The airport and several homes around the St. Louis area are severely damaged when tornados ripped through Missouri.
Security camera video captured the terrifying moments when a tornado took dead aim on Lambert Airport in St. Louis.
"It turned the concourse into a wind tunnel with all kinds of debris…” said St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay. “…Some heavy debris flying pieces of the roof flying. People running for cover."
The few passengers stuck in planes on the tarmac were actually safer than those in the terminal.
The cleanup is well under way and until missing windows can be replaced, plywood will have to do.
In a nearby neighborhood, for every smashed home there was a harrowing story of survival.
"I heard windows breaking, just a terrible noise…” said resident Ron Henderson. “I'm thinking to myself, boy will this ever end? It seemed to me (to be) two or three or five minutes of pure hell."
Patricia Faye heard what sounded like a freight train.
"I had no idea until I opened the door that the entire roof and back and sides of my house were gone."
It will be some time before life returns to normal.
Their airport will be a powerful symbol, hit hard, but getting back on its feet.
Brian Mooar, NBC News.