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We have seen that although not officially predicted, the tornado was expected by many. The position of several of the dead bodies found in the wreckage indicated attempts to secure places of safety which must have been commenced long before the storm reached the city, or its suburbs. The cloud movements all the afternoon created alarm in the minds of those who had spent any length of time on the prairies in the West. The peculiar shades of green the vault of heaven assumed, denoted to the eye of the man who has gone through tornadoes where there are no compact communities to break them up, a state of affairs in the atmosphere calculated to provoke alarm. The scurrying clouds, sweeping about with apparently no object in view, were plainly bent upon a mission of destruction. On account of the popular fallacy that a tornado or a cyclone will not strike a large city there was created a feeling of false security. But men who know about those things were worried. Women who knew about them prudently made preparations to seek places of safety should the conditions warrant the passage of the storm over the great area of the town.

The gathering of the clouds in the west preparatory to the assault of the city was one of the grandest spectacles ever given the view of the eye of man, but it did not compare with the terrific grandeur of the onslaught. When the allied forces from the southwest and the northeast, laden with lightning and cumulative force, retired beyond the western horizon for a few minutes, shortly after 5 o'clock) Wednesday afternoon, and the rain came blowing in soft sheets from the south, it was thought that there would be no further disturbance. But the army of lightning and winds bad gone for re-enforcements. Away out beyond the limits of the county there was another storm raging, a malignant storm that spent its force in doing damage of small moment in comparison with what it might do if joined to a greater combination. The whirling bank of clouds went out in St. Louis County and gathered up the angry elements warring there. It took about two minutes to make the consolidation and then came the combined attack.




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