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The roads less traveled – vehicle miles traveled on the decline in St. Louis region

People in the region are not driving as much as in years past, that much is clear. Why they aren’t driving is not so clear, though if that question were posed on a multiple-choice test with a list of reasons for answers, the best choice would be “all of the above.”

Vehicle miles traveled, also known as VMT, is the metric most often used to gauge how much people are driving. For the city of St. Louis and the surrounding seven counties in Illinois and Missouri, VMT is down 4.4 percent from 2007 to 2011. For the same span nationally, VMT is down 2.8 percent, and it has declined yearly

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Timing, preparedness are key factors to tornado survival

Tornados may sound alike – the most common comparison is the sound of an oncoming freight train – but not all tornados are created equal.

Dozens of tornados from 1950 through 2011 have twisted their way through the St. Louis area, and the East-West Gateway map “Tornado Touchdowns and Paths” shows the tracks they’ve left through the region.

Tornados vary in size, strength, and duration. Each is ranked on the Enhanced Fujita Scale of Tornado Intensity, which relates to wind speed and the structural damaged caused by the violently whirling column of air.

The recent tornado in the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore that killed 24 people initially was

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