WSIL — "The Derecho", "The May 8th Storm", "Inland Hurricane". All are names southeast Missouri and southern Illinois use to describe a complex of storms that brought widespread wind damage and multiple tornadoes to the region on May 8, 2009.
Ten years later, that day is infamous and it seems everyone has a story. News 3 will share some of those stories in Wednesday night’s newscasts.
The term "derecho" is used to describe a widespread, long-lived thunderstorm complex that has winds of 60 miles per hour or more along most of its track and it must track for at least 240 miles. Derechos themselves are not rare, with several occurring every year in the Plains and Midwest.
The derecho that occurred on May 8, 2009 is often called the "Super Derecho" by meteorologists because it’s one of the strongest and most unique ever observed.
When the storm arrived into southern Illinois a little after noon, it packed widespread winds of 70 miles per hour with the Carbondale Airport recording a gust of 106 miles per hour.
In 24 hours, the derecho traveled more than 1000 miles, causing a path of wind damage through Kansas, Missouri, southern Illinois, Kentucky, and eastern Tennessee. In addition to straight-line winds, the storm system also spawned 40 tornadoes, including five in southeast Missouri and southern Illinois.
Along the path of the storm, damage likely exceeded $100 million with countless roof and window replacements, and thousands of cars damaged from flying debris.
Wednesday night News 3 will look back at the impact of the derecho on News 3 at 5, 6, 6;30 and 10.