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Vocapedia > Earth > Weather > Tornadoes, Twisters

 

 

 

A tornado touches down

in Lancaster, Texas, south of Dallas.

 

Tornadoes tore through the Dallas area,

peeling roofs off homes,

tossing big-rig trucks into the air

and leaving flattened tractor trailers

strewn along highways and parking lots.

 

Photograph:

Parrish Velasco/The Dallas Morning News

 

Boston Globe > Big Picture

2012 Year in Pictures: Part I

December 17, 2012

http://archive.boston.com/bigpicture/2012/12/2012
_year_in_pictures_part_i.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Red Terror

An incredible tornado sweeps across rural Colorado.

 

Photograph:

Tori Jane Ostberg

 

Weather Photographer of the Year 2020 – in pictures

Snow, lightning and tornados were among the natural phenomena

captured in the 7,700 entrie

 to the Royal Meteorological Society’s Weather Photographer of the Year awards.

Here is a selection of some of the best

G

Sun 18 Oct 2020    09.00 BST

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/gallery/2020/oct/18/
weather-photographer-of-the-year-2020-in-pictures

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An aerial photo of the destruction in Mayfield, Kentucky.

 

Photograph: Tannen Maury/EPA

 

In pictures: the aftermath of deadly US tornadoes

Tornadoes tore through central and southern US states on Friday,

leaving at least 70 people feared dead

in what President Biden called an ‘unimaginable tragedy’

G

Sat 11 Dec 2021    22.42 GMT

https://www.theguardian.com/world/gallery/2021/dec/11/
in-pictures-tornadoes-us-kentucky-illinois

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mayfield, US

Rick Foley walks though his bedroom in Kentucky

after a devastating outbreak of tornadoes ripped through several states

 

Photograph: Cheney Orr/Reuters

 

Christmas lights and a surf challenge: Monday’s best photos

The Guardian’s picture editors select photo highlights from around the world

G

Mon 13 Dec 2021    12.39 GMT

https://www.theguardian.com/news/gallery/2021/dec/13/
christmas-lights-surf-challenge-monday-best-photos

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lacy Duke, third from left,

standing with her family in front of the debris that used to be their home.

 

Photograph:

William Widmer for The New York Times

 

In Kentucky, Tallying the Grim Scale of Destruction

“I don’t think we’ll have seen damage at this scale, ever,”

said Gov. Andy Beshear of Kentucky in the wake of the devastating tornadoes

on Friday.

NYT

Dec. 12, 2021

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/12/12/
us/tornadoes-damage-deaths.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tornado        June 26, 2007

 


 

 

Tornado        Video

Derek and I going to Alberta, a tornado appeared RIGHT in front of us...

No zoom was used

Manitoba Canada

 

YouTube > slair        June 26, 2007

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Raw Video: Tornado Blows Through Miss. Town        AP        28 April 2011

 

 

 

 

Raw Video: Tornado Blows Through Miss. Town        Video        AP

 

Storm chasers

captured a tornado forming

and blowing through Philadelphia, Mississippi.

 

Storms across the South

have killed at least 178 people.

28 April 2011

 

YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/
watch?v=r8DQ2F4bj4E&feature=channel_video_title

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

USA > tornado, tornadoes        UK / USA

 

According to the National Oceanic

and Atmospheric Administration,

a tornado

“is a violently rotating column of air

that is in contact with the ground.’'

 

Overall, the sprawling masses

of moving air that make up hurricanes

produce more large-scale destruction.

 

But the sudden havoc

and localized devastation

that the funnel-shape

cloud of tornadoes can wreak

has made them

perhaps even more fearsome.

Updated: March 1, 2012

http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/science/topics/tornadoes/index.html

 

 

https://www.nytimes.com/topic/subject/tornadoes

 

2022

 

https://www.npr.org/2022/03/23/
1088362516/tornado-new-orleans-arabi

 

 

 

 

2021

 

https://www.npr.org/2021/12/21/
1065794824/for-tornado-survivors-cowboy-offers-a-listening-ear

 

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2021/12/15/
us/mayfield-kentucky-tornado-damage.html

 

https://www.npr.org/2021/12/15/
1064280290/kentucky-tornadoes-rebuilding-mayfield-dawson-springs

 

https://www.npr.org/2021/12/14/
1063817080/kentucky-crews-search-painstakingly-for-109-people-missing-after-deadly-tornadoe

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/12/12/
us/tornadoes-damage-deaths.html

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/12/12/
technology/amazon-tornado-edwardsville.html

 

https://www.theguardian.com/world/gallery/2021/dec/11/
in-pictures-tornadoes-us-kentucky-illinois

 

https://www.npr.org/sections/pictureshow/2021/12/11/
1063367722/drone-footage-captures-devastating-aftermath-of-mayfield-kentucky-tornado

 

https://www.npr.org/sections/pictureshow/2021/12/11/
1063376981/photos-scenes-from-the-deadly-tornadoes-through-the-midwest

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/12/11/
us/kentucky-deadly-tornadoes.html

 

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2021/12/11/
us/tornado-maps-damage.html

 

https://www.npr.org/2021/12/11/
1063335433/dozens-are-feared-dead-as-tornadoes-hit-midwestern-and-southern-u-s

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/26/
us/from-the-scene-devastating-tornadoes-batter-the-southeast.html

 

https://www.npr.org/2021/02/16/
968262631/tornado-touches-down-in-coastal-north-carolina

 

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/feb/14/
among-the-storm-chasers-how-extreme-weather-enthusiasts-help-predict-storms

 

https://www.npr.org/2021/01/26/
960767598/tornado-rips-through-birmingham-ala-area-leaving-at-least-1-dead-dozens-injured

 

 

 

 

2020

 

https://www.npr.org/2020/03/03/
811551469/tornadoes-in-tennessee-kill-at-least-9-and-cause-widespread-damage-in-nashville

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/03/
us/nashville-tornado-live.html

 

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2020/02/18/
798892939/many-tornado-alley-residents-with-disabilities-lack-safe-options-in-a-storm

 

 

 

 

2019

 

https://www.npr.org/2019/05/30/
728387095/scientists-know-how-tornadoes-form-but-they-are-nearly-impossible-to-predict

 

 

 

 

2017

 

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/05/01/
526377499/severe-weather-kills-at-least-14-people-across-5-southern-states

 

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/04/30/
526246608/dozens-hospitalized-several-killed-as-tornadoes-hit-east-texas

 

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/02/08/
514082548/its-just-a-mess-new-orleans-residents-clean-up-after-tornadoes

 

https://www.nytimes.com/video/us/
100000004917991/tornado-rips-through-new-orleans.html - Feb. 7, 2017

 

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/02/07/
513931607/after-tornadoes-hit-in-and-around-new-orleans-wall-of-storms-moves-east

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/22/us/
tornadoes-southeast-georgia-mississippi-death.html

 

 

 

 

2016

 

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/12/01/
504039462/tornado-outbreaks-are-on-the-rise-and-scientists-dont-know-why

 

http://www.nytimes.com/video/science/earth/
100000004437821/tornado-storms-through-kansas.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/24/us/
tornado-sirens-an-old-technology-still-play-a-vital-role.html

 

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/05/10/
477461521/deadly-tornadoes-wreak-havoc-across-the-great-plains

 

 

 

 

2015

 

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/05/17/
407449622/watch-tornado-skirts-past-cows-in-oklahoma

 

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2015/05/07/
404877522/tornadoes-rake-oklahoma-destroying-homes-injuring-12

 

http://www.theguardian.com/world/gallery/2015/may/07/
tornadoes-oklahoma-kansas-texas-nebraska-gallery

 

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/video/2015/mar/26/
tornado-tears-through-oklahoma-video

 

 

 

 

2014

 

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/apr/28/
tornado-kills-two-in-oklahoma-as-sheriff-reports-mass-casualties

 

http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2014/04/
tornadoes_kill_at_least_18.html

 

 

 

 

2013

 

http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2013/11/tornadoes_and_severe_weather_s.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/18/us/severe-storms-batter-central-illinois.html

 

http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/05/31/tornadoes-tear-through-central-oklahoma/

 

http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2013/05/tornadoes_wreak_havoc_in_us.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/22/us/politics/obama-sends-fema-chief-to-oklahoma.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/video/2013/05/21/us/
100000002238433/pictures-of-loss.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/video/2013/05/21/us/
100000002238428/tornadoes-what-we-know.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/video/2013/05/21/us/
100000002237486/oklahoma-tornado-a-meteorologists-view.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2013/05/21/us/tornado-before-and-after.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/22/opinion/the-view-from-an-oklahoma-basement.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/22/opinion/after-the-tornado-in-oklahoma-a-war-zone.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/22/us/oklahoma-tornado.html

 

http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/05/20/
video-of-the-damage-caused-by-tornadoes-in-oklahoma-and-kansas/

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/21/
business/media/helicopter-brings-viewers-vivid-images-of-tornado.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2013/05/20/us/oklahoma-tornado-map.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/21/us/tornado-oklahoma.html

 

 

 

 

2012

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/16/us/violent-storms-cut-across-the-central-plains.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/15/us/tornadoes-and-storms-hit-iowa-kansas-nebraska-and-oklahoma.html

http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/04/03/tornadoes-tear-through-dallas-fort-worth-area/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=UyT1-TodpuQ#

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/apr/03/tornadoes-cause-damage-dallas

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/video/2012/apr/04/texas-tornado-trucks-video

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/gallery/2012/apr/04/tornados-dallas-texas-neighbourhoods-pictures

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/02/us/in-illinois-tornados-devastation-sinks-in.html

 

 

 

 

2011

 

http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2011/05/severe_weather_continues_in_ce.html

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2011/05/25/us/joplin-aerial.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/26/us/26scene.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/25/us/25tornado.html

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/may/23/missouri-town-joplin-ravaged-tornado

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/gallery/2011/may/23/tornado-us-midwest-natural-disasters-in-pictures

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/24/us/24tornado.html

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/may/23/tornadoes-us-midwest-joplin-dead

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/01/us/01storm.html

http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2011/05/01/us/20110501_STORM.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/30/us/30storm.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/30/us/30reunite.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/30/us/30campus.html

http://www.usatoday.com/weather/storms/tornadoes/2011-04-30-tornadoes-death-toll_n.htm

http://content.usatoday.com/communities/theoval/post/2011/04/
obama-in-alabama-to-tour-tornado-devastation-/1

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/30/us/30storm.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/29/us/29storm.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/29/us/29forecast.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/29/us/29pleasant.html

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2011/04/28/us/
map-of-the-tornadoes-across-the-south.html

http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2011/04/tornadoes_kill_over_200.html

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/apr/28/deadly-tornadoes-hit-southern-us

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/28/us/28storm.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/19/us/
19carolina.html http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/18/us/18tornado.html

 

 

 

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/21/us/21storm.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/11/us/11tornado.html

 

 

 

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/video/2009/feb/11/oklahomacity

 

 

 

 

http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2008/02/06/us/0206-TORNADO_index.html

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/gallery/2008/feb/06/weather?picture=332406167

http://blogs.guardian.co.uk/news/2008/02/devastating_storms_on_video.html

http://www.usatoday.com/weather/storms/tornadoes/2008-02-05-south-storms_N.htm

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/06/us/06cnd-storm.html

 

 

 

 

http://www.usatoday.com/weather/stormcenter/2007-03-24-nm-tornadoes_N.htm

http://www.usatoday.com/weather/storms/2007-01-04-louisiana-rain_x.htm

http://www.usatoday.com/weather/storms/2007-01-04-louisiana-rain_x.htm

http://www.usatoday.com/weather/stormcenter/2006-12-25-florida-storms_x.htm

https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2006/dec/07/weather.london 

 

 

 

 

http://www.usatoday.com/weather/news/2006-11-19-tornado-damage_x.htm

http://www.usatoday.com/weather/stormcenter/2006-11-16-midatlantic-storms_x.htm

http://www.usatoday.com/weather/stormcenter/2006-10-28-tornado-fla_x.htm

http://www.usatoday.com/weather/stormcenter/2006-09-23-midwest-storms_x.htm

http://www.usatoday.com/weather/news/2006-03-12-missouri-storms_x.htm

 

 

 

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/11/07/national/07tornado.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

huge tornado        USA

 

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2015/04/10/
398713635/huge-tornadoes-tear-through-illinois-and-the-midwest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Boston Globe > Big Picture

Tornadoes and severe weather slam the midwest        USA        November 18, 2013

 

A powerful late-season

wave of tornadoes,

thunderstorms and damaging winds

hit 12 states on Sunday.

 

News organizations reported anywhere

from dozens (The Washington Post)

to over 81 (The Chicago Tribune) tornadoes

that touched down in the midwest,

killing at least eight people.

 

Looking at these photographs,

its hard to imagine

that so many people

walked away unharmed.

 

Washington, Ill.,

a town of 15,000 people

east of Peoria was hit hardest

by an EF-4 tornado

with winds of up to 190 mph.

--Thea Breite

http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2013/11/
tornadoes_and_severe_weather_s.html

 

 

 

 

cartoons > Cagle > Oklahoma Tornado        May 2013

http://www.cagle.com/news/oklahoma-tornado/

 

 

 

 

giant tornado        USA

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/21/us/tornado-oklahoma.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Boston Globe > Big Picture

Joplin tornado: One year later        USA        23 May 2012

 

The city of Joplin, Mo.,

on Tuesday marked a year

since a tornado struck,

killing 161 people

and destroying a third of city.

 

Many people marched

during a “Day of Unity’’

through the city’s

hardest hit areas.

 

The tornado destroyed

or damaged thousands of structures,

including the high school

and St. John's Regional Medical Center,

both of which are being rebuilt.

 

The storm is reported to have caused

some $2.8 billion in damage.

 

http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2012/05/joplin_tornado_one_year_later.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Boston Globe > Big Picture

Deadly tornadoes strike again        USA        23 May 2011

 

http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2011/05/deadly_tornados_strike_again.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

tornado        UK

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/may/08/
tornado-stormy-weather-forecast-uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

fire tornadoes        USA

 

https://www.npr.org/2020/08/18
/903399662/extreme-heat-and-fire-tornadoes-slow-firefighting-efforts-in-california

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

path        USA

 

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2013/05/20/us/
oklahoma-tornado-map.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

tornado chaser        USA

 

http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/06/02/
a-tornado-chaser-falls-doing-extreme-science/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

USA > storm chasers        UK / USA

 

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/feb/14/
among-the-storm-chasers-how-extreme-weather-enthusiasts-help-predict-storms

 

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/05/17/
407449622/watch-tornado-skirts-past-cows-in-oklahoma

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

tornado sirens        USA

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/24/us/
tornado-sirens-an-old-technology-still-play-a-vital-role.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Obama: 'I've Never Seen Devastation Like This'        AP        29 April 2011

 

 

 

 

Obama: 'I've Never Seen Devastation Like This'        Video        Associated Press        29 April 2011

 

Expressing amazement

at the destruction all around him,

President Barack Obama on Friday

stepped through the wreckage

left by rampaging tornadoes

and pledged help to those who survived

but lost their homes in a terrifying flash.

 

YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/
watch?v=S0KQ54VIqHc&feature=channel_video_title

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Storm Victim: 'Nothing Out There Anymore'        AP        29 April 2011

 

 

 

 

Storm Victim: 'Nothing Out There Anymore'        Video        Associated Press        29 April 2011

 

Across Tuscaloosa,

as some residents struggled

to find any keepsakes left

in their storm ravaged homes

others took comfort

in the helping hands

of friends and neighbors.

 

YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/
watch?v=4wv1ud4bso0&feature=channel_video_title

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Raw Video: Aerials Show Tuscaloosa Devastation        AP        29 April 2011

 

 

 

 

Raw Video: Aerials Show Tuscaloosa Devastation        Video        Associated Press        29 April 2011

 

The nation's deadliest tornado disaster

since the Great Depression

has more than 330 dead in several states.

Dozens of people lost their lives in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

 

YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/
watch?v=jM2LZeXQFh8&feature=channel_video_title

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First Person: Tornado Debris 'Like Missiles'        AP        29 April 2011

 

 

 

 

First Person: Tornado Debris 'Like Missiles'        Video        Associated Press        29 April 2011

 

After the tornado

came through Pleasant Grove, Alabama,

residents are now surveying

what is left of homes and neighborhoods,

marveling at the storm's power

but thankful to be alive. (April 29)

 

YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/
watch?v=0BN-N40SAD0&feature=channel_video_title

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tornado Victim: "Everything Was Just Turning"        AP        29 April 2011

 

 

 

 

Tornado Victim: "Everything Was Just Turning"        Video        Associated Press        29 April 2011

 

Tuscaloosa residents talked Friday

about surviving the deadliest day for twisters

since the Great Depression.

 

Alabama's death toll is up to 238,

bringing the total number killed

from tornadoes in seven states to 328.

 

YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/
watch?v=oZVLBo2Va_Y&feature=channel_video_title 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tuscaloosa, Alabama in Ruins        AP        April 29, 2011

 

 

 

Tuscaloosa, Alabama in Ruins        Video        AP        April 29, 2011

 

Associated Press reporter Robert Ray

gives a tour of the damage and destruction

that a powerful tornado did

as it ripped through the city earlier this week.

29 April 2011

 

YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/
watch?v=fbMrp6lFXdU&feature=channel_video_title 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A large storm cell

moves over farmland

between the towns of Ross and Stanley,

North Dakota on Monday July 12, 2010.

 

A tornado was reported to have touched down

for a few minutes from the cell.

 

Photograph:

AP Photo/ The Forum, Dave Samson

 

Boston Globe > Big Picture > Stormy skies

July 23, 2010

http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2010/07/stormy_skies.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

deadly barrage of tornadoes        USA

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/29/us/29storm.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

predicting tornadoes        USA

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/29/us/29tornadoes.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Number of deaths from tornadoes in each year        USA        28 April 2011

 

The Deadliest Years

 

More than 280 people

were killed

in Wednesday’s tornado outbreak,

bringing the year’s total

to over 330 and making it

the deadliest year since 1974,

when 366 people were killed.

 

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2011/04/28/us/
tornado-deaths.html

 

 

 

 

tornado with a rating of T3-T4

 

 

 

 

"death tube"

 

 

 

 

kill        USA

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/21/us/tornado-oklahoma.html

 

 

 

 

Australia > cyclone        UK

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/gallery/2021/apr/14/
western-australias-kalbarri-after-cyclone-seroja-ripped-through-in-pictures

 

 

 

 

cyclone        USA

http://www.usatoday.com/weather/storms/2006-03-19-cyclone-australia_x.htm

 

 

 

 

tornado funnel cloud        USA

http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2008/06/mississippi
_floodwaters_in_iow.html

 

 

 

 

wind shear

 

 

 

 

big black clouds

 

 

 

 

Boston Globe > Big Picture > Tornadoes kill over 200        USA        April 2011

 

http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2011/04/tornadoes_kill_over_200.htm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

twister        USA

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/28/
science/earth/storm-kings-review-where-tornadoes-dug-in-so-did-they.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/17/us/
in-woodward-oklahoma-surviving-a-twister-twice-in-65-years.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/19/us/19response.html

 

http://www.usatoday.com/weather/storms/2007-03-30-texas-floods_N.htm

http://www.usatoday.com/weather/stormcenter/2007-03-25-nm-twisters_N.htm

 

http://www.usatoday.com/weather/stormcenter/2006-10-28-tornado-fla_x.htm

http://www.usatoday.com/weather/news/2006-03-13-midwest-storms_x.htm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

monster twister

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

touch down

 

https://www.npr.org/2021/02/16/
968262631/tornado-touches-down-in-coastal-north-carolina

 

 

 

 

hit        UK

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/may/08/
tornado-stormy-weather-forecast-uk

 

 

 

 

hit        USA

https://www.nytimes.com/video/us/
100000004917991/tornado-rips-through-new-orleans.html - Feb. 7, 2017

 

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/02/07/
513931607/after-tornadoes-hit-in-and-around-new-orleans-wall-of-storms-moves-east

 

 

 

 

direct hit        USA

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/30/us/30smithville.html

 

 

 

 

strike        USA

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2021/12/11/
us/tornado-maps-damage.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2013/05/20/us/oklahoma-
tornado-map.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/24/us/
24tornado.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

rip

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

rip across N        USA

 

http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/01/30/
video-tornadoes-rip-across-southeast/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

rip through    (intransitive)

 

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/gallery/2021/apr/14/
western-australias-kalbarri-after-cyclone-seroja-ripped-through-in-pictures

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

rip through    (transitive) > rip through  N

 

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2021/12/15/
us/mayfield-kentucky-tornado-damage.html

 

https://www.npr.org/2021/01/26/
960767598/tornado-rips-through-birmingham-ala-area-leaving-at-least-1-dead-dozens-injured

 

 

 

 

https://www.nytimes.com/video/us/
100000004917991/tornado-rips-through-new-orleans.html - Feb. 7, 2017

 

 

 

 

http://www.theguardian.com/world/gallery/2015/may/07/
tornadoes-oklahoma-kansas-texas-nebraska-gallery

 

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/video/2015/mar/26/
tornado-tears-through-oklahoma-video

 

 

 

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/22/
opinion/after-the-tornado-in-oklahoma-a-war-zone.html

 

 

 

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/gallery/2012/apr/04/
tornados-dallas-texas-neighbourhoods-pictures#/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

storm through N

http://www.nytimes.com/video/science/earth/
100000004437821/tornado-storms-through-kansas.html - May 26, 2016

 

 

 

 

sweep across N

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/apr/28/
tornado-kills-two-in-oklahoma-as-sheriff-reports-mass-casualties

 

 

 

 

barrel through N        USA

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/23/us/oklahoma-
tornado-recovery.html

 

 

 

 

tear across N

 

 

 

 

tear through N

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/12/11/
us/kentucky-deadly-tornadoes.html

 

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2015/04/10/
398713635/huge-tornadoes-tear-through-illinois-and-the-midwest

 

http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/05/31/tornadoes-tear-through-central-oklahoma/

 

http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/04/03/tornadoes-tear-through-dallas-fort-worth-area/

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/02/us/in-illinois-tornados-devastation-sinks-in.html

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/may/23/tornadoes-us-midwest-joplin-dead

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/21/us/21storm.html

 

 

 

 

hammer        USA

https://www.npr.org/2019/12/16/
788703849/3-people-killed-as-severe-weather-tornadoes-hammer-deep-south

 

 

 

 

batter        USA

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/26/
us/from-the-scene-devastating-tornadoes-batter-the-southeast.html

 

 

 

 

pummel        USA

https://www.npr.org/2019/12/16/
788703849/3-people-killed-as-severe-weather-tornadoes-hammer-deep-south

 

 

 

 

rake        USA

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2015/05/07/
404877522/tornadoes-rake-oklahoma-destroying-homes-injuring-12

 

 

 

 

slam        USA

https://www.npr.org/2021/12/15/
1064280290/kentucky-tornadoes-rebuilding-mayfield-dawson-springs

 

http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2013/11/
tornadoes_and_severe_weather_s.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/18/us/
severe-storms-batter-central-illinois.html
 

 

 

 

 

level

 

 

 

 

flatten        USA

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2013/05/20/us/oklahoma-tornado-map.html

 

 

 

 

destroy        USA

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2021/12/15/
us/mayfield-kentucky-tornado-damage.html

 

 

 

 

devastate        USA

 

 

 

 

devastation        USA

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2021/12/15/
us/mayfield-kentucky-tornado-damage.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2011/05/25/us/joplin-aerial.html

 

 

 

 

tornado-damaged building        USA

https://www.npr.org/2019/12/16/
788703849/3-people-killed-as-severe-weather-tornadoes-hammer-deep-south

 

 

 

 

wreak havoc        USA

http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2013/05/
tornadoes_wreak_havoc_in_us.html

 

 

 

 

Before and After Satellite Images

Show Path of Tornado’s Destruction        USA        2011

 

Satellite images taken by GeoEye

the day after storms blasted through the south

show a nearly straight line path of devastation,

most likely from one tornado,

stretching at least 10 miles.

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2011/04/29/us/
before-after-satellite-images-showing-tornado-destruction.html

 

 

 

 

damage        USA

 

 

 

 

damage        USA

https://www.npr.org/2019/12/16/
788703849/3-people-killed-as-severe-weather-tornadoes-hammer-deep-south

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/30/us/30storm.html

 

 

 

 

sustain heavy damage

 

 

 

 

wreckage        USA

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/26/us/26scene.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2011/05/01/us/20110501_STORM.html 

 

 

 

 

rubble        USA

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/26/us/
26scene.html

 

 

 

 

debris        USA

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/30/
opinion/30Braziel.html

 

 

 

 

clean up        USA

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/02/08/
514082548/its-just-a-mess-new-orleans-residents-clean-up-after-tornadoes

 

 

 

 

complete disaster        USA

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/23/us/oklahoma-
tornado-recovery.html

 

 

 

 

war zone        USA

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/22/
opinion/after-the-tornado-in-oklahoma-a-war-zone.html

 

 

 

 

toll        USA

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/30/us/
30storm.html

 

 

 

 

death toll / fatality toll        USA

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/22/us/oklahoma-tornado.html

 

http://www.usatoday.com/weather/storms/tornadoes/2011-04-30-tornadoes-death-toll_n.htm

 

 

 

 

rescue worker        USA

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/26/us/
26scene.html

 

 

 

 

sift through N       USA

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/26/us/
26scene.html

 

 

 

 

unearth        USA

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/26/us/
26scene.html

 

 

 

 

survivor

 

 

 

 

homeless

 

 

 

 

missing        USA

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/27/us/27joplin.html

 

http://c580804.r4.cf2.rackcdn.com/2011.0526.1000.pdf

 

 

 

 

weather disasters > insurers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Darlene Sheehy collects items from her kitchen,

Monday, June 7, 2010,

after a tornado destroyed her home in Millbury, Ohio.

 

Phogograph:

AP Photo/J.D. Pooley

 

Boston Globe > Big Picture > Stormy skies

July 23, 2010

http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2010/07/stormy_skies.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Corpus of news articles

 

Earth > Weather > Tornadoes, Twisters

 

 

 

Vast Oklahoma Tornado

Kills at Least 51

 

May 20, 2013

The New York Times

By NICK OXFORD

and MICHAEL SCHWIRTZ

 

MOORE, Okla. — A giant tornado, a mile wide or more, killed at least 51 people, 20 of them children, as it tore across parts of Oklahoma City and its suburbs Monday afternoon, flattening homes, flinging cars through the air and crushing at least two schools.

The injured flooded into hospitals, and the authorities said many people remained trapped, even as rescue workers struggled to make their way through debris-clogged streets to the devastated suburb of Moore, where much of the damage occurred.

Amy Elliott, the spokeswoman for the Oklahoma City medical examiner, said at least 51 people had died, including the children, and officials said that toll was likely to climb. Hospitals reported at least 145 people injured, 70 of them children.

Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore was reduced to a pile of twisted metal and toppled walls. Rescue workers were able to pull several children from the rubble, but on Monday evening crews were still struggling to cut through fallen beams and clear debris amid reports that dozens of students were trapped. At Briarwood Elementary School in Oklahoma City, on the border with Moore, cars were thrown through the facade and the roof was torn off.

“Numerous neighborhoods were completely leveled,” Sgt. Gary Knight of the Oklahoma City Police Department said by telephone. “Neighborhoods just wiped clean.”

Debris and damage to roadways, along with heavy traffic, hindered emergency responders as they raced to the affected areas, Sergeant Knight said.

A spokeswoman for the mayor’s office in Moore said emergency workers were working to assess the damage.

“Please send us your prayers,” she said.

Brooke Cayot, a spokeswoman for Integris Southwest Medical Center in Oklahoma City, said 58 patients had come in by about 9 p.m. An additional 85 were being treated at Oklahoma University Medical Center in Oklahoma City.

“They’ve been coming in minute by minute,” Ms. Cayot said.

The tornado touched down at 2:56 p.m., 16 minutes after the first warning went out, and traveled for 20 miles, said Keli Pirtle, a spokeswoman for the National Weather Service in Norman, Okla. It was on the ground for 40 minutes, she said. It struck the town of Newcastle and traveled about 10 miles to Moore, a populous suburb of Oklahoma City.

Ms. Pirtle said preliminary data suggested that it was a Category 4 tornado on the Enhanced Fujita scale, which measures tornado strength on a scale of 0 to 5. A definitive assessment will not be available until Tuesday, she said.

Moore was the scene of another huge tornado, in May 1999, in which winds reached record speeds of 302 m.p.h.

Television on Monday showed destruction spread over a vast area, with blocks upon blocks of homes and businesses destroyed. Residents, some partly clothed and apparently caught by surprise, were shown picking through rubble. Several structures were on fire, and cars had been tossed around, flipped over and stacked on top of each other.

Kelcy Trowbridge, her husband and their three young children piled into their neighbor’s cellar just outside of Moore and huddled together for about five minutes, wrapped under a blanket as the tornado screamed above them, debris smashing against the cellar door.

They emerged to find their home flattened and the family car resting upside down a few houses away. Ms. Trowbridge’s husband rushed toward what was left of their home and began sifting through the debris, then stopped and told her to call the police.

He had found the body of a little girl, about 2 or 3 years old, she said.

“He knew she was already gone,” Ms. Trowbridge said. “When the police got there, he just bawled.”

She said: “My neighborhood is gone. It’s flattened. Demolished. The street is gone. The next block over, it’s in pieces.”

Sarah Johnson was forced to rush from her home in Moore to a hospital as the storm raged when her 4-year-old daughter, Shellbie, suffered an asthma attack. With hail raining down, she put a hard hat on her daughter as she raced into the emergency room and hunkered down.

“We knew it was coming — all the nurses were down on the ground, so we got down on the ground,” Ms. Johnson said, from the Journey Church in nearby Norman, where she had sought shelter.

At the hospital, she said, she shoved her daughter next to a wall and threw a mattress on top of her. After the storm passed, she said, debris and medical equipment were scattered around. She said she and her daughter were safe, but she had yet to find her husband.

The storm system continued to churn through the region on Monday afternoon, and forecasters warned that new tornadoes could form.

An earlier storm system spawned several tornadoes across Oklahoma on Sunday. Several deaths were reported.

Russell Schneider, the director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Storm Prediction Center in Norman, said the risk of tornadoes throughout the region remained high going into Tuesday.

Some parts of Moore emerged seemingly untouched by the tornado. Bea Carruth, who lives about 20 blocks from where the storm struck, said her home and others in her neighborhood appeared to be fine.

Ms. Carruth had ridden out the tornado as she usually does, at her son’s house nearby, the hail pounding away on the cellar where they had taken shelter. Tornadoes have long been a part of life in Moore, she said.

In 1999, the last time a storm this size struck, Ms. Carruth again was lucky and the home she lived in then was spared. She ended up buying an empty plot of land where a house destroyed by that tornado once stood. Her house now sits on that plot.

“This is just awful,” she said. “It all just breaks my heart.”

 

Nick Oxford reported from Moore,

and Michael Schwirtz from New York.

Leslie Metzger and Kathleen Johnson

contributed reporting from Norman, Okla.,

and Dan Frosch from Denver.

Vast Oklahoma Tornado Kills at Least 51,
NYT, 20.5.2013,
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/21/us/
tornado-oklahoma.html

 

 

 

 

 

Surviving a Deadly Twister,

Twice in 65 Years

 

April 16, 2012

The New York Times

By MANNY FERNANDEZ

 

WOODWARD, Okla. — On April 9, 1947, Wilma Lake was alone in her apartment on Oak Avenue when a tornado swept through this rural town in the dark of night. She survived — crouching beneath a table — but many of her neighbors did not.

That tornado killed at least 107 people in and around Woodward and destroyed more than 1,000 homes and businesses in what would become the deadliest twister ever to strike Oklahoma.

For Ms. Lake, then a 23-year-old office assistant, life went on: she would soon become Mrs. Nelson, marrying Eldon Nelson, who was known as Bud, and raise three children at 3412 Robin Drive. In graceful cursive, the brass knocker on the front door read: The Nelsons.

Early Sunday morning, shortly after midnight, Mrs. Nelson, now 87, was home alone again, on the city’s west side, in the house on Robin Drive, when an alert came over her weather radio warning of a tornado spotted a few miles outside town.

Barefoot and in her pajamas, she stood inside a small closet in the master bedroom, trying to get her son’s dog, a tan-and-white cocker spaniel named Sugar, in with her. Sugar refused, so Mrs. Nelson shut the door.

“It was so fast,” she said. “I hadn’t been in there anytime at all until it was like a bomb went off. I guess it was the roof blowing off.”

As happened 65 years ago, Mrs. Nelson survived, uninjured, even though a piece of wallboard fell on her head. And this time, six of her neighbors died, in the deadliest of a series of tornadoes that left a trail of destruction throughout the central Plains late Saturday and early Sunday.

The tornado that struck Woodward was nowhere near as powerful as the one in the 1947. But for the handful of men and women in this city of 15,000 who survived the earlier tornado, the devastation stirred painful memories.

The great tornado remains part of the lore and history of the place — the mural on The Woodward News building has a swirling twister painted on it — but no one thought anything like that would happen again.

On Monday afternoon, Mrs. Nelson went back to her house for the first time since the tornado struck, injuring more than two dozen people and demolishing 89 homes and 13 businesses as it cut a miles-long path through the city. Oklahoma officials on Monday raised the death toll to six from five. Four of the victims were children, including a 5-year-old girl and her 7-year-old sister.

For the most part, 3412 Robin Drive exists in name only. The tornado rendered it a kind of half home: roofless, with caved-in white brick walls and shattered glass. The closet in which Mrs. Nelson took shelter now has the equivalent of a sunroof. The winds were so strong that a shard of a roof shingle pierced a plastic bottle of hand soap next to the closet and stuck there, like a dart.

Around the corner, a 10,000-square-foot store called Carpet Direct was ripped to shreds, with an upturned truck next to the wreckage.

As she surveyed the ruins of the home she shared with her late husband and the rest of her family for 47 years, Mrs. Nelson said she was not sure what it all means — surviving two of the worst nighttime tornadoes in Oklahoma history.

Mrs. Nelson, who turns 88 in July, stands 5-foot-2 and weighs 125 pounds, and her survival seemed to defy logic.

“I think the Lord must have left me here for a purpose,” she said, chuckling.

Relatives and neighbors — even the state insurance commissioner, John D. Doak — went to the house to greet Mrs. Nelson on Monday. As she sat in what remained of her living room, a friend arrived and gave her a hug.

“I’m going to make it,” Mrs. Nelson told her, tears in her eyes. “I’m a toughie. I told them at the hospital I was a tough old coot.”

Amid the destruction, the smallest things survived.

For 28 years, Mrs. Nelson kept a white bowl labeled “Grandma’s Goodies” on top of the refrigerator, with candies for her grandchildren and other children in the neighborhood. After the tornado, there it sat, without a crack in it. The front door remained intact, too, the door knocker unscarred.

Mrs. Nelson said only one thing went through her mind as the roof tore loose. “I was so worried about Sugar, and I just said, ‘Oh, God, take care of Sugar, take care of Sugar,’ ” she said.

After the tornado hit, one of her grandsons, Shane Semmel, 38, was the first relative to arrive at the house. Mrs. Nelson was in an ambulance parked outside. “She wasn’t worried about her house or anything else,” Mr. Semmel said. “She was worried about that dog.”

Mr. Semmel walked inside. Sugar was in the kitchen, covered in insulation. He knelt down and checked her.

She was fine. She had survived.

    Surviving a Deadly Twister, Twice in 65 Years, NYT, 16.4.2012,
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/17/us/
    in-woodward-oklahoma-surviving-a-twister-twice-in-65-years.html

 

 

 

 

 

Tornadoes toll rises over 350

with thousands homeless

 

PLEASANT GROVE, Alabama | Sat Apr 30, 2011
1:47pm EDT
By Verna Gates

 

PLEASANT GROVE, Alabama (Reuters) - The death toll from the second deadliest tornado outbreak on record rose above 350 on Saturday as thousands of stunned survivors camped out in the shattered shells of their homes or moved into shelters or with friends.

With some estimates putting the number of homes and buildings destroyed close to 10,000, state and federal authorities in the U.S. South were still coming to terms with the scale of the devastation from the country's worst natural catastrophe since Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

One disaster risk modeler, EQECAT, is forecasting insured property losses of between $2 billion and $5 billion from the havoc inflicted by the swarm of violent twisters that gouged through seven southern states this week.

The death toll in Alabama, the hardest-hit state, rose to 255 on Saturday, with at least 101 more deaths reported in Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas, Georgia, Virginia and Louisiana.

"We're in the thousands of homes completely gone ... It's not an exaggeration to say that whole communities were wiped out," Yasamie August, spokeswoman for the Alabama Emergency Management Agency, told Reuters.

In many communities in the U.S. South, the scenes of destruction with tangled piles of rubble, timber, vehicles and personal possessions recalled the devastation seen in the recent Japanese earthquake and tsunami.

Power and water were still out in many areas.

"It is like living in some other world. Devastation is everywhere," said Pastor John Gates of the United Methodist Church in Pleasant Grove, a community with a population of some 10,000 west of Birmingham, Alabama.

The death toll from the week's tornado outbreak, which is still expected to rise, was the second highest inflicted by this kind of weather phenomenon in U.S. history. In March 1925, 747 people were killed after tornadoes hit the U.S. Midwestern states of Missouri, Illinois and Indiana.

President Obama, mindful of criticism that President George W. Bush was too slow to respond to the 2005 Katrina catastrophe, visited the wrecked city of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, on Friday to pledge full federal assistance for the states hit.

 

NEIGHBORHOODS "LAID FLAT"

Some of the twisters -- the winds of one in Smithville, Mississippi, was recorded reaching 205 miles per hour -- picked up people and cars and hurled them through the air.

Rescuers were still searching for bodies and those unaccounted for. But the total of missing was not clear.

Many whose homes only lost roofs and windows were camping inside with tarps and plastic sheeting over them, but those whose houses were completely razed were forced to move in with family or friends or go into government shelters.

"Most people are living in the parts of their houses that are still standing. But for some people, you can't even tell where their houses were. They are with family, friends or in hotels," said Gates, 63.

"We still have missing people to find," he added.

There were 659 people in shelters across Alabama, August said. Tennessee had 233 people in shelters.

As state and federal authorities increased efforts to clear rubble and provide food and water to homeless survivors, volunteers in many local communities also turned out to help the most affected.

"There's lots of commotion with big trucks coming in and the sound of chainsaws. Big grills are set up everywhere to offer people food. The community has really pulled together, said Tammy Straate, 29, a foster mother in Pleasant Grove who cares for 11 children ages 5-16.

"For blocks and blocks, everything is just laid flat," Straate added. "Our little community will never be the same. Some people say they are just not going to rebuild."

Tornadoes are a regular feature of life in the U.S. South and Midwest, but they are rarely so devastating.

Recovery could cost billions of dollars and even with federal disaster aid it could complicate efforts by affected states to bounce back from recession.

The tornadoes mauled Alabama's poultry industry -- the state is the No. 3 U.S. chicken producer -- halted a coal mine and hurt other manufacturers across the state.

The second-biggest U.S. nuclear power plant, the Browns Ferry facility in Alabama, may be down for weeks after its power was knocked out and the plant automatically shut, avoiding a nuclear disaster, officials said.

 

(Additional reporting by Colleen Jenkins

in St. Petersburg,

Peggy Gargis in Birmingham, Pascal Fletcher

n Miami,

Writing by Pascal Fletcher; Editing by Eric Beech)

    Tornadoes toll rises over 350 with thousands homeless, R, 30.4.2011,
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/04/30/
    us-usa-weather-idUSTRE73S3Q320110430

 

 

 

 

 

In Mississippi,

Little Town Is Staggered

by a Tornado’s Direct Hit

 

April 29, 2011
The New York Times
By LIZETTE ALVAREZ

 

SMITHVILLE, Miss. — When Darwin Hathcock, the police chief, saw the funnel cloud beyond the tree line just a couple of miles away, he knew that his town would not be spared.

He called in the cloud sighting and phoned the mayor, who was at the town hall with two employees, and then hurried to the tiny police station. With the storm just 30 seconds away, he yelled for people to come inside and sent them to the sturdiest room. Mr. Hathcock, 48, and his 24-year-old son, Joshua, were hunched in a bathroom when the tornado arrived. Their ears felt close to bursting. They could not breathe. And then they hurtled through the air, holding each other, and landed 30 feet from the police station, battered, bloody but mostly intact, the doorknob still in Joshua’s hand.

“There was no doubt in my mind that we were all going to die,” Mr. Hathcock said. “It’s just the way the Lord done it. You can’t question the Lord. He don’t make mistakes.”

Smithville, a spot of a town of about 1,000 where first names suffice and Bibles lie within reach, endured a direct hit from Wednesday’s tornado in Mississippi. So far, 14 people have been declared dead, including several children, and 23 others are missing. Crews were still searching for bodies behind the town’s school.

Fed by a nearby waterway, the tornado churned right along the main street, Highway 25, chewing up houses and businesses, and shaking up the town like a child with a snow globe. Three-quarters of the town is gone. Half of the houses were demolished — splintered to bits or sunk in — and a quarter were badly damaged. One-hundred-year-old oak trees toppled in seconds.

Mel’s Diner, where people settle in for a slice of homemade cake, is a pile of rubble. Customers survived by cowering in the last thing left standing, the walk-in cooler. A large storage shed flew in on the funnel cloud and landed next door.

Fourteen of the town’s other businesses also collapsed; only two survived mostly in one piece, a gas station and an appliance shop. The police station, the town hall, the post office, four of six churches: None of them were left standing.

“We crawled our way out of the building,” said Mayor Gregg Kennedy, 49. “Then I bent over and I cried like a baby. It’s the only thing at that time I could do.”

Nearby towns have jumped in to help, setting up shelters, serving hamburgers, sending in clothes. The Red Cross is here, as are other emergency services. Gov. Haley Barbour stopped by Smithville, which is in the northeast corner of the state, to offer assurances that more help was on the way. The governor said he had rarely seen such destruction and mentioned that the casualty count might still rise.

“We know there is a tremendous amount of debris, and the possibility that the waterways surrounding this area contain human remains,” Mr. Barbour said. “We are hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst.”

Most residents have moved in with relatives and friends in other towns. On Friday, some returned to their homes to salvage what they could, but many did not know where to start or what to pick up first: a shattered picture frame with a wedding photo, an artificial flower arrangement, a dirty pink teddy bear.

But they had little trouble making peace with the tornado’s path.

“We are supposed to learn something from it,” said Mary Ann Nabors, as she swept the porch of her antique store, the Pink Flamingo, in a building that had been in her family for generations and was once a general store. It was considered “the Wal-Mart of Smithville,” she said. “Hardship happens to you. I did not know that all my life. When God sends you hardship, he is not taking something away. He is giving you something better.”

As some of them looked around, it was hard not to think about the immediate aftermath. The tornado stripped a few people of their clothes and covered them in mud. Ruth Estis, who was blind and elderly, was pried from the arms of her husband, Roy Lee Estis, and carried away. She died. Mr. Estis died that evening when his heart gave out. The Cox family lost its father, Jessie, to the tornado, while directly next door his son’s house sat untouched, one of the few.

As the storm neared, C. J. Thompson, a junior in high school, had huddled with his family in the hallway of his house. His mother, just out of the shower, was covered in a quilt. His best friend held the 2-year-old. The exchange student from Belgium who was living with the family was in the corner.

“Pray, pray, pray!” shouted his mother, Marcie Pearce, as the tornado hit the house. She recalled: “I felt it sucking me in, and stuff was hitting me in the back of the head.”

Nobody in the house was badly hurt. But just paces away, neighbors could not hold on. Making his way out of the rubble immediately after the storm, C. J. found two of them dead. Around the back of the house, he saw two small children, babies, he said. He took off his two T-shirts and draped them over their bodies. His girlfriend he found unscathed in her bathtub.

Up the street, Caroline Boyd, 66, saw the funnel cloud from her window and ran to her hallway. The storm sucked her into her den. It lifted up her house, turned it like a spinning coin and then set it down again several feet from the foundation. An oak tree fell next to it and anchored the house, keeping the wind from hauling Mrs. Boyd and her home away.

“I felt the house swirling around,” she said. “Then it was gone.”

“I have been through cancer four times,” she said. “It just wasn’t my time to go. But this house and that house yonder were not so lucky. There was death on either side of me.”

    In Mississippi, Little Town Is Staggered by a Tornado’s Direct Hit,
    NYT, 29.4.2011,
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/30/us/30smithville.html

 

 

 

 

 

Tornadoes tear across South,

killing over 306

 

TUSCALOOSA, Alabama | Fri Apr 29, 2011
10:01am EDT
Reuters
By Verna Gates

 

TUSCALOOSA, Alabama (Reuters) - Tornadoes and violent storms tore through seven Southern states, killing at least 306 people and causing billions of dollars of damage in one of the deadliest swarm of twisters in U.S. history.

President Barack Obama described the loss of life as "heartbreaking" and called the damage to homes and businesses "nothing short of catastrophic." He promised strong federal support for rebuilding and plans to view the damage on Friday.

Over several days this week, the powerful tornadoes -- more than 160 reported in total -- combined with storms to cut a swath of destruction heading west to east. It was the worst U.S. natural disaster since Hurricane Katrina in 2005, which killed up to 1,800 people.

In some areas, whole neighborhoods were flattened, cars flipped over and trees and power lines felled, leaving tangled wreckage.

While rescue officials searched for survivors, some who sheltered in bathtubs, closets and basements told of miraculous escapes. "I made it. I got in a closet, put a pillow over my face and held on for dear life because it started sucking me up," said Angela Smith of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, one of the worst-hit cities.

In Birmingham, Alabama, which was also hard hit, Police Chief A.C. Roper said rescue workers sifted through rubble "hand to hand" on Thursday to pull people from destroyed homes.

"We even rescued two babies, one that was trapped in a crib when the house fell down on top of the baby," Roper said in an interview on PBS NewsHour.

Tornadoes are a regular feature of life in the U.S. South and Midwest, but they are rarely so devastating.

Wednesday was the deadliest day of tornadoes in the United States since 310 people lost their lives on April 3, 1974.

Given the apparent destruction, insurance experts were wary of estimating damage costs, but believed they would run into the billions of dollars, with the worst impact concentrated in Tuscaloosa and Birmingham.

"In terms of the ground-up damage and quite possibly the insured damage, this event will be of historic proportions," Jose Miranda, an executive with the catastrophe risk modeling firm EQECAT, told Reuters.

 

'ONE OF THRE WORST'

"I think this is going to rank up as one of the worst tornado outbreaks in U.S. history," said Federal Emergency Management Agency director Craig Fugate.

Fugate spoke in an interview with CNN from Alabama, where his agency said the tornadoes killed at least 204 people. There were still unconfirmed reports late on Thursday of "entire towns flattened" in northern parts of the state, Fugate said.

"We're still trying to get people through rescues and locate the missing," he said.

In preliminary estimates, other states' officials reported 33 killed in Mississippi, 34 in Tennessee, 11 in Arkansas, 14 in Georgia, eight in Virginia and two in Louisiana.

The mile-wide monster twister that tore on Wednesday through Tuscaloosa, home to the University of Alabama, may have been the biggest ever to hit the state, AccuWeather.com meteorologist Josh Nagelberg said.

Obama said he would visit Alabama on Friday to see the damage and meet the governor. He declared a state of emergency for Alabama and ordered federal aid.

"I want every American who has been affected by this disaster to know that the federal government will do everything we can to help you recover, and we will stand with you as you rebuild," Obama said at the White House.

Miranda said estimated costs would be "in the same ballpark" as an Oklahoma City tornado outbreak in 1999 that caused $1.58 billion of damage and a 2003 tornado outbreak in Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma that caused $4.5 billion of damage.

The Browns Ferry nuclear power plant in Alabama was expected to be shut for days, possibly weeks, as workers repaired damaged transmission lines.

But the backup systems worked as intended to prevent a partial meltdown like the nuclear disaster in Japan.

The rampaging tornadoes and violent storms destroyed 200 chicken houses that held up to 4 million chickens in Alabama, the No. 3 U.S. chicken producer.

They also battered a local coal mine.

Up to 1 million people in Alabama were left without power.

Daimler said it had shut down its Mercedes-Benz vehicle assembly plant in Tuscaloosa until Monday due to the tornadoes, but the plant itself sustained only minor damage.

 

'SOUNDED LIKE CHAIN-SAW'

Some of the worst devastation occurred in Tuscaloosa, a town of about 95,000 in the west-central part of Alabama, where at least 37 people were killed, including some students.

"It sounded like a chain-saw. You could hear the debris hitting things. All I have left is a few clothes and tools that were too heavy for the storm to pick up. It doesn't seem real," said student Steve Niven, 24.

"I can buy new things but you cannot replace the people. I feel sorry for those who lost loved ones," Niven told Reuters.

The campus of the University of Alabama, home of the famous Crimson Tide football team, was not badly damaged, but some students were killed off campus, Bentley said.

Shops, shopping malls, drug stores, gas stations and dry cleaners were all flattened in one section of Tuscaloosa.

Alabama's governor declared a state of emergency and deployed 2,000 National Guard members. Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee and Virginia also declared states of emergency.

Among the Alabama counties affected was Jefferson, which is struggling to avert what would be the largest bankruptcy in municipal history over a $3.2 billion bond debt.

The county suffered "widespread damage," a local emergency spokesman said, and at least 17 people were killed.

 

(Additional reporting by Peggy Gargis in Birmingham

and Leigh Coleman in Biloxi,

Colleen Jenkins in St. Petersburg, Tim Ghianni

in Nashville,

Tom Brown in Miami,

Will Dunham in Washington;

Writing by Matthew Bigg and Pascal Fletcher;

Editing by Peter Cooney)

    Tornadoes tear across South, killing over 306, R, 29.4.2011,
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/04/29/us-weather-idUSTRE73P2PK20110429

 

 

 

 

 

Tornado Puts an End

to a University’s School Year

 

April 29, 2011

The New York Times

By ROBBIE BROWN

 

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — From the crimson flags in store windows to the hotels that swell on football weekends, this city lives and breathes the University of Alabama. So when a tornado tore through Tuscaloosa this week — killing at least 36 and leaving hundreds homeless a few miles from campus — shock replaced the excitement that was building for graduation.

On Thursday, the university called off the rest of this school year — canceling final exams and the last week of classes, and postponing graduation until August. Although the storm spared the campus itself, the 30,000 students and 5,000 faculty members and staff at the state’s flagship university have felt the toll deeply.

Three students have been confirmed dead. At least 80 employees are missing, said officials at Aramark, the campus food service provider. Dozens of homes rented by students have been demolished. And displaced residents are now living on air mattresses in the gymnasium.

“It’s impossible for something to affect Tuscaloosa without affecting the university,” said Kelsey Stein, 21, a Spanish and journalism major who has been writing about the storm for the student newspaper, The Crimson White. “It didn’t cause any structural damage, but it made up for that in emotional impact.”

Tuscaloosa, a city of 93,000, suffered the highest death toll in Wednesday’s storms. President Obama toured the devastated area on Friday, a few miles east of campus.

Ashkan Bayatpour, 26, a marketing graduate student, was inside his off-campus house when the tornado struck. His roof collapsed. Trees crushed the rubble. “I’ve been through Iraq. I’ve been through Katrina,” Mr. Bayatpour, a former Navy enlisted man, said. “I’ve never seen anything like this.”

The administration is advising students to leave campus as soon as possible. Power returned on Friday morning, but water is still not safe to drink. If students want to take exams, they can reschedule them with professors. Otherwise, their grades will stay the same.

For seniors planning to graduate on May 7, the cancellation has been sudden and jarring. They are scrambling to tell friends and family to cancel flight reservations. “The end of my whole educational career just got blown away,” said David Kumbroch, 21, a telecommunications and film major, who has no place to live until power returns in Huntsville, Ala., where he was planning to move. “At the end of this, everybody will know somebody who lost their lives or lost everything else.”

On Friday, Laura Jones, 21, a math education major, was packing up clothes, photographs and her computer, and preparing to move out of her sorority house. Instead of attending end-of-the-year parties, she is helping to raise money to donate to victims, and moving back in with her parents. Across campus, students are accepting donated clothes, food and bottled water.

The university had no choice but to cancel the school year, said Cathy Andreen, a university spokeswoman. “The city infrastructure really couldn’t even support all of the students being here,” she said.

The student newspaper has been using Twitter and Facebook to report information about missing or dead students. For most students, the primary concern is tracking down classmates, Ms. Stein said.

“It would be selfish of people to worry about not graduating or not having end-of-the-year parties, when other people are digging through the rubble of their homes,” she said. “The university is the people, not the buildings.”

Tornado Puts an End to a University’s School Year,
NYT, 29.4.2011,
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/30/us/30campus.html

 

 

 

 

 

Scores Die in Storms Across South;

Tornado Ravages City

 

April 27, 2011

The New York Times

By ANAHAD O’CONNOR

and TIMOTHY WILLIAMS

 

Devastating storms swept through the South on Wednesday, killing at least 60 people and spawning a tornado that tore through downtown Tuscaloosa, Ala. The evening twister flattened homes and buildings and brought further damage and death to a region already battered by storms.

Across Alabama, at least 50 people were killed by storms on Wednesday alone, according to officials. The Associated Press reported an additional 11 deaths in Mississippi, two in Georgia and one in Tennessee.

The tornado, one of several that struck the state, ripped through Tuscaloosa about 5 p.m. on a northwest path.

It veered past a major medical center, a high school and the campus of the University of Alabama. The extent of the damage was unclear Wednesday evening, but officials said many people were still trapped in homes and buildings. They feared the death toll could rise in the coming days.

Many parts of the state had been on a tornado watch throughout the day, prompting schools, government offices and businesses to shut their doors early or remain closed, Mayor Walter Maddox of Tuscaloosa said in an interview Wednesday evening.

“I believe at the end of the day that will have saved many lives,” he said of the emergency measures. “We have so many reports of damage across the city. We do believe it to be significant.”

Mark Kelly, a spokesman for the Jefferson County Emergency Management Office, said the storm had picked up speed as it barreled out of Tuscaloosa and headed for the western part of the county, passing north of downtown Birmingham, which was battered by another storm early Wednesday morning.

Mr. Kelly said that he had gotten reports of roofs torn from homes, people trapped in buildings, and power lines strewn across interstate roads, but that crews were just beginning to respond. At least 11 people were killed in Jefferson County on Wednesday, “but we expect that number will go up as search and rescue efforts go on through the night and into tomorrow,” he said.

The damage from the tornados was made worse by earlier storms, which left the ground so soaked that instead of the winds just snapping trees and branches, they uprooted entire trees and tossed them onto power lines, said Michael Sznajderman, a spokesman for the Alabama Power Company. He said at least 335,000 customers were without power, and with more storms on the way, “the number of outages could be as high as what we saw with Hurricane Ivan or Hurricane Katrina.”

“It has already surpassed Hurricanes Dennis and Frederick,” he said. “We have line crews on the way from as far away as Illinois to assist in the recovery.”

Power losses were widespread across the University of Alabama, where many students were holed up after the tornado swept just south of the campus.

Emily Crawford, a third-year student at the law school, said she had been preparing for an end-of-semester exam when the tornado swirled by. By nightfall she was still at the law school, which had become a refuge for scores of students, many of whom spoke of devastation in their neighborhoods worse than they had seen reported from Hurricane Katrina.

“It is surreal,” Ms. Crawford said. “People are coming up to the law school because they don’t have anywhere else to go. The school is sending buses into town to pick up students and bring them back to campus so they have somewhere safe to stay.”

The tornado was only the latest in a series that have struck the southern United States this week, causing heavy rains and flooding in an area stretching from Texas to Georgia, officials said Wednesday.

By Wednesday, the storms, which started Monday evening, had also left more than 50,000 people without power from East Texas to Memphis and destroyed scores of homes as the system moved east into Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia. The storms were expected to weaken before moving into the Carolinas and up the Eastern Seaboard on Thursday and Friday, according to the National Weather Service.

“Folks in the South should be getting some relief,” said Tom Bradshaw, a meteorologist with the service.

By Wednesday afternoon, Arkansas and Alabama had declared states of emergency after scores of buildings suffered significant damage, including many that had their roofs sheared off.

Wind speeds have reached 135 miles per hour, and mobile homes have been tossed about like toys, Mr. Bradshaw said. Accompanying rains and flash flooding have hit northern Arkansas especially hard, killing at least six people since Monday. Some parts of northern Arkansas have received 20 inches of rain during the past four days.

On Wednesday, a levee on the Black River in northeastern Arkansas failed, flooding local highways but causing no fatalities, officials said.

One of the victims killed this week was a Louisiana police officer who died Tuesday night in Mississippi on a camping trip after he was struck by a tree limb ripped off by high winds, emergency officials in Mississippi said. The officer’s name has not yet been released.

 

Jim Noles contributed reporting from Birmingham, Ala.

Scores Die in Storms Across South; Tornado Ravages City,
NYT,
27.4.2011,
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/28/us/
28storm.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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