Texas, Missouri, Illinois hit by baseball-sized hail and tornadoes

The US has been hit by severe windstorms over the Easter long weekend, damaging thousands of commercial and residential buildings.

Five states, including Texas, Missouri and Illinois suffered damage from baseball-sized hail, heavy rainfall and more than a dozen tornadoes between 23 and 4 April.

According to catastrophe modeling firm AIR Worldwide, the storm also caused major travel delays in St. Louis, Missouri when a tornado struck a large section of the main terminal of the Lambert-St. Louis International Airport, ripping off a portion of the roof and the airport's C concourse.

Dubbed the “Good Friday Tornado”, the strongest tornado to hit St Louis in 44-years left a track 22 miles long and almost a half mile wide, causing EF-4 level damage and producing wind gusts of 166 to 200 mph.

Heavy damage was reported to single and multi-family wood frame and un-reinforced masonry homes.

AIR scientist Dr Tim Doggett said: “At the level of winds produced by an EF-3 or EF-4 tornado even well-engineered buildings that are designed to survive very intense winds may sustain some damage to non-structural components such as wall cladding, windows and roofs.”

According to the National Weather Services, the greatest damage occurred in the communities of Maryland Heights, Bridgeton, St. Ann, Edmundson, Lambert-St. Louis International Airport, Berkeley, and Ferguson in St. Louis County, Missouri, and in Madison County near Granite City, Illinois.