It's just so hard to tell when tornado season begins and when it ends these days.
We just had deadly tornadoes roll through Nebraska, and last month marked the one-year anniversary of the tornado that ripped through Moore, OK, where an Anytime Fitness club was among the buildings severely damaged.
You may have seen video recently of members reacting to a tornado that approached Club Fitness in St. Peters, MO, a St. Louis suburb. No one was hurt, and as Club Fitness Vice President of Operations Brad Bryan says, members and staff followed the safety plan.
"As the storm came through, everybody was kind of watching it come in," Bryan tells Club Industry. "Once they realized the intensity of it, then they all went to the locker room. For that location, with that building being all-glass exterior, that's the safest point."
The tornado, which the National Weather Service estimated as an EF-0, hit near the club on Saturday afternoon, June 7. About 10 to 15 members and two employees were in the 19,000-square-foot club at the time, Bryan says. Winds of around 80 miles per hour knocked down the parapet wall in front of the club that featured the club's large neon sign and logo. Other than that, there was no significant structural damage to the club, says Bryan, who was on the scene in about 15 minutes.
The corporate office for Club Fitness, which happens to be a stone's throw away from this club, had no damage, either. The club was shut down as power and gas were turned off. It remained closed the next day but reopened around 3 p.m. on June 9, about 48 hours after the tornado swept through the area.
Bryan says the property owner told him the parapet wall will be rebuilt.
"We were actually pretty lucky," Bryan says. "It looked a lot worse than it was. I'm very proud of our staff, very proud of our members."
Club Fitness has 23 locations in the greater St. Louis area across Missouri and Illinois.