Category: Tornado


Tornadoes In Mississippi, Alabama Flatten Homes As Massive Storm Sweeps South

Posted: 04/28/2014 9:05 pm EDT Updated: 04/29/2014 3:35 pm EDT
VILONIA, ARKANSAS - APRIL 28: Victor Umbright of Vilonia Direct TV, sits in what is left of his office after a tornado yesterday tore through the area for the second time in three years, on April 28, 2014 in Vilonia, Arkansas. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

LOUISVILLE, Miss. (AP) — Ruth Bennett died clutching the last child left at her day care center as a tornado wiped the building off its foundation. A firefighter who came upon the body gently pulled the toddler from her arms.

“It makes you just take a breath now,” said next-door neighbor Kenneth Billingsley, who witnessed the scene at what was left of Ruth’s Child Care Center in this logging town of 6,600. “It makes you pay attention to life.”

 

Widespread Damage And Casualties After Tornadoes Rip Through South
VILONIA, AR – APRIL 29: A passerby stops to look at damage caused by a tornado on Sunday evening, on April 29, 2014 in Vilonia, Arkansas. After deadly tornadoes ripped through the region leaving more than a dozen dead, Mississippi, Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana and Tennessee are all under watch as multiple storms are expected over the next few days. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Bennett, 53, was among at least 34 people killed in a two-day outbreak of twisters and other violent weather that pulverized homes in half a dozen states from Iowa to Tennessee. The child’s fate was not immediately known.

As crews in Mississippi and Alabama turned from search-and-rescue efforts to cleanup, the South braced for a third round of potentially deadly weather Tuesday. Tornadoes usually strike in the late afternoon and evening.

One of the hardest-hit areas in Monday evening’s barrage of twisters was Tupelo, Miss., where a gas station looked as if it had been stepped on by a giant.

Francis Gonzalez, who also owns a convenience store and Mexican restaurant attached to the service station, took cover with her three children and two employees in the store’s cooler as the roof over the gas pumps was reduced to aluminum shards.

“My Lord, how can all this happen in just one second?” she said in Spanish.

On Tuesday, the whine of chain saws cut through the otherwise still, hazy morning in Tupelo. Massive oak trees, knocked over like toys, blocked roads. Neighbors helped one another cut away limbs.

“This does not even look like a place that I’m familiar with right now,” said Pam Montgomery, walking her dog in her neighborhood. “You look down some of the streets, and it doesn’t even look like there is a street.”

 

AP
Tornado hits Mayflower, Ark.
Travel trailers and motor homes are piled on top of each other at Mayflower RV in Mayflower, Ark., Sunday, April 27, 2014.A powerful storm system rumbled through the central and southern United States on Sunday, spawning tornadoes.
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UPDATE 4-U.S. storm system that killed 16 causes tornado in Mississippi

Tue Apr 29, 2014 3:35am IST

* Tornado touches down in Mississippi

* More than 100 injured

* Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia at risk (Adds Mississippi governor)

By Colin Sims

VILONIA, Ark., April 28 (Reuters) – A ferocious storm system caused a twister in Mississippi and threatened tens of millions of people across the U.S. Southeast on Monday, a day after it spawned tornadoes that killed 16 people and tossed cars like toys in Arkansas and other states.

A tornado went through Tupelo, Mississippi in the northern part of the state at about 3 p.m. (1800 GMT), damaging hundreds of homes, downing power lines and toppling trees, Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant told CNN.

There were no immediate reports of deaths or injuries after six instances of tornadoes touching down in the state.

“It is not over. This is going to be a prolonged storm,” Bryant said.

Parts of Alabama, western Georgia and Tennessee also were at risk as the storm system that produced the series of tornadoes headed east toward the Mid-Atlantic states.

Rescue workers, volunteers and victims have been sifting through the rubble in the hardest-hit state of Arkansas, looking for survivors in central Faulkner County where a tornado reduced homes to splinters, snapped power lines and mangled trees.

Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe said at least 14 people died statewide in the storm that authorities said produced the first fatalities of this year’s U.S. tornado season. He previously told a news conference 16 had been killed but later said there was a mistake in calculation.

 

Nine of the victims came from the same street in the town of Vilonia, with a population of about 4,100, where a new intermediate school set to open in August was heavily damaged by a tractor trailer blown into its roof. A steel farm shop anchored to concrete was erased from the landscape.

Beebe told reporters of the capricious nature of tornadoes. He said a woman died when the door of her home’s reinforced safe room collapsed, while a father and three daughters survived by seeking shelter in a bathtub that was flipped over in winds that leveled the house.

One person was killed in neighboring Oklahoma and another in Iowa, state authorities said.

 

‘LONG ROAD TO HEALING’

“Everything is just leveled to the ground,” Vilonia resident Matt Rothacher said. “It cut a zig-zag right through town.”

Rothacher was at home with his wife and four children when the tornado passed through. While his home survived, The Valley Church where he serves as pastor was flattened.

 

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PENSACOLA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — People were plucked off rooftops or climbed into their attics to get away from fast-rising waters when nearly 2 feet of rain fell on the Florida Panhandle and Alabama coast in the span of about 24 hours, the latest bout of severe weather that began with tornadoes in the Midwest.

 

On Wednesday, roads were chewed up into pieces or wiped out entirely and neighborhoods were inundated, making rescues difficult for hundreds of people who called for help when they were caught off guard by the single rainiest day ever recorded in Pensacola.

 

Boats and Humvees zigzagged through the flooded streets to help stranded residents. A car and truck plummeted 25 feet when portions of a scenic highway collapsed, and one Florida woman died when she drove her car into high water, officials said.

 

Near the Alabama-Florida line, water started creeping into Brandi McCoon’s mobile home, so her fiance, Jonathan Brown, wrapped up her nearly 2-year-old son Noah in a blanket and they swam in neck-deep water to their car about 50 feet away.

 

Then, the car was flooded.

 

“Every which way we turned, there was a big ol’ pile of water,” she said.

 

Brown called 911 and eventually a military vehicle picked them up and took them to a shelter.

 

Kyle Schmitz was at his Pensacola home with his 18-month-old son Oliver on Tuesday night when heavy rain dropped during a 45-minute span. He gathered up his son, his computer and important papers and left.

 

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At least 12 dead in year’s worst tornado outbreak

Arkansas tornado

Tornado damage in Mayflower, Ark. (Courtesy of James Bryant / Associated Press / April 27, 2014)

The worst tornado outbreak of the year struck several small towns across the central U.S. on Sunday, killing at least 12 people, damaging or destroying scores of homes and businesses, and sparking a search effort in Arkansas that continued into the night.

Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe’s office confirmed that at least 11 people were killed when twisters struck near Little Rock. Another person was confirmed dead in Quapaw, Okla. Nearby Baxter Springs, Kan., was heavily damaged.

Smaller tornadoes were reported in Nebraska, Illinois, Missouri and Mississippi, but it was in central Arkansas where the some of the most dramatic rescue scenes were playing out. A tornado — or a series of tornadoes — appeared to scour a path dozens of miles long and possibly up to three-quarters of a mile wide.

Officials said the twister crossed Interstate 40, a crucial trucking artery out of Little Rock, while drivers were still on the road, then thrashed the town of Mayflower before continuing northeast to Vilonia and beyond. The National Weather Service reported that Arkansas Game and Fish Commission headquarters east of Mayflower had been destroyed.

 

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Earth Watch Report  –  Tornadoes

 

Mandey Sauer took this photo on Memorial Drive in Greenville.

 

(CLICK HERE: Photos of tornado damage across Eastern Carolina.)

 

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Tornado USA State of North Carolina, [Beaufort and Greene Counties] Damage level Details

 

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RSOE EDIS

Tornado in USA on Saturday, 26 April, 2014 at 04:50 (04:50 AM) UTC.

Description
A State of Emergency has been declared in Beaufort County after a tornado destroyed homes, caused injuries, and left thousands without power Friday. According to a release from Beaufort County, the State of Emergency went into effect at 10:30 p.m. Friday and will last through 7 a.m. Sunday. During this time, travel in Beaufort County should be restricted to emergency situations. Violators of the State of Emergency may receive a fine of $100 plus court cost, according to the county release. Emergency Management Director John Pack said all Beaufort County residents have been accounted for and no fatalities have been reported. But at least 12 people had to be taken to a hospital. At least 100 homes in Beaufort County have been damaged, Pack told NewsChannel 12. Along Highway 264, north of Beaufort Community College, mobile homes are flattened, power lines are down, and trees are all over the road.

Officials said power outages are widespread in the county. Pack said up to 8,000 households were in the dark at one point. It may take at least 36 hours to get all the power back up and running. Greene County Emergency Management officials say the National Weather Service told them a tornado touched down in the Castoria area, damaging trees, power lines and several homes on Shine Road outside of Snow Hill. J.R. Hulon’s says his house on Speights Bridge Road was also hit. He says, “The porches are gone, the roof is gone the siding is gone, but I’ve still got somewhere to stay. So i’m just blessed.” Hulon says he was driving home on Speights Bridge Road and saw the tornado over the trees by his house break off into two smaller tornadoes. Hulon says, “I don’t know, it was like big clouds that came to the ground, and there was one and then it went into two, and one went over to the neighbors this way, and the other came through my yard.” Hulon’s seven dogs all survived, which he says is what’s important. But the shock factor of what happened is still setting in. “I really don’t know what’s going through my mind at this point. I’m just numb. I mean you work hard to get what you’ve got, and you come home and it’s just gone, in an instant.” Trey Cash with Greene County Emergency Management says there were no reported injuries.

 

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Initial reports: 4 to 5 tornado touchdowns in Eastern Carolina

POSTED: 10:52 PM Apr 25 2014   UPDATED: 11:57 PM Apr 25 2014

EASTERN CAROLINA –

Initial reports indicate there were up to five tornado touchdowns in Eastern Carolina Friday.

Although the National Weather Service won’t be doing an official survey until Saturday morning, it appears that there were between four to five separate tornado touchdowns Friday afternoon to Friday night.

During Friday afternoon, Greene County EMS said officials visually confirmed a tornado touching down near the Fort Run area. Spaights Bridge Road, Four Corner Store Road, Old Creek Road, and Shine Road all had houses with damage. Power lines are down in that area and some roads are impassable, EMS officials said.

Then, at about 7:15 p.m. in Pitt County, Voice of America employees watched a tornado touch down at a field in Chicod, according to the NWS. No damage was reported.

At 7:33 p.m., a tornado was reported on the ground near Black Jack in Pitt County, the NWS stated.

At about 7:40 p.m., rescue personnel reported trees being uprooted and falling down in Chocowinity in Beaufort County, according to the NWS.  About two minutes later, fire crews reported seeing a tornado on the ground in Chocowinity.

 

Read More and Watch Video Here

 

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WITN  | Greenville, NC  | News, Weather, Sports

EF3 Tornado Confirmed; 16 People Injured, Some 100 Homes Damaged In Beaufort County

Storm Damage & Power Outages In Beaufort County
Storm Damage & Power Outages In Beaufort County Part 1

The National Weather Service says an EF3 tornado touched down Friday night in Chocowinity, with winds around 150 miles per hour.

Authorities say approximately 100 homes were severely damaged or destroyed from the storm in Beaufort County.

Emergency Management Coordinator John Pack says at least 16 people were transported to the hospital with injuries.

Pack says there are no reported fatalities at the this time but his crews are going door to door in a search and rescue effort.

The county declared a local State of Emergency Friday night and a shelter was opened to house stranded residents.

That shelter is located at Snowd Branch Church of God’s Family Life Center at VOA and Cherry Run roads. People should bring a bedroll or sleeping bag, a pillow, towel, and personal care items.

Additionally utility crews working are to restore power to homes and businesses in Beaufort County. The strong line of storms from Friday knocked down trees, damaged homes and knocked out power to more than 3,238 Tideland EMC customers.

 

Read More and Watch Videos Here

 

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NC officials say tornadoes reported in six counties

NC officials say tornadoes reported in six counties

by 13News Now

WVEC.com

Posted on April 26, 2014 at 10:12 AM

Updated today at 10:21 AM

 

RALEIGH, NC — The National Weather Service may not know yet whether tornadoes caused all that damage Friday night in North Carolina, but residents do.

Across the Tarheel state, authorities reported tornadoes in Pasquotank and Perquimans counties, as well as in Beaufort, Chowan, Greene, Halifax counties.

State officials say 18 people were injured during the storms; five in Pasquotank County.

Early estimates indicate that more than 100 homes have been severely damaged or destroyed and numerous others have sustained damage.

Damage in Beaufort County was so bad a shelter was opened overnight to house stranded residents.  Officials declared a state of emergency late Friday.

 

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Earth Watch Report  –  Tornado

 

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February 26 2014 06:35 PM Tornado New Zealand South Island, [North Canterbury] Damage level Details

 

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Tornado in New Zealand on Wednesday, 26 February, 2014 at 18:35 (06:35 PM) UTC.

Description
A tornado has ripped its way through North Canterbury in New Zealand as rough weather and lightning caused extensive damage. The Civil Defence has arrived at the scene to inspect the damaged properties. According to fire service shift manager Andrew Norris, a group of homes in Amberley have been heavily damaged. The town is 50km north of Christchurch. Based on fire service reports, strong winds from the tornado had lifted the tiles off roofs of homes near the Burnham Military Camp. Southern Fire Communications Shift Manager Karl Patterson said he received reports of one house losing an entire roof. The tornado, barreling its way through South Island, also knocked down trees and caused power poles to catch fire. Mr Patterson said the fire service put out fires in Halsquell Quarry which were caused by lightning. Despite the damages to some homes and power lines, no casualties or injuries were reported. The clean-up continues in tornado-damaged areas, although 30 homes reported having no electricity by the afternoon of Feb 24. A resident from Amberley, Donna Graham, told Radio New Zealand that she and her husband, Geoff, saw the tornado form from hanging black clouds and realised the twister was moving straight to her house. She and her husband began running away from the house. They could hear the noises made by the tornado as it moved. The couple came out when they noticed they could not hear the tornado anymore. Civil Defence inspector Kerry Walsh said the damage caused by the tornado was worse than he expected. He said the clean-up was doing well. South Island’s lines company Mainpower remarked that some of the power poles had to be replaced before electricity will be restored to homes. Aside from the tornado in Amberley, a smaller tornado was spotted in Leeston and was captured on video by “stormchaser” Stephen Burrows. Mr Burrows said the smaller tornado was approximately 100 metres wide but looked weaker in comparison to the one in Amberley. The tornadoes were caused by a severe thunderstorm in parts of Canterbury. The MetService has warned residents in the area to prepare for a storm with torrential rain and large hail. According to weather authorities, the storm had formed near the coast of Timaru and made its way to Christchurch. The storm was classified as a “supercell” because it caused large hailstones and small tornadoes.

 

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The New Zealand Herald

 

Tornado strikes homes as storm lashes town

By Ben Irwin

A damaged building on a plant farm near Amberley, north Canterbury. Photo / Martin Hunter

A damaged building on a plant farm near Amberley, north Canterbury. Photo / Martin Hunter

Rough weather, lightning, and reports of a tornado caused extensive damage in North Canterbury last night.

Video

Fire service shift manager Andrew Norris said a “cluster of houses” in Amberley, 50km north of Christchurch, had been badly damaged about 6.30pm.

Southern fire communications shift manager Karl Patterson said the strong winds lifted tiles off roofs near the Burnham Military Camp area and three houses in Amberley, 50km north of Christchurch, were also affected.

“One house completely lost its roof. Another house had extensive roof damage [and] windows blown in.”

The weather also caused power pole fires and trees to be knocked down,” Mr Patterson said.

“Apparently a tornado of some description sort of went through just near the coast – it caused a little bit of damage, but we did a check of all the houses in the area and they were ok.

“We had a couple of fires started by lightning, we had a fire in Halswell Quarry, out the south-west side of town.

“Also, in Little River we had a tree catch on fire in the middle of a tree plantation of some description.”

There were no reports of injuries, Mr Patterson said.

 

Read More Here

 

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Severe Weather Hits Midwest, Southeast; Tornadoes Confirmed in at Least Six States

Published: Feb 22, 2014, 8:10 PM EST weather.com

Overlay

Chapin, IL Tornado Explainer

A severe weather outbreak brought dangerous weather to the Midwest and South Thursday and Friday night, spawning tornadoes in at least six states.

At least 13 tornadoes were confirmed by the National Weather Service by early Friday evening, according to severe weather expert, Dr. Greg Forbes, including eight tornadoes in Illinois, two in southern Mississippi, and one each in Ohio, Maryland and Louisiana.

Additionally, there were more than 200 reports of wind damage peppered across more than a dozen states Thursday, and nearly 25 reports of hail.

@ShiremanFarms/Twitter

Andy Shireman tweeted this photo of a reported tornado near Concord, Ill. Thursday.

“Where instability was greatest, thunderstorms congealed into long lines from Tennessee southward, rather than discrete, rotating supercells, minimizing the number of tornadoes there,” said weather.com senior meteorologist Jon Erdman. “Farther north, where more discrete supercells did erupt, a few tornadoes did touch down in parts of the mid-Mississippi Valley. However, with more limited instability that far north, the number of tornadoes was limited there, too.”

Below is a look at how the event has affected each state in its path.

Alabama

The National Weather Service in Huntsville confirmed at least four tornado touchdowns, including an EF-2 in Fort Payne. A tornado flipped 3 tractor trailers, one of which landed on top of a jet polymer plant before destroying two houses.

The Fort Payne-area twister was brief but powerful, with estimated winds up to 125 mph. Survey crews from the weather service say it flipped three large semitrailers, vaulting one into the air and onto the factory’s roof around 12:30 a.m. Friday.

Another EF-1 tornado touched down at a marina on the Tennessee River in Limestone County, then damaged some nearby condos and homes Thursday night.

Two other Thursday night twisters snapped and uprooted trees and damaged some homes in the Cartwright community in northern Alabama and in the Anderson area of Lauderdale County.

Storms damaged some buildings in Calhoun County and brought down trees in many areas of Alabama. Preliminary reports to the National Weather Service said the storms toppled trees late Thursday and early Friday in Marion, Fayette, Walker, Tuscaloosa and Elmore counties.

Georgia

There were reports of several homes damaged in central Georgia and toppled trees across north Georgia after a fast-moving line of thunderstorms brought high winds to the region. The Courier Herald in Dublin reports that more than 50 homes in northern Laurens County were impacted by a storm Friday, with debris scattered across yards and on rooftops. There were no immediate reports of injuries there. Preliminary reports to the National Weather Service indicate that several trees were down on U.S. Highway 11 in Dade County Friday morning, after the line of storms rolled through the state’s northwest corner. A 58 mph wind gust was reported at Dobbins Air Force Base in Marietta.

Illinois

The National Weather Service confirmed that at least eight tornadoes touched down in east and central Illinois Thursday, causing minor damage. The tornadoes were reported near the Cass County town of Arenzville, about 50 miles west of Springfield; east of Mechanicsburg in Sangamon County; near Pana in Christian County; west of Shumway in Effingham County; west of Findlay; and in Pike County. The storms reportedly destroyed several outbuildings and snapped utility poles. No injuries were reported.

Indiana

The National Weather Service says at least two tornadoes struck Indiana on Thursday as severe thunderstorms swept across the state.

Meteorologists say a tornado ranking as an EF1 on the Fujita scale and packing 90 mph winds struck Thursday night about four miles north of Osgood in southeastern Indiana’s Ripley County.

That storm knocked a mobile home off its foundation and damaged two pole barns, leaving a nearly mile-long path.

A second tornado ranking as an EF0 with winds of about 85 mph damaged two outbuildings and toppled trees Thursday evening in central Indiana’s Rush County near the town of Arlington.

The weather service says that storm was on the ground for less than a minute and left a path of damage less than a tenth of a mile long.

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Earth Watch Report  –  Extreme Weather

Highest level warning RED ALERT now issued for Leinster as #StormDarwin continues to rage this evening..

Truck overturned due to high winds on M8 at Fermoy. Motorway closure in effect on both lanes to prevent reoccurrence

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February 12 2014 12:44 PM Extreme Weather Ireland [Nationwide] Damage level Details

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Extreme Weather in Ireland on Wednesday, 12 February, 2014 at 12:44 (12:44 PM) UTC.

Description
Reports this afternoon of a small tornado in Co. Roscommon, as stormy weather conditions continue to affect the country. More than 10,000 homes across the West and South are without power this lunchtime, most of them are in Cork and Kerry where a red weather warning is in force. Met Eireann has issued three weather warnings covering all Irish counties. They are warning of a flooding risk in coastal areas from high seas and heavy rainfall. The red alert for Cork and Kerry remains in place this afternoon. Winds in the region are expected to gust as high as 130 to 160 km/h. There will be high Seas too. Earlier, Met Eireann forecaster Pat Clarke told Newstalk Breakfast rainfall could cause further flooding but it is high winds that will cause greatest concern today – before a new storm system hits at the weekend. Met Eireann says the issuing of a red severe weather warning is a relatively rare event and implies those affected should take action by protecting themselves and their properties. No flights have been able to take off from Cork Airport since 7.30 this morning and Irish Rail is reporting delays to its services on the Cork to Mallow line. There is also a wind warning in place for Wexford, Galway, Mayo, Clare, Limerick and Waterford. Stormy weather will affect Waterford and Wexford during the day today. With winds, at their strongest, gusting 120 to 130 km/h. Meanwhile stormy weather will affect Clare, Limerick, Galway and Mayo during Wednesday with high winds and seas. The orange weather warning is in place until 5pm this evening. All remaining counties are affected by yellow weather warning. Winds in Cavan, Monaghan, Donegal, Dublin, Carlow, Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois, Longford, Louth, Wicklow, Offaly, Westmeath, Meath, Leitrim, Roscommon, Sligo and Tipperary will sweep up from the south and gust to 100 to 110 km/h. The yellow weather warning is in place until 11pm tonight. Meanwhile, it’s claimed today that Ireland has been hit by a 1-in-50 year weather event – every year for the past six. Bord na Móna Chief Executive Gabriel D’Arcy says the trend in their records shows the impact of climate change on Ireland each year. He says we should be concentrating more on renewable energy to cope with the changing conditions.

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‘Mini-tornado’ reported in Roscommon as thousands without power

Met Éireann says it has received reports of a small tornado in Co Roscommon as stormy weather conditions continue to affect the country, leaving thousands without power.

Up to 10,000 homes are without power this lunchtime, most of them in Cork and Kerry where a red weather warning is in force, with winds of 160 kilometres per hour forecast.

Met Éireann is also warning of a flooding risk in coastal areas due to high seas and heavy rainfall.

Forecaster Joanna Donnelly says they have even been made aware of reports of a small tornado in Athleague, Co Roscommon.

“We’ve had reports in alright of the mini-tornado but we haven’t been able to observe it ourselves,” she said.

“But (it’s) not untypical of this sort of very heavy squally showers.”

Weather conditions were making it dangerous for drivers around the south and west, with reports of multiple trees having falling, including outside the Fota Island resort in Cork and on the N71 dual carriageway at the viaduct.

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Irish Central

Hurricane strength winds leave storm-battered Ireland on red alert (PHOTOS)

\"Storm

Storm Darwin hit Ireland on Wednesday with 100 mph winds and the worst power outage since 1998. Photo by: Photocall Ireland

Storm Darwin and its hurricane-force 100 mph winds swept through Ireland on Wednesday, leaving close to 215,000 homes without power, felling thousands of trees, and ripping the roofs off buildings.

Met Éireann, Ireland’s national weather service, issued red alerts for counties Cork and Kerry, which were among the first to be hit as Darwin reached Ireland’s shores, and for much of Leinster. Orange alerts were issued for counties Clare, Galway, Limerick, Mayo and Waterford.

Highest level warning RED ALERT now issued for Leinster as #StormDarwin continues to rage this evening..

Traffic stalled across the country due to a number of overturned vehicles. Shannon and Cork airports were closed for much of the day, and many commuters were left stranded as rail service between Dublin, Limerick, Cork and Kerry was suspended.

Truck overturned due to high winds on M8 at Fermoy. Motorway closure in effect on both lanes to prevent reoccurrence

In what the Electricity Supply Board described as Ireland’s worst power outage since 1998, 215,000 homes were left without power – 170,000 in the southern counties.

This screengrab from the @esbnetworks powercheck gives a picture of the extent of the problems from #stormdarwin

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MONUMENTAL EARTH CHANGES:

Andre Heath

 

Published on Nov 19, 2013

The CELESTIAL Convergence | http://thecelestialconvergence.blogsp…

November 19, 2013 – UNITED STATES – Stunned residents across the Midwest picked through the wreckage of what used to be their homes on Monday after a fierce storm system swept across six states, spawned nearly 60 reported tornadoes and killed at least eight people. From the air, large areas of the devastated city of Washington, Ill., looked like a moonscape as the vastness of the devastation was exposed.

Even large electrical towers made of steel lay on the ground, twisted like pretzels. The storm system tore the steeple off a church 10 minutes after Mass let out and even forced the Chicago Bears to stop their game against the Baltimore Ravens. Jeff Ekena, Principal of John L. Hensey Elementary in Washington said he hunkered down in the basement with his family when the storm came through sounding “like a freight train.” The Ekenas emerged to find “just flatness,” and then the destruction beyond, he said. “Nobody has anything left,” Nancy Rampy, of Washington, Ill., told NBC Chicago. “It’s all gone. It’s just awful.” Guida Scheer, owner of one of the destroyed homes, sifted through the rubble and pulled out a Bible. “It was my boyfriend’s Bible,” she said. “It was actually his dad’s and that was one of the things that he wanted to make sure that we tried to find.”

“I’ve found pieces of my house 100 yards northeast of me,” Scott Gundy, another resident of Washington, where one person died, told TODAY. “I got the most important things out, which were pictures, video of my kids growing up,” he said. “To me that’s the most important thing. Everything else can be replaced.” The mayor of Washington, Gary Manier, said the devastation there was “unbelievable.” He said that 250 to 500 houses were destroyed in Washington, a city of about 15,000 people. The National Weather Service rated the tornado that ripped through the area an EF-4 — a notch down from most intense rating — with wind speeds ranging from 170 to 190 mph. Andrea Bowers said she and her husband and their 3-month-old daughter took shelter in the basement of their Washington home. The couple used their bodies to cover their baby and protect her from falling debris. “Everything just started falling in and we just kind of rode it out and just prayed,” she said. Ryan Bowers said they were all unharmed , and that his wife and daughter even fell sleep during the storm.

Schools were closed in Washington on Monday, and churches and community groups also canceled events as the focus turned to recovery efforts and helping victims. The Red Cross opened a shelter, and mental health experts were on hand. Earlier, people who had left and were trying to come back were turned away by police because of concerns about unstable buildings, and other lurking dangers. “There’s a lot of power lines down a lot of power lines that could still be alive. There’s gas leaks all over the place. So it is still a very dangerous situation,” Illinois State Trooper Dustin Pierce told NBC station WEEK TV. Later, many of Washington’s residents, including members of the high school football team, went to the destroyed areas to pitch and help those whose homes were destroyed. “Hopefully, we can grow strong as a community together and jet get over it,” said one of the football players, Nathan Barker. The National Weather Service said there were 81 reported tornadoes from the system on Sunday. Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn declared seven counties disaster areas. He said that dozens of people were hurt.

 

 

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by DAVID MERCER and DON BABWIN / Associated Press

Posted on November 18, 2013 at 6:04 AM

Updated today at 5:27 PM

 

WASHINGTON, Ill.  — As a powerful tornado bore down on their Illinois farmhouse, Curt Zehr’s wife and adult son didn’t have time to do anything but scramble down the stairs into their basement.

 

Storms sweep across Midwest, kill 6 in Illinois

Uninjured, the pair looked out moments later to find the house gone and the sun out “right on top” of them, Zehr said. Their home, on the outskirts of Washington, Ill., was swept up and scattered over hundreds of yards by one of the dozens of tornadoes and intense thunderstorms that swept across the Midwest on Sunday, leaving at least six people dead and unleashing powerful winds that flattened entire neighborhoods, flipped over cars and uprooted trees.

 

“They saw (the tornado) right there and got in the basement,” said a stunned Zehr, pointing to the farm field near the rubble that had been his home.

HOME VIDEO OF ILLINOIS TORNADO

Early Monday, Washington Mayor Gary Manier estimated that from 250 to 500 homes were either damaged or destroyed in the storm and that it wasn’t clear when residents would be allowed to return.

 

“Everybody’s without power, but some people are without everything,” Manier told reporters in the parking lot of a destroyed auto parts store and near a row of flattened homes.

“How people survived is beyond me,” he said.

The unusually powerful late-season wave of thunderstorms brought damaging winds and tornadoes to 12 states: Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and western New York.

Bill Bunting, forecast operations chief of the National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla., said the storms all belonged to the same system and would be “moving rapidly to the east and continue east overnight and into the morning.”

Illinois was the hardest struck with at least six people killed and dozens more injured.

An 80-year-old man and his 78-year-old sister were killed by a tornado that hit their farmhouse near the rural southern Illinois community of New Minden, coroner Mark Styninger said. A third person died in Washington, while three others perished in Massac County in the far southern part of the state, said Patti Thompson of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency. She did not provide details.

Communications remained difficult and with many roads impassable it was not clear if the injury and death tolls would rise on Monday. Ill. Gov. Pat Quinn declared seven counties disaster areas.

 

Washington, a town of 16,000 about 140 miles southwest of Chicago, appeared to have suffered the most severe damage. The tornado cut a path about an eighth of a mile wide from one side of town to the other, State Trooper Dustin Pierce said.

Across farm fields a little more than a mile from where Zehr’s home was swept up, several blocks of homes were destroyed.

“The whole neighborhood’s gone. The wall of my fireplace is all that is left of my house,” said Michael Perdun, speaking by cellphone.

The Illinois National Guard assisted with search and recovery operations in Washington. The White House issued a statement saying President Barack Obama had been briefed about the damage and was in touch with federal, state and local officials. Quinn and Indiana Gov. Mike Pence were scheduled to survey affected areas in their respective states Monday.

As law enforcement officers continued to search for victims and sized up the cleanup and rebuilding job ahead, they kept everyone but residents and emergency workers out. With power off and lines down in many areas, natural gas lines leaking and trees and other debris blocking many streets, an overnight curfew kept all but emergency vehicles off pitch-black roads. The only lights visible across most of Washington on Sunday night were red and blue flashes from police and fire truck lights.

Pierce said there were reports of looting around town.

About 75 friends and neighbors helped Zehr to salvage his family’s belongings. He said he’d been at church when the tornado hit but that his wife, Sue, and son were at home.

A friend, Keith Noe, said the Zehr family still felt fortunate.

“They both walked out of the basement and that’s what counts,” Noe said.

Across Washington, an auto parts store with several people inside was reduced to a pile of bricks, metal and rebar; a battered car, its windshield impaled by a piece of lumber, was flung alongside it.

“The employees were climbing out of this,” Pierce said, gesturing to the rubble behind him. None of them was seriously injured, he said.

At OSF Saint Francis Medical Center in nearby Peoria, spokeswoman Amy Paul said 37 storm victims had been treated, including eight with injuries ranging from broken bones to head injuries. Another hospital, Methodist Medical Center in Peoria, treated more than a dozen, but officials there said none of them were seriously injured. Brian Williamson, a state spokesman, said hospitals reported treating about 60 people in Washington, but said that figure could grow.

 

About 90 minutes after the tornado destroyed homes in Washington, the stormy weather darkened downtown Chicago. As the rain and high winds slammed into the area, officials at Soldier Field evacuated the stands and ordered the Bears and Baltimore Ravens off the field. Fans were allowed back to their seats shortly after 2 p.m., and the game resumed after about a two-hour delay.

Earlier, the Office of Emergency Management and Communications had issued a warning to fans, urging them “to take extra precautions and … appropriate measures to ensure their personal safety.”

Just how many tornadoes hit was unclear. Although about 80 reports of tornadoes had come in as of Sunday night, the National Weather Service’s Bunting said the actual number will likely be in the 30 to 40 range. He said that’s because the same tornado often gets reported multiple times.

Weather service meteorologist Matt Friedlein said such weather is rare this late in the year, but that strong winds coupled with temperatures in the 60s and 70s spawned Sunday’s storms.

 

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Earth watch Report  –  Tornado

Source: Adrian Shock
Damage in Auckland’s North Shore.

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08.10.2013 Tornado New Zealand Northland, Devonport Damage level Details

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Tornado in New Zealand on Tuesday, 08 October, 2013 at 08:12 (08:12 AM) UTC.

Description
A Devonport resident who lived through tonight’s horror tornado on Auckland’s North Shore has compared it to the killer Albany twister which left one dead in 2011. Aimee Bourke was at home on Vauxhall Road with her two children when the tornado hit soon after 6pm. “There was a storm, some really, really heavy rain and then there was a calm patch,” Mrs Bourke said. “And then this really, really loud wind noise came through and of course she screamed (Mrs Bourke’s daughter), we grabbed the kids and hunkered down in the hallway until it passed. “That’s my third tornado unfortunately. So straight away I realised what it was.” At least six houses in and around Mrs Bourke’s Vauxhall Road – the worst hit street from the tornado – suffered minor to serious damage.

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TVNZ NEWS

A Devonport resident who lived through tonight’s horror tornado on Auckland’s North Shore has compared it to the killer Albany twister which left one dead in 2011.

Aimee Bourke was at home on Vauxhall Road with her two children when the tornado hit soon after 6pm.

“There was a storm, some really, really heavy rain and then there was a calm patch,” Mrs Bourke said.

“And then this really, really loud wind noise came through and of course she screamed (Mrs Bourke’s daughter), we grabbed the kids and hunkered down in the hallway until it passed.

“That’s my third tornado unfortunately. So straight away I realised what it was.”

At least six houses in and around Mrs Bourke’s Vauxhall Road – the worst hit street from the tornado – suffered minor to serious damage.

Mrs Bourke, still visibly shaken over an hour after the event, had suffered through the Albany tornado and “one back in the 80s”, and today’s felt “very similar”.

“I’m still shaking, put it that way. And it’s been quite some time since it happened. So obviously it’s just really scary, the kids are freaking out and you just want to make sure you stay calm for them.

“But we’ve got a bit of a mess in our backyard, so I’ve already called the insurance company and put in a claim.

“We’ve got spouting down, two trees uprooted, trampoline twisted, back fence down and roofing iron down.”

She said the trampoline was completely twisted.

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tornado

Multiple tornadoes hit three Midwestern states.

The storms struck Nebraska, South Dakota, and Iowa.

The National Weather Service confirmed six twisters struck the states.

Fifteen people were injured in Wayne, Nebraska.

A Nebraska newspaper reported several buildings in Wayne’s industrial park were damaged or destroyed along with several homes south of the city.

One tornado hit just blocks from Wayne State College.

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Great Plains Storm Brings Snow, Tornadoes

By CHET BROKAW 10/05/13 10:48 AM ET EDT AP

PIERRE, S.D. — PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — In the span of 24 hours, the scenic Black Hills in South Dakota were coated in up to three and a half feet of wet, heavy snow, one of several Great Plains states walloped by a storm system that’s caused millions of dollars in damage.

Wind gusts of up to 70 mph were recorded in the Black Hills, National Weather Service meteorologist Katie Pojorlie said Saturday morning, but the snow was expected to end later Saturday, giving people a chance to start digging out from the unusual early fall snowstorm that set records.

But wintry weather wasn’t the only thing wrapped into the powerful cold front, as thunderstorms brought heavy rain, hail and tornadoes in Nebraska, Iowa and South Dakota. No one died in the tornadoes, reports said, but snow was blamed in the deaths of three people who were killed in a traffic accident on U.S. 20 in northeast Nebraska.

Forecasters said the front would eventually combine with other storms to make for a wild — and probably very wet — weekend for much of the central U.S. and Southeast.

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