From the ABC 7 Weather team

Nationals rainout reminiscent of 2006 St. Louis storm (VIDEO)

April 20, 2011 - 01:58 PM
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The tornado sirens at Tuesday's Nats game in St. Louis must have caused terrifying instant recall for anybody in attendance at Busch Stadium during the powerful derecho of July 20, 2006.

Washington Nationals pitcher Drew Storen stands in the dugout as storm clouds gather overhead before the Nationals' baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday in St. Louis. (Jeff Roberson) (Photo: Associated Press)

The Washington Nationals' game against the Cardinals was postponed last night in St. Louis due to an ungodly mix of gusts, driving rain and hail that left the field swamped in icy marbles. It’s the second weather delay in a week for the Nats, who played a double-header against the Brewers Sunday after heavy rain on Saturday canceled the game.

Two tornadoes were spotted near St. Louis, although they didn’t pass as close as the monstrous thunderstorm that hazed the then-new Busch Stadium in 2006. (Shocking videos of the twisters and the 2006 storm punishing fans follow the jump.) The evening kicked off with a severe thunderstorm warning. Then the icy precipitation moved in around 7:30 p.m. and didn’t stop for almost two hours. Although left without a game to report on, Washington Post beat writer Adam Kilgore nevertheless owned baseball coverage with hilarious observations about the night's foul weather. Here’s one:

UPDATE, 9:14: Where to start? There was hail. There is still hard rain. There were tornado warning sirens blaring, at which point I took cover in the stairwell behind the press box like the little, little man that I am. There is still no word on the start of the game. The warning track is a moat and it’s still pouring. They seem determined to play, but I think I see animals marching two-by-two in left-center.

Check out Kilgore’s Twitter feed from last night for more entertaining nuggets. My fav: “We are hearing sirens, which means a tornado warning. They told all the reporters to take cover in the stairwell. I love you, Mom.”

Those screaming sirens must’ve sent shivers down the spines of anybody who was in attendance at Busch Stadium on July 20, 2006, when a clump of powerful thunderstorms known as a derecho flew through St. Louis with winds as fast as 90 m.p.h. Fans cowered inside the stadium as the windows of the press box exploded, trees outside toppled and the field tarp ripped. Was there video of this momentous storm? You betcha.

Just look at that poor fan get tackled by what looks like a flying trashcan:

The storm caused 75 injuries at Busch Stadium and what was then the worst blackout in St. Louis’ history. While not as violent as that event, yesterday’s Midwest storm system had tremendous power. Storm chasers recorded footage of two funnel clouds whirring around St. Louis. This twister meandered through Bowling Green, Mo., about 85 northwest of the city:

And this tornado touched down near Carlinville, Ill., about 65 miles north of St. Louis:

Barring more tornadic weather, the Nats will play the Cardinals today in a day-night doubleheader. (Hat tip to former AP sports writer and Midwesterner Sarah Larimer for the video.)

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