EF-4 Tornado Ravages St. Louis Area

An EF-4 tornado ripped through the suburbs of St. Louis late Friday evening, as part of a line of storms stretching across the midwest that dropped massive hail, caused damaging straight-line winds, spawned several tornadoes, and exacerbated flooding across the Ohio River.

CA Poles Axed

Bobby Calvan/sacbee: As power poles go down, crews go out

The wind howled in darkness, trees swished, and utility poles buckled under nature's fury. .. From the Oregon border to Bakersfield, 1.4 million PG&E customers lost electricity – with more than 800,000 still without power Friday night.

"People think all they have to do is turn the switch on," he said. "The power lines don't just jump back up there. . . "

[Image: Paul Kitagaki Jr./sacbee]