First, Ferguson, hit by Good Friday tornadoes - Word&Way

First, Ferguson, hit by Good Friday tornadoes

ST. LOUIS — Disaster relief teams and area school children already are assisting with cleanup after tornadoes ripped through portions of St. Louis on Good Friday.

The National Weather Service confirmed on April 26 that four tornadoes touched down in several suburban neighborhoods, damaging homes and businesses, including St. Louis' Lambert International Airport. No injuries or deaths were reported.

First Baptist Church, Ferguson, suffered major damage to several of its buildings, according to information posted on its website. But the tornado spared the congregation's worship center.

Bridgeton was among hard-hit neighborhoods and is home to the Missouri Baptist Children's Home main campus. According to MBCH Public Relations Director Derald Harris, a tornado passed within a quarter of a mile of the facility but did little damage.

A large tree limb fell into the main parking lot, and minor tree damage was reported around campus. One or two buildings lost a few shingles. The facility also lost power for nearly two days.

Fee Fee Baptist Church, next door to the Children's Home, reported minimal damage. Electricity was restored to the church just before early service on Easter Sunday. However, several church members were affected. At least one family's home was completely destroyed.

The Southern Baptist Disaster Relief ministry set up its command post in Fee Fee's parking lot on Monday. The command center was to have been at St. Louis Metro Baptist Association, which is across the street from Fee Fee, but the association was still without power on Monday morning.