(Atlanta-AP) January 8, 2007 - A line of severe
thunderstorms moved across north Georgia, spawning
possible tornadoes, damaging some houses and downing
trees and power lines.
A forecaster with the
National Weather Service office in Peachtree City,
Mike Leary, says he is "pretty sure" a tornado struck
in Coweta County south of Atlanta, where a half dozen
homes were damaged or destroyed Sunday night by wind
or fallen trees.
Coweta County Fire Chief Jay Jones says damage
was even worse than the damage caused by another round
of storms on Friday.
While no serious injuries were immediately
reported, firefighters responded to nearly two dozen
reports of residents trapped by falling trees. Jones
says firefighter also rescued a 14-year-old who was
trapped in a closet when a roof collapsed at a home.
The storm also knocked down trees in Heard,
Meriwether and Troup counties.
When the weather rolled through Atlanta, it
caused travel delays of 45 minutes or less at
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
Up to four inches of rain fell earlier in parts
of Alabama, where a flash flood warning was issued for
Posted 7:59am by
Friday February 2, 2007-11:20 PM Reuters
Perilous Times and Global Warming
14 killed by fierce tornadoes in central Florida*
By Barbara Liston
ORLANDO, Florida (Reuters) - Fourteen people were killed and at least 100 homes
were damaged or destroyed when tornadoes ripped through
central Florida on Friday, an official said.
Severe thunderstorms and tornadoes struck a wide area north of Florida's key
tourism region of Orlando, reducing homes to rubble and splintered
wood. Search and rescue teams fanned out to search for survivors and victims.
"I have 14," Christopher Patton, spokesman for the Lake County emergency
operations centre, told Reuters, citing reports of fatalities from the
county medical examiner's office. "I can confirm that number."
Patton said three people were killed in Lady Lake, about 40 miles (64 km)
northwest of Orlando, and 11 died in nearby Paisley, on the edge of
the Ocala National Forest.
"We have complete devastation of homes, of businesses, religious institutions,"
Patton said earlier on CNN. "It was unlike even perhaps
the hurricanes of 2004 when we had minor roof damage, screen damage, pool
damage. This is way far more devastating."
Up to 100 homes were damaged in Sumter County but officials there said there
were no reports of deaths.
Television video showed homes reduced to rubble and residents belongings strewn
Florida Gov. Charlie Crist postponed the scheduled presentation of his first
budget because of the weather emergency.
Walt Disney Co.'s Disney World, just south of Orlando, was not affected, a
(Additional reporting by Michael Christie in Miami)
Some huddle and survive, but 19 die in Florida twisters
BY PHIL LONG, LARRY LEBOWITZ AND MARTIN MERZER
- They are in their 80s and they've been married 59 years, and
they heard the roar and they knew what it meant. So Vern and Louedna
Huber huddled in a hallway and they pulled sofa cushions over their
heads and the roar grew louder.
Louedna turned to Vern. She
said: ''I love you and I've had many wonderful years.'' And then, a
little after 3 a.m., the tornado arrived.
They survived, shaken but still together. And still fortunate.
At least 19 people died, many others were injured, hundreds lost
homes and thousands remained traumatized after a vicious swarm of
thunderstorms and predawn tornadoes ripped through Central and Northeast
Florida early Friday.
Two of the dead were high school students and one was an
elementary school child, officials said. More than 1,850 buildings were
destroyed or damaged over a 40-mile swath of Lake, Sumter and Volusia
As night fell over the region, authorities accompanied by rescue
dogs still searched for people trapped in debris. Shelters opened to
serve the newly homeless. At least 10,000 customers still were without
Gov. Charlie Crist declared a state of emergency for Volusia,
Sumter, Lake and Seminole counties. He said the state and its
storm-weary residents would persevere, as they did after the barrages of
hurricanes in 2004 and 2005.
''This is the Florida way,'' Crist said of the rescue and recovery
The Federal Emergency Management Agency said it was processing the
state's application for emergency assistance. The Florida National Guard
mustered 8,000 soldiers and awaited orders to distribute food, water and
The fierce squalls -- including two ''super cells'' that
forecasters said generated several tornadoes with winds greater than 100
mph -- attacked under cover of darkness, enhancing the terror, and the
unsettled weather persisted into the afternoon.
The wind splintered houses and flattened a church built to
withstand 150 mph winds. Falling trees crushed cars and trucks.
Clothing, bedding and other debris dangled from branches.
Tornadoes or apparent tornadoes were reported near Frostproof in
Polk County, near Wildwood in Sumter County, near Weirsdale in Marion
County and in many areas of rural Lake County.
Parts of the area resembled South Miami-Dade County after it was
bulldozed by Hurricane Andrew in 1992. Another historical footnote:
Friday's storms struck on the ninth anniversary of Florida's ferocious
''Groundhog Day Storm'' of 1998.
Officials in Lake County confirmed 13 deaths near the communities
of Lake Mack, Bear Lake and Paisley, about 50 miles northwest of
Orlando. Six deaths were reported in or near Lady Lake, also in Lake
County. Authorities could not account for two people missing near Lake
Among the dead: a male freshman from Umatilla High School, a
17-year-old female student from Leesburg High School who lived in Lady
Lake, and a 7-year-old boy from Spring Creek Elementary near Paisley,
officials said. The boy's father also died. None were immediately
The Lady Lake Church of God was demolished, its pews, altar and
Bibles scattered to the wind. A steel-reinforced structure, the church
also served as an emergency shelter and was built to endure 150-mph
winds, the Rev. Larry Lynn said.
''It's total destruction,'' he said, ``but only of the building.
Our church is our people, and we're still here.''
Several miles northwest of Lady Lake, a sprawling retirement
community called The Villages absorbed a direct hit from at least one
Up to 500 houses were destroyed or heavily damaged and cars were
tossed 100 feet or more. No deaths or injuries were immediately reported
in The Villages. About 50,000 people live in the area, which stretches
from Lake County into Sumter County.
The Hubers live near Bear Lake and their first warning came from a
weather radio alert. Then, their son called with another alert from
Orange City. And soon, they heard it.
''It was a roar, a steady roar,'' Vern Huber said. ``About a
minute or two before it hit the house, you could hear the roar coming.
As soon as I heard that, I knew we were in for trouble.''
Said Louedna: ``I wasn't sure we were going to get out of there.''
But they did get out, their modest two-bedroom, one-bath house
only slightly damaged. Their garage and workshop were gone, however, and
the wind blasted apart wooden houses and mobile homes just a half-mile
Aluminum clung to trees next to chunks of pink insulation. Power
and telephone lines sat bunched like tossed spaghetti.
The line of severe weather -- advancing from the Gulf of Mexico
toward the Atlantic coast and carving an east-northeast path through the
center of the state -- propelled destructive thunderstorms through many
The National Weather Service issued tornado watches hours before
the storms arrived and provided eight to 16 minutes of more-ominous and
specific tornado warnings before the twisters hit -- about average for
But with most people sound asleep, those warnings were heard and
heeded by very few. Their first warning was the roar, which really did
sound like a freight train.
''The only thing I heard was a freight train, and I didn't hear
anything but a freight train,'' said Dale Bridges, who moved to Lady
Lake two years ago from Plantation after his family's home was severely
damaged from Hurricane Wilma.
This time, he was in luck. His mobile home survived, as did his
parents' brick home across the street and his brother's home two doors
down. But they were literally powerless, and as nightfall approached, a
barefoot Bridges, wearing a Chicago Bears T-shirt and drinking a beer,
watched crews slicing through the limbs of 150-year-old oak trees that
crashed into power lines.
The storms struck at around 3:10 a.m. in The Villages and 3:15
a.m. in the Lady Lake areas, forecasters said.
The outbreak of severe weather reminded many meteorologists and
others of the Groundhog Day Storm nine years earlier.
Forecasters had predicted the possibility of a repeat performance
by nature this year, noting the existence of the same El Niño conditions
that helped fuel the 1998 storms.
El Niños, which occur when water in the eastern Pacific Ocean
becomes unusually warm, can bend the jet stream and propel strong cold
fronts into and through Florida.
When a cold front meets warm, tropical air -- as one did in
Central Florida this morning -- severe weather often erupts.
''This was a pretty classic El Niño event,'' said Robert Molleda,
the National Weather Service's warnings coordinator for South Florida.
He noted that three weeks after the Groundhog Day Storm, a bevy of
tornadoes pummeled Central Florida, killing 42 people. There is a lesson
there, he said.
''This is the time of year -- February through April and even into
May -- when we can get tornadoes in Florida from these cold fronts,
especially in an El Niño year,'' Molleda said. ``We need to continue to
Herald staff writers Noah Bierman, Marc Caputo, Lesley Clark,
Tania DeLuzuriaga, Gary Fineout and Myriam Marquez contributed to this
Alabama High School Warned Before Twister
ENTERPRISE, Ala. (March 2, 2007) -
Administrators at a high school where eight
students died in a
were warned about severe weather nearly three
hours before the twister struck, raising
questions Friday about whether classes should
have been dismissed earlier.
Residents of the neighborhood
surrounding Enterprise High
School said they heard warning
sirens long before the tornado
slammed into the building,
crushing the victims in an
avalanche of concrete and metal.
"It came real fast, but they had
plenty of time to get those kids
out because sirens were going
off all morning," said Pearl
Green, whose 15-year-old niece
attends the school and was hit
in the head by a flying brick.
But school officials said they
had no chance to evacuate
earlier because of the
approaching severe weather. And
others said the carnage would
have been greater if students
had been outside or on the road
when the storm hit.
Gov. Bob Riley defended
administrators' actions after a
tour of the school.
"I don't know of anything they
didn't do," Riley said after
stepping out of the collapsed
hallway where the students died.
"If I had been there, I hope I
would have done as well as they
The last of the
"Each one who was
say, `That was a
good kid,'" said
The students were
among 20 people
killed Thursday in
and Missouri by
contained in a
Minnesota to the
Gulf Coast. The
storms damaged or
of homes, toppled
trees and knocked
down power lines.
In Enterprise, a
town of 22,000
people, more than
50 people were
planned to visit
two of the
were still being
worked out Friday
with governors in
began blaring in
officials to order
the high school's
halls - supposedly
the safest part of
Many students left
school after the
decided to dismiss
classes at 1 p.m.,
before the worst
of the weather was
forecast to hit,
huddled inside the
that a possible
twister was on the
way and advised
to hold students
until 1:30 p.m.,
"The storm hit
about 1:15," he
said. A wall in
collapsed, and the
concrete slab roof
fell on the
18, left school
about 10 minutes
before the tornado
struck. She said
students in the
halls could hear
the sirens, but no
"We weren't really
hearing sirens for
Looking at the
remains of their
school, Ammons and
have been sent
home after the
were issued. But
the carnage would
have been far
worse if students
were trying to
during the storm.
"If they'd let
us out, they'd be
looking at 50 to
He pointed to a
parking lot full
vehicles that were
thrown around by
the twister, with
some coming to
rest against the
kids in the
sitting in those
spokesman for the
Alabama Board of
the state has a
schools to conduct
weather drills and
plans. But the
whether to close
schools is left to
Twisters sweep Plains, kill 3
POSTED: 10:44 a.m. EDT, March 29, 2007
OKLAHOMA CITY, Oklahoma (AP) -- An early spring storm swept across the Plains early Thursday, spinning off tornadoes that killed an Oklahoma couple in a home that was blown to pieces and a Colorado woman whose small town was nearly destroyed.
A tornado as wide as two football fields carved a destructive path through Holly, Colorado, late Wednesday, destroying five homes, damaging dozens more and littering the streets with broken power lines, tree limbs and debris.
"Homes were there and now they're gone," county administrator Linda Fairbairn said. "Many, if not all, the structures in town suffered some degree of damage."
A 28-year-old woman who suffered massive injuries during the twister died after she was airlifted to a hospital in Colorado Springs, Prowers County Coroner Joe Giadone said Thursday.
The line of storms stretched nearly the length of the nation, from South Dakota to Texas. As it headed east on Thursday, it threatened flash flooding in central Nebraska and Kansas. More severe weather was expected in Oklahoma, as well, forecasters said.
At least 11 tornadoes were reported throughout western Nebraska on Wednesday, destroying or damaging three homes and 10-12 miles of power lines, emergency management officials said.
A husband and wife were killed near Elmwood, Oklahoma, when the storm blew apart their home, said Dixie Parker, Beaver County's emergency management director.
In Holly, Colorado, a town of about 900 residents 235 miles southeast of Denver, the storm tore the back off Cheryl Roup's home and flipped it into her front yard, the Denver Post reported. Somehow, her China closet survived the damage, and her border collie, Lacy, escaped harm.
"Lacy managed to crawl out from under the rubble, but she seemed OK," Roup told the Post. "She's a little shocked, much like I am right now."
The same storm system had dumped snow on Wyoming, where a school bus carrying 36 students from Tongue River High School to a competition in Cheyenne collided with two minivans on Interstate 90 Wednesday, school officials said.
Soon after that crash, another pileup started nearby involving several passenger vehicles and seven big rigs, two of which were hauling diesel fuel. One of the diesel haulers rolled over, and authorities said the other leaked around 1,000 gallons of fuel. No one on the bus was hurt, but four other people were taken to a hospital, Wyoming Highway Patrol spokesman Sgt. Stephen Townsend said.
The wintry weather closed a 100-mile stretch of I-90 and 45 miles of I-25. Thirteen other state roads were also closed.
As the storm moved through Texas, the Panhandle region was hit with baseball-sized hail, rain and 70 mph wind that downed power lines and uprooted trees. Tornadoes also touched down, including one that was on the ground at Caprock Canyons State Park for about 20 minutes, the National Weather Service said. The storm overturned trucks, and at least three people were hospitalized with injuries.
Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved
Tornadoes Hit Alabama, Georgia and Missouri, 20 Killed
By Armando Duke
(AXcess News) Houston, TX - Tornadoes reeked havoc across a three-state region yesterday, killing 20 people in Alabama, Georgia and Missouri. The tornadoes recorded across the Southeastern US numbered 29 and were part of a massive storm front that stretched from Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico, the National Weather Service reports.
In Enterprise, Alabama, near the Florida boarder, one tornado swept through the town with fierce winds, knocking down the walls of school there as it left behind a wake of damage from a three-mile wide path the tornado took. In all, as many as six states reported tornadoes from what the National Weather Service calls a "super cell" storm front.
The Enterprise tornado left nine dead in its wake; eight students at the Enterprise High School were killed when the roof and one wall collapsed near the gymnasium and another Enterprise citizen was killed near their home while a Wilcox County resident was also reported to have been killed by the tornado.
The National Weather Service said the 'super cell' would move off of the East coast today, leaving behind sunlit skies across the Southeast and heavy rainfall in parts of the East Coast, mainly New York.
At least nine deaths were reported in Georgia, and one person was killed in Missouri, officials in those states said.
The storm nearly doubled the number of people who have been killed by tornadoes this year. Twenty-three people other died from tornadoes in Louisiana and Florida in the last two months, the Storm Prediction Center in Oklahoma said.
DALLAS, Texas (CBS/AP) -- At least one person was killed after severe storms raked across the Dallas-Fort Worth area Friday afternoon and evening, producing at least five tornadoes. Five other people were hurt.
The severe weather system plowed eastward Saturday, rattling Louisiana with strong thunderstorms as the Northeast prepared for possible coastal flooding.
The storm blew across the southern Plains on Friday, piling snow a foot deep in Kansas and raking Texas with high wind.
CBS Station KTVT in Dallas/Ft. Worth reported on hailstones the size of baseballs. They also said that power is out to tens of thousands of people in the area.
"I felt my house start shaking like the wind and I ran in here and grabbed my little girl," Amanda Rymer, 21, said in Haltom City, Texas. "As soon as I moved her, the roof fell in right where she was standing."
The storm tore roofs off houses in Rymer's neighbor and destroyed porches and garages. About a dozen tractor-trailer rigs were blown onto their sides.
One man was killed in Fort Worth by a pile of lumber that fell on him from his truck during the storm, authorities said.
Air traffic came to a halt at Dallas/Ft. Worth airport as the storms moved through. Passengers had to be evacuated out of the security side of terminals during the height of the storms. The FAA implemented a ground stop order, prohibiting flights from landing. It was not known how many flights were cancelled.
CBS News correspondent Hari Sreenivasan said billboards were shredded like paper.
By Saturday morning, the system was spreading rain from Louisiana to Virginia and across much of the Ohio Valley. Lines of strong thunderstorms rolled across Louisiana.
The weather system was forecast to strengthen when it reaches the East Coast on Sunday and form a nor'easter, a storm that follows the coast northward, with northeasterly wind driving waves and heavy rain.
"This is very odd for this time of year," National Weather Service meteorologist John Koch said Saturday in New York. "This is something that you would expect to see more in the middle of winter."
A flood watch was posted for the New York City region, as the weather service forecast 2 to 4 inches of rain Sunday with wind gusting to 50 mph. Snow and sleet were possible inland, Koch said.
The combination of rain, onshore wind and the approach of one of the spring's highest tides on Tuesday could add up to significant coastal surges, Koch said.
The New York National Guard alerted units that might be needed for emergency work, and Long Island's Suffolk County told emergency workers to be ready for possible duty.
"There is potential for a very bad storm," said Joseph Williams, Suffolk County's commissioner of fire, rescue and emergency services.
Snow continued falling Saturday in eastern Kansas, where some schools and businesses closed Friday as blowing snow created whiteout conditions. Nearly a foot of snow fell near Syracuse, Kan.
NASCAR Nextel Cup qualifying races at Texas Motor Speedway were halted and thousands of fans were advised to move to safety as tornado sirens blared at the speedway in Fort Worth.
A tornado was spotted near Bedford, a suburb between Dallas and Forth Worth, though no damage was reported, the National Weather Service said.
Copyright 2007, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
4 tornadoes, 1 death confirmed in Wednesday's storms
07:06 AM EDT on Friday, April 13, 2007
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- The National Weather Service has confirmed that four tornadoes hit central Indiana within three hours during yesterday evening’s storms.
Two suspected tornadoes in Sumter
leaves one dead|
(AP) -- The
Clay County at
service says a
at 7:25 p.m.
damage to a
barn and moved
a truck and
four inches of
snow on South
man dies of
Ky. (AP) -- A
has died after
blew a tree
onto him in
Dan Sims says
the house with
a gust of wind
which fell on
taken to the
2007 by The
April 15, 2007 08:34 AM PST
one of the
on top of
of Hwy 76
it like a
as the day
in an area
down on US
178 and a
News 10 to
North Texas Storms Produced At Least Two Tornadoes
(April 15, 2007)--Meteorologists confirmed
that at least two tornadoes touched down
during Friday night's storms.
died in the storms, which damaged buildings
The National Weather Service says the
tornado that hit Benbrook, southwest of Fort
Worth, caused minor damage.
Harder hit was Haltom City, northeast of
An Irving police officer died after his
patrol car slid off a rain-slick highway and
hit a light pole.
A man was killed in Fort Worth when a
pile of lumber fell on top of him Friday.
Police say 26-year-old Irving officer
Andrew Esparza died after his patrol car
slid off a rain-slick highway and hit a
light pole Friday night.
Police said Esparza was responding to an
accident when he lost control of his car and
slid off the highway.
The worst damage seems to have been in
Haltom City, located just north of Fort
Roofs were ripped from houses and
businesses including a supermarket.
The Valley Missionary Baptist Church
there was destroyed.
A residential neighborhood in Haltom City
tucked between Interstate 35 and an
industrial park suffered a direct hit.
Local And State News >>More
National News >>More
Business News >></< a <>Sports
Published Sunday, April 15,
Storm kills five, heads to East
By George M. Walsh
The Associated Press
ALBANY, N.Y. | The
Northeast on Saturday braced for a hard-blowing
nor’easter that could bring severe coastal
flooding, power outages and more than a foot of
snow in some places.
As the system blew across the Plains, the
unusually violent spring storm rattled Gulf
states with violent thunderstorms, raked Texas
with at least two tornadoes and was blamed for
Severe thunderstorms with a threat of tornadoes
rumbled across Alabama on Saturday, dumping rain
on some areas suffering from drought conditions.
A tornado warning was in effect through Saturday
evening for southwestern Alabama and into
High winds toppled trees in some areas,
including Lowndes County, but no major storm
damages were immediately reported as the system
tracked into Georgia.
“This is very odd for this time of year,”
National Weather Service meteorologist John Koch
said Saturday in New York. “This is something
that you would expect to see more in the middle
A tornado Friday night tore roofs off houses and
destroyed porches and garages in Haltom City,
Texas. About a dozen tractor-trailer rigs were
blown onto their sides.
“I felt my house start shaking like the wind and
I ran in here and grabbed my little girl,”
Amanda Rymer, 21, said. “As soon as I moved her,
the roof fell in right where she was standing.”
A second tornado that night in Benbrook,
southwest of Fort Worth, caused minor damage,
according to the National Weather Service. More
wind damage to power lines, trees and roofs was
reported to the east in Dallas and Rockwall
counties, but meteorlogists had yet to confirm
Saturday whether tornadoes formed there.
One man was killed in Fort Worth by a pile of
lumber that fell on him from his truck during
Friday’s storm, and a police officer in Irving
died when his patrol car slid on wet pavement
and struck a utility pole, authorities said.
Three people were killed in Kansas in traffic
accidents on highways covered with ice and
slush, police said.
Snow stopped falling by Saturday afternoon in
eastern Kansas, where some schools and
businesses closed Friday as blowing snow created
whiteout conditions. Up to 15 inches of snow
fell in southwestern Kansas.
By Saturday afternoon, the system was spreading
rain from Louisiana to Virginia and across much
of the Ohio Valley. Lines of strong
thunderstorms rolled across Louisiana and
Mississippi into northern Alabama, and the
National Weather Service posted tornado warnings
for wide areas of Mississippi and some parts of
Alabama. By Saturday night the storm reached
western South Carolina, where minor wind damage
The weather system was forecast to strengthen
when it reaches the East Coast today and form a
nor’easter, a storm that follows the coast
northward, with northeasterly wind driving waves
and heavy rain.
A flood watch was posted for the New York City
region, as the weather service forecast 2 to 4
inches of rain today with wind gusting to 50
mph. Snow and sleet were possible inland, Koch
Officials warned that coastal Long Island could
see some of its worst flooding since a winter
storm that wrecked havoc on the island in late
1992. New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer said some
low-lying areas may need to be evacuated, and
deployed 3,200 members of the National Guard to
areas predicted to be in the storm’s path.
Further north, the National Weather Service said
there could be as much as 20 inches of snow
possible at higher elevations in the Adirondacks
and several inches of rain in the Hudson Valley
by the time the storm passes late Monday and
New Jersey was ready for whatever may fall —
snow or rain. About 250 trucks were ready to
plow and spread salt on state highways if
needed. The northwest corner of the state was
expecting snow, while the rest of the state was
bracing for possible flooding.
“We’re ready for everything, which based upon
the forecast, is pretty much what we could get,”
said Joe Orlando, a spokesman for the state
Department of Transportation and the New Jersey
Eagle Pass Area
Storm Kills 7 In
Texas, 3 In Mexico
April 25, 2007
07:01 AM PST
more than a foot
of snow on the
people along the
Seven of the
killed a few
miles south of
about 150 miles
southwest of San
Antonio. Four of
the dead were
one mobile home
when the tornado
Pass Mayor Chad
than 20 nearby
homes and the
Nobody was in
the school when
the tornado hit,
"I'm out here
on-site and I'm
looking at what
used to be an
said by cell
mobile homes are
A local hospital
Pass people said
they cannot ever
remember a time
when a tornado
hit this part of
Drew Roesgen for
Mexico, at least
were killed and
at least 40 were
injured in the
said. The storm
of cars and
the city's civil
In North Texas,
and roofs peeled
off homes as
another line of
about six hours
sirens rang in
flooded cars and
Sanez said. The
80 flights bound
Airport to other
winds blew the
metal roof off a
mobile homes and
heavy snow, rain
and hail before
roaring out of
received up to
3½ inches of
rain, and in
were reports of
as much as 5
In Colorado, six
at least 60
being unable to
travel in the
than a foot of
snow in about
two hours, said
marshall for El
those buses were
for late Tuesday
and had been
in the county,
about 80 miles
south of Denver.
While the sun
was out in
the plains east
of town where
crews on Sno-Cats
said Lt. Clif
Northam of the
El Paso County
the small town
of Wild Horse
about 110 miles
Denver, but no
Skinner, 47. "It
was right there,
about 200 feet
Colo., in the
inches of snow,
had up to 14
sliding off the
said Rick Olde,
owner of Olde's
lot of people
took their snow
tires off a
forced nearly a
diameter of a
some rural roads
were blocked by
heavy rain in
In Nebraska, the
most of its
were near or
takes walk on wild side
By Amie Shak
May 03, 2007
Already this spring, the suburbs have
seen record high temperatures in
March, a record snowfall in April, a
tornado touchdown and a microburst
strike. So, as we enter one of the
most active months of the year for
tornadoes, it's natural to wonder what
we're in for.
The fact is,
meteorologists can't really tell. The
best advice they can offer is to be
handwriting is on the wall that this
season might be more active than what
we've seen, compared to the average,"
AccuWeather Meteorologist Bob Larson
Weather Service in Chicago recorded a
record high temperature of 79 degrees
Fahrenheit on March 25 and 26. On
March 31, a microburst struck in Carol
Stream severely damaging an apartment
building and a church, as well as
affecting other nearby buildings.
service recorded a new low on April 7
when temperatures at O'Hare
International Airport dropped to 32
degrees. On April 11, a 3-inch
snowfall set a new local record.
Bolingbrook area was hit by a tornado,
albeit a weak one, on April 26,
causing damage to several homes.
forecasters suggest that global
warming may be a factor in all this
instability -- in 2003, the World
Meteorological Organization issued an
alert, warning that "extreme weather
events" might increase around the
world due to global warming -- but
that's still an area of some debate.
The effect, however, is clear.
seeing a gradual change in the climate
due to whatever impact -- a regular
cycle we're going through or man's
influence on the climate," said
AccuWeather meteorologist Frank
Strait. "It's not something that you
can blame any one part, or a series of
weather events on."
Weather Service data shows that April
and May are the most active tornado
months in the Midwest, with most
reported tornadoes hitting an area in
the late afternoon and early evening
hours. But the storms can strike any
was hit in April 2004 with a severe
tornado that killed eight people and
destroyed the village's downtown and
more than 100 homes. But the 1990
Plainfield tornado that caused 29
deaths, hundreds of injuries and more
than $250 million in damage came in
storm also defied two tornado myths --
that funnel clouds form only in
valleys and that they do not form near
rivers. Again, the meteorologists
remind us, the storms are utterly
can form and do occur everywhere. No
geographical location is completely
safe from a tornado," Strait said.
The same can
be said for the myth that tornadoes
strike only in rural areas and not in
cities. Strait pointed out that a
tornado went through downtown
Nashville, Tenn., on April 16, 1998.
Given what we
do know -- that the time of year most
susceptible for tornadoes is upon us
and we've already seen evidence of
unusual conditions for the year --
Strait urged people to review safety
plans and figure out what to do in
case of a severe weather event in
advance -- like now, while it's still
the terms: Watches v. warnings
A watch means meteorologists are
watching bad weather conditions; a
warning is much more urgent.
Tornado watch: Tornadoes are possible;
you should be on alert for approaching
storms and listen to local television
or radio. Keep a map handy or know the
names of counties in your area to help
you keep track of locations when
mentioned on the news.
Tornado warning: A tornado has been
spotted in your area or seen on radar;
take immediate shelter.
thunderstorm watch: Severe
thunderstorms are likely. A storm is
considered severe if winds are
stronger than 58 mph. The sky is
typically black or dark green and
storms last an average of 10-20
thunderstorm warning: Storms are
severe enough to cause imminent danger
to life and property. Take immediate
What to do during a tornado
inside: Go to basement. If there isn't
a basement, go to the lowest floor
available to a room or hallway that is
in the middle to put as many walls as
possible between you and the outside.
Stay away from windows. Crouch under a
heavy piece of furniture.
homes offer little protection. In the
event of a tornado, go to a nearby
sturdy building or storm shelter.
outside: Lie flat in a ditch or
depression. Cover your head with your
hands. Most injuries are caused by
a car: Do not try to outrun a tornado
in your car; get out and find shelter.Tornado
If you see a tornado is coming
toward your home, you should open a
window to help equalize the pressure
and minimize damage.
Wrong. "What actually causes so
much damage isn't the sudden lowering
of pressure, it's the wind itself in
the tornado. It doesn't matter if the
window is shut or if you completely
remove the window; the winds are
simply going to blow your house away,"
says AccuWeather meteorologist Frank
you spot a tornado while driving, you
should turn and drive at right angles
to the storm.
Maybe. "One thing to keep in
mind is that tornadoes sometimes
follow an erratic path. Your best
course of action is to find a very
sturdy structure with a basement to go
below ground," says Strait.
Tornadoes hit mobile home parks more
frequently than other areas.
Not really. "I think the reason
you hear that myth is because the
homes are not very sturdy structures,
so when a tornado hits them, the
amount of damage and injury and loss
of life is much greater than other
areas," Strait says.
storm video that made the rounds years
ago showed people who hid under a
bridge overpass and survived. A smart
Nope. "There we saw a very lucky
group of people in a storm-chase
video," Strait says. "A lot of people
have done that [because of the video]
and there are a lot of people who died
because of it. That kind of structure
doesn't offer a lot of protection."
For more information
Sources: National Weather Service,
National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration, U.S. Department of
Commerce, Daily Herald interviews
By the numbers:
500 tornadoes hit the Midwest
and southern U.S. in May 2003.
74 tornadoes hit Illinois in May
2003, setting a new record for the
state.38 people killed during the 2003
148 tornadoes that hit the
Midwest during an 18-hour period
during 1974.300 people died during
that 1974 storm.
260 mph is the minimum wind
speed for the highest intensity
tornado, an F5.
10,000 thunderstorms in the U.S.
each year, on average.
1,000 tornadoes each year in the
U.S., on average.$14 billion in damage
caused each year by severe weather in
May 5, 2007
8:07 am US/Central
Tornado Wallops Kansas Town; 9
How do you prepare for this?
GREENSBURG, Kan., At least 50
people — 16 of them in critical
condition — have been taken to
hospitals after a massive tornado
swept through the southeast Kansas
town of Greensburg. At least one
person was reported killed.
Rescuers pulled about 30 people
from a badly damaged hospital
early Saturday and searched with
dogs for others believed trapped
in crumbled buildings after a
massive tornado turned much of
this community — located in Kiowa
County about 110 miles west of
Wichita — into rubble.
Those rescued from the hospital
basement had mostly minor
injuries, said Sharon Watson,
spokeswoman for the Kansas
Adjutant General's Department.
The tornado struck at 9:45 p.m.
Friday. The City Hall was
destroyed along with the high
school, junior high school, water
tower and most of the commercial
"I don't think we have a business
left downtown," city administrator
Steve Hewitt said.
"It's much more likely that you
would see damaged buildings than
anything that has not been
impacted," Watson said.
"Seventy-five percent is a minimum
amount of damage that the city
One woman told KWCH that her house
took a direct hit but was still
standing for the most part. "The
houses around us are flat," she
said. "The West is there and the
East is there, and it's flattened
through the middle."
"What went through out minds is,
how do you rebuild? All of Main
Street's gone, both of our schools
are gone. Where do we go from
Storm chaser Marty Logan followed
the system which begun in the
Oklahoma panhandle. "What was just
amazing is that the storm system
just kept regenerating, it just
kept recycling and kept doing its
thing … Mother Nature's fury at
its best," he told CBS Wichita
"To see a tornado down on the
ground for that long and to become
that massive and that big, I
haven’t seen anything like it
before," he said. "It just kept
getting wider and wider and
Dazed residents later walked the
streets, looking for loved ones
and taking in the sight of
crumbled buildings and smashed
Emergency medical crews, law
enforcement personnel and search
and rescue teams from throughout
western Kansas and as far east as
Wichita raced toward Greensburg
after the twister struck. The
Kansas National Guard sent 40
troops to assist with security.
Power and communications in the
town of about 1,600 people were
knocked out by the tornado. Watson
said the state transportation
department sent its Communications
on Wheels mobile unit to restore
Roads into and out of Greensburg,
including U.S. 54, were closed for
several hours to allow emergency
vehicles to maneuver. Some streets
were left impassable by tangles of
Ambulances took the injured to
hospitals as far away as Dodge
City, where Western Plains Medical
Complex confirmed receiving one
fatality, and nearby Pratt, where
Pratt Regional Medical Center
admitted about 50 people by 3 a.m.
Three patients were sent on to
Wichita's Wesley Medical Center,
including two in critical
Search dogs accompanied some of
the law enforcement officers who
went house to house looking for
anyone trapped or injured.
School buses lined up to take
people to the nearby town of
Haviland, where the American Red
Cross opened shelters at Haviland
High School and Barclay College.
The National Weather Service
described the twister as a "wedge"
tornado, an especially broad and
Precise measurements awaited
daylight observation of the
tornado's destructive trail, but
Frederick Kruse of the NWS office
in Dodge City said there were
initial reports that the twister
was at least three-quarters of a
mile wide on the ground.
At the high school, the Rev. Gene
McIntosh described huddling with
his family in the parsonage of
Greensburg's United Methodist
Church as the tornado roared
overhead. McIntosh said sofa
cushions protected his 11-year-old
son and the boy's friend from
debris and insulation that fell
from the basement ceiling.
"There was a lot of praying down
there," McIntosh said.
The parsonage was wrecked beyond
repair, he said, but damage to the
church remained to be assessed.
Another group of survivors rode
out the tornado in the cooler of a
Katie White was among that group.
White said she had been driving
through Greensburg on the way to
her hometown southwest of the city
and pulled into the store's lot
when she heard the warning.
The store's owner pulled White and
about 15 other people into the
cooler. When they emerged, White
said, the building around them had
collapsed. A farmer living about a
mile away said the awning from the
store's gasoline pumps landed on
Several other tornadoes were
reported Friday night and early
Saturday in Kansas, most of them
developing along a line that
stretched northeastward from
Greensburg through or near
Macksville, St. John, Great Bend
Damage from those storms ranged
from broken trees and power lines
to roofs ripped from buildings,
according to early reports.
(© 2007 CBS
Broadcasting Inc. All Rights
Aug 8, 2007 6:42 pm US/Eastern
NWS: F2 Tornado Confirmed In
Twister First Ever To Strike
Borough In Recorded History
(CBS) NEW YORK What was thought
to be a violently windy thunderstorm that plowed
through Brooklyn Wednesday morning turned out to
be a weather event of historical proportions.
The National Weather Service confirmed that the
storm brought with it Brooklyn's first ever
tornado since such weather events were recorded.
Officials measured it to be an EF2 twister,
characterized by winds of anywhere from 111 to
135 miles per hour.
Between 4 a.m. and 7 a.m. a string of severe
thunderstorms blew through the region, making
for an incredible headache for morning
commuters. Thousands of New Yorkers found
themselves enduring hours of delays in the
sweltering heat with subways shut down and
vacant taxi cabs hard to come by.
A woman on Staten Island died in a car accident
which officials say was a result of the horrible
driving conditions. In Brooklyn, amazingly, only
scattered minor injuries were reported.
Still, the tornado certainly rattled bones as
well as bricks, especially in Bay Rid
"About 6:35 this morning it sounded like a
freight rain coming down the driveway. The house
was shaking and people were screaming," said
Linda Mantia, who lives in the Bay Ridge
"I just wanted to lay down and die," Brooklyn
resident May Johnson told CBS 2.
Eric Casanova couldn't believe what he saw out
his window. "I looked out my window and the
trees looked like dandelions. They were flowing
all over the place," he said. "They say you get
15 minutes of fame, here in Bay Ridge it's 15
minutes of history."
Not only is the tornado the first ever in
recorded history to touch down in Brooklyn, it's
also the first to hit a New York City borough
since 1995, when a twister struck Staten Island.
Outside of those two, there have been only two
other tornadoes to strike New York City. The
first touched down in Queens in 1985 and the
second in Staten Island in 1990.
Record-keeping of tornadoes began nationwide in
Stay with CBS 2 and WCBSTV.com for the latest
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