Showing posts with label Alabama. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Alabama. Show all posts

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Tornadoes kill at least 28 in Midwest and South of U.S.

Deadly tornados sweep U.S. midwest
A home in Midwest destroyed by Tornado
(Reuters) - Powerful tornadoes raked across a wide swath of the Midwest and South on Friday, killing at least 28 people in four states and bringing the death toll to at least 41 from a week of deadly late-winter storms.

The twisters splintered homes, damaged a prison and tossed around vehicles across the region, leaving at least 13 people dead in southern Indiana, another 12 in neighboring Kentucky, two more in Ohio, and one in Alabama, officials said. In all, the latest line of storms battered a band of states from Ohio and Indiana on southward to Alabama and Georgia.

"We are no match for Mother Nature at her worst," Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels said in a statement, adding that he would visit the stricken southeast corner of the state on Saturday.

Another possible storm-related death occurred in Henryville, Indiana, where television images showed homes and a school blown apart.

Televised video taken from the air showed rescue workers in Indiana picking through one splintered house, residents sifting through the ruins of a home, and a school bus thrown into a building. Several warehouse-like structures had their roofs ripped off.

Major Chuck Adams of the sheriff's office in Indiana's Clark County said there was extensive damage to a school in Henryville but said: "All the children are out. No injuries to any of them, just minor scrapes and abrasions."

An Indiana official confirmed 13 deaths from the tornadoes on Friday, in four southeastern counties. A spokesman for Kentucky's Department of Public Health reported a statewide death toll of 12, while Ohio officials said there were two deaths in a single county.

"There's a possibility we could have additional fatalities," in southwestern Ohio said Kathy Lehr, the director of public information in Clermont County.

The Ohio victims were a 54-year-old man and a 64-year-old woman who was a city council member in the town of Moscow, Lehr said. Many homes in the county had suffered damage, including some in which buildings were swept off their foundations.

Storm warnings were issued throughout the day from the Midwest to the Southeast, and schools and businesses were closed

ahead of the storms after a series of tornadoes earlier in the week killed 13 people in Kansas, Missouri, Illinois and Tennessee.

"We may not be done yet," said John Hart, a meteorologist at the Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma.

As night fell and temperatures cooled, the line of storms appeared to weaken somewhat as they traveled eastward, but the National Weather Service warned of another possible outbreak of tornadic weather in Saturday's early hours.

Severe thunderstorms and tornadoes were likely over an area stretching from Indiana and Ohio into Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama.

This week's violent storms raised fears that 2012 will be another bad year for tornadoes after 550 deaths in the United States were blamed on twisters last year, the deadliest year in nearly a century, according to the Weather Service.

The highest death tolls were from an April outbreak in Alabama and Mississippi that claimed 364 lives, and from a May tornado in Joplin, Missouri, that killed 161 people. There were two tornado-related deaths earlier this year in Alabama.


Alabama's Madison County, which was struck by a tornado during last April's deadly outbreak, was hit again on Friday by a tornado that took a similar path. An emergency management official said seven people had been transported to hospitals.

"There were two storms that moved across the area, very close together, almost attached to each other," National Weather Service meteorologist Chris Darden said. The Weather service said the damage was from an EF-2 tornado with winds of 120 miles per hour that took a similar path to a devastating tornado on April 27, 2011.

Authorities said 40 homes were destroyed and 150 damaged in two northern Alabama counties on Friday. One person died in a home in Tallapoosa County, according to Joe Paul Boone, the director of the local Emergency Management Agency.

A prison, Limestone Correctional Facility, was in the path of the storm, Alabama officials said. High winds caused roof damage to two dormitories, forcing 300 inmates to be moved to elsewhere in the facility.

No one was seriously injured at the prison and there were no risks of prisoners escaping, though there was damage to some perimeter fencing and a canteen, said Brian Corbett, a spokesman for the Alabama Department of Corrections.

Multiple tornadoes also struck Tennessee and along the Ohio River valley in Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky.

In Kentucky, a small trailer park, a fire station and a few homes in Trimble County were destroyed by suspected tornadoes about 40 miles northwest of Louisville, the Kentucky State Police said. The fire house and trailer park in Milton "were down to the ground," said the state police's Kevin Woosley.

Nashville was pounded by rain and hail, and suspected tornadoes struck twice, hours apart, in eastern Tennessee near Chattanooga. Among the places hit was the valley below historic Lookout Mountain.

"We've had 29 injuries in the state, but no fatalities," said Dean Flener of the Tennessee emergency management agency.

Storm damage to transmission lines in Tennessee forced operators to reduce the output of the Tennessee Valley Authority's 1,126-megawatt Unit 2 at the Sequoyah nuclear plant to 70 percent from full power, a spokeswoman said.

More than 57,000 customers served by providers in the TVA service area were without power in north Alabama, western Kentucky and southeast Tennessee, the power supplier said.

High winds downed power lines in the Atlanta area, pitching more than a thousand homes into darkness, and officials warned residents about torn lines becoming entangled in trees.

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Monday, January 23, 2012

Birmingham, Alabama Storm 2012: Searchers Work To Rescue Trapped People

storm in Birmingham, Alabama
Storm in Birmingham, Alabama
CLAY, Ala. (AP) — Two people were killed in the Birmingham, Ala., area as storms pounded the South and Midwest, prompting tornado warnings in a handful of states early Monday.

At least one of the areas affected by the storms, which were part of a system that stretched from the Great Lakes down to the Gulf of Mexico, was also hit by a line of killer storms that slammed the Southeast last April.

Jefferson County sheriff's spokesman Randy Christian said a 16-year-old boy was killed in Clay and an 82-year-old man died in the community of Oak Grove.

Storm in Birmingham, Alabama

The storm produced a possible tornado that moved across northern Jefferson County around 3:30 a.m., causing damage in Oak Grove, Graysville, Fultondale, Center Point, Clay and Trussville, Christian said. He said several homes were destroyed and numerous injuries were reported.

"Some roads are impassable, there are a number of county roads where you have either debris down, trees down, damage from homes," said Yasamie Richardson, a spokeswoman for the Alabama Emergency Management Agency. Jefferson County experienced "significant damage," she said.

Oak Grove was also hit during last April's tornadoes, but none of homes hit in April were hit again this time, said Allen Kniphfer of Jefferson County's Emergency Management Agency.

As day broke, rescue crews used chainsaws to clear fallen trees off roads in Clay, northeast of Birmingham. Searchers went door-to-door calling out to residents, many of whom were trapped by trees that crisscrossed their driveways.

Stevie Sanders woke up around 3:30 a.m. and realized bad weather was on the way. She, her parents and sister hid in the laundry room of their brick home as the wind howled and trees started cracking outside.

"You could feel the walls shaking and you could hear a loud crash. After that it got quiet, and the tree had fallen through my sister's roof," said Sanders, 26.

The family was OK, and her father, Greg Sanders, spent the next hours raking his roof and pulling away pieces of broken lumber.

"It could have been so much worse," he said. "It's like they say, we were just blessed."

In Clanton, about 50 miles south of Birmingham, rescuers were responding to reports of a trailer turned over with people trapped, City Clerk Debbie Orange said.

Also south of Birmingham, Maplesville town clerk Sheila Haigler said high winds damaged many buildings and knocked down several trees. One tree fell on a storm shelter, but no one was injured, Haigler said. One person was trapped in a heavily damaged home, but was rescued safely. Haigler said police had not been able to search some areas because trees and power lines were blocking roads.

In Arkansas, there were possible tornadoes in Arkansas, Dallas, Lonoke, Prairie and Cleveland counties Sunday night. The storms also brought hail and strong winds as they moved through parts of Arkansas, Tennessee, Illinois and Mississippi.

Tornado warnings were issued for parts of Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama.

The storm also caused officials to reschedule a planned Monday meeting in Montgomery to receive a study on Alabama's response to a system of storms that raked the state last April. That storm killed more than 240 people in the state. Among the hardest hit areas then was Tuscaloosa, where 50 were killed.

Rescue workers help a family out of their neighborhood after a severe storm ripped through the Trussville, Ala. area early Monday, Jan. 23, 2012. Tornado warnings were issued in parts of central and northern Alabama in the early morning hours Monday as powerful storms rolled across the state. There were several reports of severe damage to homes.

News by Huffingtonpost

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