by The Weather Network that features unique and informative stories from host Chris Mei.

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