Rash of Tornadoes Cause Widespread Casualties

posted at 8:40 am on April 28, 2011 by Jazz Shaw

A spate of tornadoes and damaging thunderstorms across the Eastern half of the nation has left widespread damage and multiple casualties in its wake.

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.

Actually that report has been updated since the NY Times story went to press. News reports this morning indicate that the death toll has risen to more than 80. How unusual is this? This single set of storms has now resulted in a greater loss of life than was seen for the entire tornado seasons each year from 2000 through 2007.

In addition to the severity of the storms, the danger is complicated by the fact that they are moving into areas where such activity is far more rare. We saw two tornadoes touch down in upstate New York last night alone. Great progress has been made in Tornado Alley in terms of forecasting, as well as alarm systems providing residents with crucial minutes of warning to seek shelter. Those systems are not as well established in regions closer to New England.

Let’s keep the families of those in the affected areas in our thoughts and prayers today.

EDIT: Yes, it’s Tornado “alley.” Thank you. We don’t want to promote allies of tornadoes.


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Global warming.

Weather is just weather.

Unless we say it’s climate.

CDeb on April 28, 2011 at 8:43 AM

I wonder if POTUS will ignore these like he did the flooding in Tennessee…

Khun Joe on April 28, 2011 at 8:44 AM

First the Chukker, now Krispy Kreme. *Sigh*
 
Our prayers are with you, Tuscaloosa.

rogerb on April 28, 2011 at 8:46 AM

Global warming.

Beat me to it.

cktheman on April 28, 2011 at 8:47 AM

I wonder if POTUS will ignore these like he did the flooding in Tennessee…

Khun Joe on April 28, 2011 at 8:44 AM

He was busy doing non-frivolous things like Oprah so he may not be aware of what is happening around him. Oh wait, he never does…

darwin-t on April 28, 2011 at 8:48 AM

No joking around about this today, people. It is very grim for those affected. Pray for them!

rockmom on April 28, 2011 at 8:51 AM

It was reported last night that little Bammie had already declared an emergency in Alabama. Waiting for confirmation.

The campaign team may have told him that Alabama is in play, unlike Texas.

slickwillie2001 on April 28, 2011 at 8:52 AM

The President is busy, there are fundraisers to attend and carnival barkers to admonish.

Thoughts and prayers for my fellow southerners, the storms passed just north of us.

kringeesmom on April 28, 2011 at 8:52 AM

the danger is complicated by the fact that they are moving into areas where such activity is far more rare. We saw two tornadoes touch down in upstate New York last night alone

I remember a couple of tornadoes in Middletown NY in the late 1970s (early 1980s?)

Rare, but not unprecedented.

rbj on April 28, 2011 at 8:54 AM

The campaign team may have told him that Alabama is in play, unlike Texas.

slickwillie2001 on April 28, 2011 at 8:52 AM

I guess we can forget any help in Tennessee.

Oh well, we didn’t need it after the flood in Nashville, we certainly don’t need it now.

ladyingray on April 28, 2011 at 8:55 AM

I wonder if POTUS will ignore these like he did the flooding in Tennessee…

Khun Joe on April 28, 2011 at 8:44 AM

Don’t forget the president had to be dragged kicking and screaming to visit the Gulf Coast last summer in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. And Texas has been irked for the past two weeks that the federal government hasn’t issued a disaster declaration after almost 750,000 acres and hundreds of homes have been destroyed by wildfires.

It’s kind of like the hyper-political version of “If a tree falls in the forest, does it make any noise?” — “If a disaster happens in a Red State, does it really matter to Obama?”

jon1979 on April 28, 2011 at 8:57 AM

I expect that death toll to go over 250 in Alabama alone, its already up to 180 as of 7am cst this morning.

cptthumper on April 28, 2011 at 8:57 AM

Where is our newly minted, now American born, President..???

PatriotRider on April 28, 2011 at 8:57 AM

Hey Jazz – “Rash of Tornadoes CAUSES…”

“Rash” is the subject. “Tornadoes” is the object of a preposition.

Sorry – pet peeve.

greggriffith on April 28, 2011 at 8:59 AM

When I first heard about these tragedies last night, my first thought was, ‘how can I turn this into a cheap shot against the President?’ Glad I wasn’t alone.

YYZ on April 28, 2011 at 9:00 AM

My liberal brother-in-law and his hipster son say it’s global warming – hell, it’s causing the earthquakes, according to them.

Ward Cleaver on April 28, 2011 at 9:01 AM

32 dead and 600 hospitalized in Tuscaloosa, AL.

AubieJon on April 28, 2011 at 9:03 AM

My liberal brother-in-law and his hipster son say it’s global warming – hell, it’s causing the earthquakes, according to them.

Ward Cleaver on April 28, 2011 at 9:01 AM

Wow. Very gullible. Quick … sell them anti-global warming pills.

darwin on April 28, 2011 at 9:05 AM

Two days ago on Fox News, during that discussion on whether Mother Gaia should be able to have legal representation, some moonbat claimed that this years tornadoes are because of man-made ‘global warming’, or ‘climate change’, or whatever it is being called today.

slickwillie2001 on April 28, 2011 at 9:06 AM

When I first heard about these tragedies last night, my first thought was, ‘how can I turn this into a cheap shot against the President?’ Glad I wasn’t alone.

YYZ on April 28, 2011 at 9:00 AM

You mean like the coal mine disaster was blamed on Bush?

fossten on April 28, 2011 at 9:12 AM

Here in Tornado Alley we have widespread adoption of the Doppler radars that allow forecasters to pick up rotation in storm cells and in many cases issue a tornado warning before any funnel clouds even form. I’m not sure how well those have penetrated in AL, but the radars are just the first step in the process.

The next step is for people to have NOAA weather alert radios so they’ll actually hear the warnings when they’re issued. They’re very common here, but again, I don’t know whether the folks who don’t live with the pervasive tornado threat like we do have bothered to get them.

The Monster on April 28, 2011 at 9:13 AM

When I first heard about these tragedies last night, my first thought was, ‘how can I turn this into a cheap shot against the President?’ Glad I wasn’t alone.

YYZ on April 28, 2011 at 9:00 AM

If you want, I can send you pictures of the homes destroyed from the Rockhouse Fire down here in West Texas 19 days ago that the federal government still hasn’t designated as a disaster area, despite the fact that the fire’s still burning and has now taken almost 300,000 acres. Hard not to start thinking the current president doesn’t give an eff about people suffering if the 2008-10 election results in their region don’t meet the proper requirements.

jon1979 on April 28, 2011 at 9:13 AM

It’s all part of the Republican plot to destroy America, right Jazz? Destroy Social Security, create global warming, re-enslave the blacks, etc, etc, ad nauseam.

Can’t we get Olbermann or somebody rational to post here? Oh wait, Olbermann isn’t buddies with Ed.

misterpeasea on April 28, 2011 at 9:14 AM

I’ve been hiding in my basement all morning due to this crazy line of storms – my thoughts and prayers go out to those in the affected areas down south, and to those who are in shock and mourning on this day.

And it sounds like another wave is headed my way. I’m so tired of rain where I live, feels like my yard will be flooded for the rest of Spring at this rate.

Anna on April 28, 2011 at 9:16 AM

While a lot of attention is being paid to Alabama, and they do seem to have taken the brunt of it, those tornadoes didn’t stop at the state line. Here in Georgia we got hit hard also with the added attraction of it being at night. So while we marvel at the footage of tornadoes on the ground in Alabama we didn’t get that benefit. The tornadoes set down in the middle of night. You couldn’t see them, just hear them. Meteorologists were tracking possible touchdowns by following what they called ‘debris balls’.

It was a very scary night and while I made it through the night in good shape, which we still can’t figure out how, all around where I live is utter devastation most of it only being realized now that the sun has come up.

I live just to the west of Atlanta and for some reason the storms split as they approached us which spared us.

Just A Grunt on April 28, 2011 at 9:17 AM

I live in Jackson, TN which is along I-40 between Memphis and Nashville. We got slammed by this system on Monday and Tuesday, getting about 9 inches of rain in 48hours, and numerous warnings for tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, and flooding, both flash and river flooding. The river flooding warnings are still ongoing now.

I got a bow-echo thunderstorm that hit my block like a Mack truck. It announced it’s arrival with a 80+mph straight line wind gust, knocking the lights off for a minute, and some of the scariest green flash lightning I’ve seen in a long time.

Fortunately, the tornado warnings were not all in contact with the ground, but there still is quite a lot of damage around here from trees blowing over on cars and houses, downed power lines, and the rivers are forecast to exceed flood stage this week. The Mississippi at Memphis is going to reach the 3rd highest level recorded since recording began in the 1800′s, at 45 feet. Flood stage is 34 feet.

Arkansas got it worse than western Tennessee, although there were some tornadoes that touched down, none were near me this time.

Things only got worse yesterday in Alabama. Mississippi, and Georgia.

Everyone always talks about Tornado Alley in the Plains, but the Southeast gets almost as many just about every year.

We have a mini-tornado season in mid or late winter sometimes, Dec-Jan-Feb is when the worst hit here the last decade. Since 2000, Jackson has been hit by 2 F-2, 2 F-3, and one F-4 tornadoes, the F-4 went right through downtown and destroyed the US Post Office. That same storm dropped massive hail on my block and destroyed roofs and vehicles all over. The hail looked like it was the size of grapes or ping pong balls, but they were frozen together in clumps that were grapefruit size or bigger.

Scary.

Brian1972 on April 28, 2011 at 9:17 AM

Anna on April 28, 2011 at 9:16 AM

Us as well. It seems to have passed us in the Piedmont, but…still worries me.

Bee on April 28, 2011 at 9:25 AM

This won’t be the last spate of severe storms. The cold Canadian air (which is still really cold) is hitting the warm Gulf air and producing a really unstable air-mass in the center of the country. Until Canada warms up some, we’re going to see this pattern continue.

And yes, I did just blame this on Canada.

Nethicus on April 28, 2011 at 9:25 AM

How unusual is this? This single set of storms has now resulted in a greater loss of life than was seen for the entire tornado seasons each year from 2000 through 2007.

coincidence.

Global Warming Will Bring Violent Storms And Tornadoes, NASA Predicts

sesquipedalian on April 28, 2011 at 9:25 AM

The last time was Feb. 5th, 2008 when an F-3 tornado went about a mile north of my house after tearing up Union University campus, a Christian college here in town, then wrecked a Walgreens up the road from me and some homes in a neighborhood just to my north.

I heard it pass by, it sounded like Air Force One was taxiing down the street.

You might recognize that date, it was Super Tuesday in the primaries.
I took that as an omen to not vote for Mitt Romney ever again. :)

Brian1972 on April 28, 2011 at 9:26 AM

If everyone was able to get to a basement or interior bathroom, how much lower would the death toll be. I always wonder because you don’t know where people are when this happens. I don’t mean that to be negative I was just curious in the sense of saving lives.

tomas on April 28, 2011 at 9:26 AM

I live @ 30 miles south of Nashville. It was pretty scary yesterday. We got lucky, only a tree down in the backyard. I’ve come to really hate Spring in Tennessee. It’s nerve racking. My prayers to all those people that have suffered through this. Hopefully we will not see any more of this weather this season.

robblefarian on April 28, 2011 at 9:27 AM

If everyone was able to get to a basement or interior bathroom, how much lower would the death toll be. I always wonder because you don’t know where people are when this happens. I don’t mean that to be negative I was just curious in the sense of saving lives.

Much of the death comes from mobile homes. Also, many of the homes in the South don’t have basements. We don’t. I’ve seen home completely gone, so hiding in a bathroom may help, it isn’t necessarily going to save your life.

robblefarian on April 28, 2011 at 9:29 AM

coincidence.

Global Warming Will Bring Violent Storms And Tornadoes, NASA Predicts

sesquipedalian on April 28, 2011 at 9:25 AM

Shut the hell up.

This has been happening on regular cycles for as long as people have lived in North America.

The Plains Indians had the legend of the Dead Man Walking, which we now know were multiple vortex tornadoes.

This outbreak may surpass the historic Super Outbreak of 1974 in number of tornadoes, but not death toll.

The technology has advanced to where we know much more much sooner than we used to.

It isn’t global warming, it is regular weather cycles.

Same thing with hurricanes. There have been up years and down years, in cycles that we don’t completely understand.

Release your chakra somewhere else.

Brian1972 on April 28, 2011 at 9:31 AM

tomas on April 28, 2011 at 9:26 AM

Interior bathrooms would have not done a lot of good. Have you seen the pictures? There are entire blocks that are gone, literally flattened. The main reason the death toll is still low in Georgia is because emergency response personnel have not been able to get through the debris to locate people. Last night the city of Ringgold, Ga requested a mass casualty morgue from Georgia Emergency Management because 2 of their evacuation centers took direct hits along with a motel.

As rescuers comb through the wreckage the numbers will just continue to climb.

Just A Grunt on April 28, 2011 at 9:34 AM

Global Warming Will Bring Violent Storms And Tornadoes, NASA Predicts

sesquipedalian on April 28, 2011 at 9:25 AM

Just like they predicted more hurricanes which never materialized?

Did you know tornadoes are a new phenomenon? Yep … they appeared when “global cooling” stopped. In fact, James Hansen coined the word “tornado” which means tax those who live on Gaia.

darwin on April 28, 2011 at 9:35 AM

I live @ 30 miles south of Nashville. It was pretty scary yesterday. We got lucky, only a tree down in the backyard. I’ve come to really hate Spring in Tennessee. It’s nerve racking.

robblefarian on April 28, 2011 at 9:27 AM

We’ve got friends who recently moved to Memphis from New Hampshire and they were scared to death Tuesday night and all day yesterday. Last night he called me and asked how often this happens. He said he can’t believe people live in a place where they routinely go through these type storms. To make matters worse, he has been warned he may have to evacuate his home due to rising water.

flyfisher on April 28, 2011 at 9:37 AM

The Monster on April 28, 2011 at 9:13 AM

The weather forecasting where I live is just incredible. If there’s a storm, you just turn on the tv, and our local forecasters track potential funnels street by street, can tell you where the problems are and where they are headed on a minute by minute basis. I was traveling last spring in an area that did not have that kind of weather technology, when a storm blew up. It was terrifying to turn on the local tv station and see that they weren’t even talking about the storm, although the NWS had issued a tornado watch.

mbs on April 28, 2011 at 9:37 AM

It isn’t global warming, it is regular weather cycles.

Brian1972 on April 28, 2011 at 9:31 AM

as i said, pure coincidence.

sesquipedalian on April 28, 2011 at 9:38 AM

as i said, pure coincidence.

sesquipedalian on April 28, 2011 at 9:38 AM

Not as you said.

It is called Nature, she does this sort of thing from time to time.

NASA and their global warming predictions have been full of crap for years.

Brian1972 on April 28, 2011 at 9:42 AM

I wonder if POTUS will ignore these like he did the flooding in Tennessee…

Khun Joe on April 28, 2011 at 8:44 AM

Remember shortly after Obama was inaugurated, a sever blizzard hit Kentucky. People, waiting for help and heat lost their lives, and Obutthead just ignored it. If memory serves, these people received no fed help. Rick Perry has asked for fed help to deal with fires here. Nothing so far as I know. He’s shut down jobs down here, as far as drilling. Yesterday we read….Obama wants political info from anyone seeking a govt. contract.

So…Alabama…a predominantly red state recieving help? I won’t hold my breath.

capejasmine on April 28, 2011 at 9:42 AM

flyfisher on April 28, 2011 at 9:37 AM

It’s part of living in the South. You get used to it (to a certain degree). Odds are, you’ll never experience a direct hit from a tornado, but you still worry. I was talking with a friend in England this past weekend and I told him that it really doesn’t matter where you live in the U.S. We have tornadoes, hurricanes, snow storms, flooding, volcanoes, earthquakes, wild fires. Doesn’t really matter where you live, every region has it’s own weather-related problems and disasters.

And soon we will be dealing with the 13 year cicada plague! ARGH!

robblefarian on April 28, 2011 at 9:43 AM

Killer tornado outbreaks are nothing new – the Tri-State Tornado outbreak on 1925 killed nearly 700.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tri-State_Tornado

And the town where my dad grew up, Gainesville, GA, was hit by an F4 in 1936, killing over 200.

Ward Cleaver on April 28, 2011 at 9:44 AM

mbs on April 28, 2011 at 9:37 AM

In this area, I find that the CBS affiliate in Memphis WREG has a terrific severe weather team with the best doppler radar and computer equipment, and great people who do a fantastic job tracking the dangerous storms like you said down to the block by block level.

You can learn a lot about meteorology just by watching them explain what is happening.

I had them on in HD all through the day Monday and Tuesday.

Brian1972 on April 28, 2011 at 9:47 AM

It is called Nature, she does this sort of thing from time to time.

Brian1972 on April 28, 2011 at 9:42 AM

yes. nature, like god, works in mysterious ways. science, on the other hand, is evil.

sesquipedalian on April 28, 2011 at 9:49 AM

I’m sure The Oprah will be down in Tuscaloosa looking for people that “look like” her like she did after Katrina.

SouthernGent on April 28, 2011 at 9:51 AM

When I first heard about these tragedies last night, my first thought was, ‘how can I turn this into a cheap shot against the President?’ Glad I wasn’t alone.

YYZ on April 28, 2011 at 9:00 AM

Because that didn’t happen with Katrina when the president actually did issue a state of emergency in a timely fashion?

STFU and quit projecting.

darclon on April 28, 2011 at 9:51 AM

Yesterday was really bad, the sirens were going off all day. They closed most schools in our area. Waking up to the sound of tornado warning and still have them going at 7pm was nuts. Our neighbors right to the south got it worse than us. We did have some huge trees go down last night at 8 and knocked out power til 3 am. Glad the storms were over though when we lost power.

Brat4life on April 28, 2011 at 9:52 AM

Obama did issue some sort of state of emergency last night in between taping Oprah and his fundraisers in NY and polishing his stand up routine concerning the birther issue. He is not a serious man and not one to be taken seriously. Today he will no doubt be busy with his golf game and probably some more fundraisers.

The south survived Sherman’s march to the sea and they will survive this. You won’t find victims so there won’t be anything to exploit.

Wish I felt as confident about the country surviving this presidency.

Just A Grunt on April 28, 2011 at 9:53 AM

yes. nature, like god, works in mysterious ways. science, on the other hand, is evil.

sesquipedalian on April 28, 2011 at 9:49 AM

Science is not evil. I never said that, and you are simply trying your typical dumbass baiting tactics based on an inaccurate stereotype that you are applying to me.

Global Warming isn’t science.
It is politics disguised as science.
Hide the decline, ect.

Brian1972 on April 28, 2011 at 9:53 AM

coincidence.

Global Warming Will Bring Violent Storms And Tornadoes, NASA Predicts

sesquipedalian on April 28, 2011 at 9:25 AM

Sigh. History did not begin in 2000. Severe weather goes in cycles. We’ve actually had a long stretch of pretty mild weather, thunderstorm-wise, for a long time, compared to the past. It started heating up again a few years ago. It’s almost like weather goes in cycles.

http://www.norman.noaa.gov/2009/03/us-annual-tornado-death-tolls-1875-present/

Annual Tornado Deaths

1896 537
1908 477
1913 346
1917 551
1920 499
1924 376
1925 794
1927 540
1932 394
1933 362
1936 552
1953 519
1974 366

mbs on April 28, 2011 at 9:53 AM

sesquipedalian on April 28, 2011 at 9:25 AM

Squidbillies, where are the flaming hurricanes that ya’ll predicted after the BP oil spill? I’m kinda disappointed.

darclon on April 28, 2011 at 9:54 AM

Global Warming Will Bring Violent Storms And Tornadoes, NASA Predicts
sesquipedalian on April 28, 2011 at 9:25 AM

ROFL

The Mongols who tried to invade Japan in 1281 would like to have a talk with you.

Bishop on April 28, 2011 at 9:55 AM

When I first heard about these tragedies last night, my first thought was, ‘how can I turn this into a cheap shot against the President?’ Glad I wasn’t alone.
YYZ on April 28, 2011 at 9:00 AM

Huh. My first thought was “How can I use these storms to push ruinous legislation upon the American people while enriching myself”.

I called Al Gore for advice but he was busy swimming in his indoor, Olympic-sized pool.

Bishop on April 28, 2011 at 9:59 AM

flyfisher on April 28, 2011 at 9:37 AM
It’s part of living in the South. You get used to it (to a certain degree). Odds are, you’ll never experience a direct hit from a tornado, but you still worry.

And soon we will be dealing with the 13 year cicada plague! ARGH!

robblefarian on April 28, 2011 at 9:43 AM

Agreed! I am from Jackson, TN, originally, but I’ve lived in the Memphis area forever. I’m accustomed to these storms.

As many tornadoes as I’ve been near, in terms of fear, few rival the straight-line wind storm that hit Memphis in 2003. I thought my house was coming down. Locally it’s remembered as “Hurricane Elvis.”

flyfisher on April 28, 2011 at 9:59 AM

mbs on April 28, 2011 at 9:53 AM

I agree with your statement, but I think that tornado deaths are the wrong statistic to back yourself up with.

In the last couple of decades, with the advent of doppler radar, weather radios, cellphones, the internet and satellites, the death toll per outbreak has been decreasing.

the more relevant statistic would be the number of confirmed tornadoes, but still we now are aware of many more tornadoes that occur due to the technology we have to spot and track them that did not exist in the not so distant past.

Back before WWII, if a tornado touched down in the middle of nowhere and did not kill or destroy anything, it would have gone unnoticed.

Now we can see them wherever they are and they get counted, where we used to miss some of them.

Same with hurricanes. If it never came ashore, we wouldn’t know it had been born at all. Now we can watch it develop and curve out of the tropics and die without ever coming near any human beings.

Brian1972 on April 28, 2011 at 10:00 AM

tomas on April 28, 2011 at 9:26 AM

As some other have said many homes in the South don’t have basements. And if you live in a mobile home or any type of ‘manufactured’ home (double-wide, etc) your toast.

Also, many people have a tendency to LOOK and WATCH at these things as they approach – take video, pics, whatever. People don’t take cover anymore. I’m sure there is a psychological reason for it.

Not to mention sometimes tornados pop up pretty quick with little or no warning and catch many off-guard.

catmman on April 28, 2011 at 10:02 AM

ROFL

The Mongols who tried to invade Japan in 1281 would like to have a talk with you.

Bishop on April 28, 2011 at 9:55 AM

Yes, the Kamikaze. Divine Wind that saved the Japanese from conquest by Kublai Khan.

Must have been all those Toyota Land Cruisers the Samurai were running around in in 1281.

Brian1972 on April 28, 2011 at 10:03 AM

As many tornadoes as I’ve been near, in terms of fear, few rival the straight-line wind storm that hit Memphis in 2003. I thought my house was coming down. Locally it’s remembered as “Hurricane Elvis.”

flyfisher on April 28, 2011 at 9:59 AM

I remember that one.

It knocked over a big construction crane that was working on building the FedEx Forum at the time.

Wasn’t that estimated to have been about 110-120mph?

Brian1972 on April 28, 2011 at 10:04 AM

Meteorologists were tracking possible touchdowns by following what they called ‘debris balls’.

I live just to the west of Atlanta and for some reason the storms split as they approached us which spared us.

Just A Grunt on April 28, 2011 at 9:17 AM

Wow. Glad you are ok.

txhsmom on April 28, 2011 at 10:04 AM

I called Al Gore for advice but he was busy swimming in his indoor, heated Olympic-sized pool.

Bishop on April 28, 2011 at 9:59 AM

You forgot that little detail. :)

Brian1972 on April 28, 2011 at 10:05 AM

yes. nature, like god, works in mysterious ways. science, on the other hand, is evil.

sesquipedalian on April 28, 2011 at 9:49 AM

Bak. Derk-derk-Allah. Derka derka, Mohammed Jihad. Haka sherpa-sherpa. Abaka-la.

fossten on April 28, 2011 at 10:05 AM

In this area, I find that the CBS affiliate in Memphis WREG has a terrific severe weather team with the best doppler radar and computer equipment, and great people who do a fantastic job tracking the dangerous storms like you said down to the block by block level.

You can learn a lot about meteorology just by watching them explain what is happening.

I had them on in HD all through the day Monday and Tuesday.

Brian1972 on April 28, 2011 at 9:47 AM

After the last rash of tornadoes, I bought one of those portable digital televisions. When our power went out Tuesday night and the sirens were blaring, I had my family in our cedar closet. We watched WREG the whole time. I’m friends with Joey Sulipeck on Fox, but those guys on WREG really know what they are doing.

By the way, Tim Simpson is one of the few people around here with a basement.

flyfisher on April 28, 2011 at 10:07 AM

It has been a scary and exhausting couple of days. Four waves of storms came through, not just the ones yesterday, although yesterday was much, much worse. It was nice to actually sleep all the way through the night last night, and without the kids on our bedroom floor. My heart goes out to all of the thousands of people affected by these storms. I truly hope the term “hundred year storm” applies here and we do not see more of this anytime soon.

People around here took it very seriously. The schools released the kids early, but we were already under the warning when the time came to get them. The storm was still at least 45 minutes away, but the sirens were blaring. The kids were in the hall doing the duck and cover thing. It was chaotic: parents literally running inside the school and running out with their kids to get home before it hit. We were lucky that the storms went a few miles north, south and east of us. At one point, we were under 4 different tornado warnings at the same time! I’m from the midwest, and I’ve never experienced that before.

MississippiMom on April 28, 2011 at 10:07 AM

That’s OK.

Obama says we can take more casualties: a terrorist attack, severe whether, an Islamic lunatic gone crazy…doesn’t matter.

Buck up, America.

Obama’s got an Oprah appearance and a tee time to attend to.

Get serious!

Stepan on April 28, 2011 at 10:09 AM

Here in Owings Mills, MD, we’ve been under a tornado watch pretty much since yesterday afternoon. We’ve had two warnings this morning alone. One rotating thunderstorm went just north of us.

There’s another storm to our southwest, heading our way. That’s the one I’m worried about. We’ve got our cat in the room, and my work computer is ready to be shoved in my computer bag. If it hits the fan, we’re boogying to the basement. What a weird Spring.

nukemhill on April 28, 2011 at 10:09 AM

Locally it’s remembered as “Hurricane Elvis.”

flyfisher on April 28, 2011 at 9:59 AM

What it actually was is called a downburst.

It is the same principle as a lava lamp.

When a warm updraft ascends into a thunderstorm, cooler drier denser air from the higher altitudes rushes down to replace the warm rising air. When it hits the ground it spreads out.
These can be quite damaging.

I believe this is what hit my house Tuesday evening, I’m guessing 75-85mph. I did hear an official report of a 70mph gust at the small airport just to the west of town.

Downbursts also caused many airplane crashes at takeoff or landing, and is the main reason for the modern airport radar systems we have now, so they can avoid flying through a downburst and getting slammed into the ground.

Brian1972 on April 28, 2011 at 10:12 AM

science, on the other hand, is evil.

sesquipedalian on April 28, 2011 at 9:49 AM

You’re right … science is evil when used by government to coerce and further an ideological agenda.

darwin on April 28, 2011 at 10:12 AM

as i said, pure coincidence.

sesquipedalian on April 28, 2011 at 9:38 AM

Perhaps you can tell me when we started having this weather that’s apparently never happened before in billions of years of earth’s history.

Can you pinpoint precisely when “global warming” started having this effect?

darwin on April 28, 2011 at 10:14 AM

By the way, Tim Simpson is one of the few people around here with a basement.

flyfisher on April 28, 2011 at 10:07 AM

They are the best, IMHO.

I don’t have a basement either. It’s the bathroom at the center of the house, and pray it’s only F-0 or F-1.

I don’t think we could survive here if it were F-3,4 or 5.

Brian1972 on April 28, 2011 at 10:15 AM

As many tornadoes as I’ve been near, in terms of fear, few rival the straight-line wind storm that hit Memphis in 2003. I thought my house was coming down. Locally it’s remembered as “Hurricane Elvis.”

flyfisher on April 28, 2011 at 9:59 AM
I remember that one.

It knocked over a big construction crane that was working on building the FedEx Forum at the time.

Wasn’t that estimated to have been about 110-120mph?

Brian1972 on April 28, 2011 at 10:04 AM

They say at least 100 mph. After that thing hit, our street was impassable due to down trees. Oaks a century old just snapped liked twigs. It was mid-summer and we were without power for two weeks. To make matters worse, my wife was caring for two children and our third was on the way. After that first night in a hot dark house, my wife took the kids to stay with her parents until power was restored.

flyfisher on April 28, 2011 at 10:17 AM

darwin on April 28, 2011 at 10:12 AM

+ 1

Dino64 on April 28, 2011 at 10:18 AM

After that first night in a hot dark house, my wife took the kids to stay with her parents until power was restored.

flyfisher on April 28, 2011 at 10:17 AM

No power, no air conditioning down here in the summer can get quite torturous.

The only worse place to be is when I lived in Thibodeux, LA., about 60 miles southeast of New Orleans. Around July 14 my air conditioner crapped out.
Took three days to get someone to come and look at it.

Man, that was miserable. The humidity must have been %95+, temps in the mid to upper 90s all day, only upper 70s at 3 am.

Brian1972 on April 28, 2011 at 10:25 AM

By the way, Tim Simpson is one of the few people around here with a basement.

flyfisher on April 28, 2011 at 10:07 AM

They are the best, IMHO.

I don’t have a basement either. It’s the bathroom at the center of the house, and pray it’s only F-0 or F-1.

I don’t think we could survive here if it were F-3,4 or 5.

Brian1972 on April 28, 2011 at 10:15 AM

After that storm hit Jackson in 2000, the Fains sold the heck out of those pre-fab storm shelters. For around $2,000 they would use their backhoe to dig a hole and then they dropped a shelter in the ground. My in-laws and their neighbors all got one. I would sure hate to spend more than a few minutes at a time in one, but it would be better than riding out a tornado in a bathroom, which is what most people around here do.

flyfisher on April 28, 2011 at 10:25 AM

it would be better than riding out a tornado in a bathroom, which is what most people around here do.

flyfisher on April 28, 2011 at 10:25 AM

Yep. in 2003 a guy I know tried to sell me one for $6,000 installed.

It is just a fiberglass sphere buried in the ground big enough for maybe 5 adults to cram in it.

Better than nothing.

Brian1972 on April 28, 2011 at 10:29 AM

All weather outside of sunny 80-degree days is proof of man-made climate change.

Nice “science” you got there.

CDeb on April 28, 2011 at 10:32 AM

It is politics disguised as science.
Hide the decline, ect.

Brian1972 on April 28, 2011 at 9:53 AM

the “climategate” controversy was refuted by several independent panels, but you rather listen to politicians and “carnival barkers” repeating the same lies.

in any case, i don’t claim to know the extent of global warming’s role in this year’s unusually deadly tornadoes. but i do know that if morrissey can illustrate his climate change-denying posts with a picture of his snowed-in porch, i too can link extreme weather events to analyses predicting these phenomena, even if they’re only coincidentally correct.

also, i hear that the US has been in debt before, so our current fiscal situation is just part of a natural cycle. there’s really nothing we should do about it, because the trend will just reverse sooner or later. please don’t even mention phony “experts” who say otherwise, because they’re beholden to special interests.

sesquipedalian on April 28, 2011 at 10:32 AM

the “climategate” controversy was refuted by several independent panels

If by “independent” you mean, “insitutions with financial interests in the continued existence of their climate science programs,” then, well, yeah.

CDeb on April 28, 2011 at 10:35 AM

No power, no air conditioning down here in the summer can get quite torturous.

The only worse place to be is when I lived in Thibodeux, LA., about 60 miles southeast of New Orleans. Around July 14 my air conditioner crapped out.
Took three days to get someone to come and look at it.

Man, that was miserable. The humidity must have been %95+, temps in the mid to upper 90s all day, only upper 70s at 3 am.

Brian1972 on April 28, 2011 at 10:25 AM

I’ve been to Thibodeaux in summer a couple of times–talk about hot! I used to know the people at Robichaux Ford and I’ve explored Bayou Lafourche in a mudboat.

flyfisher on April 28, 2011 at 10:37 AM

sesquipedalian on April 28, 2011 at 10:32 AM

That was really stupid.

Brian1972 on April 28, 2011 at 10:39 AM

I’ve been to Thibodeaux in summer a couple of times–talk about hot! I used to know the people at Robichaux Ford and I’ve explored Bayou Lafourche in a mudboat.

flyfisher on April 28, 2011 at 10:37 AM

I lived there for about 2 years, 20 years ago.

I went through the only hurricane experience of my life there.

It was only a Cat 1, but it still was frightening.

At least I know I did not contribute to that disaster, because I was getting around on a Mongoose BMX bicycle at the time. :)

Brian1972 on April 28, 2011 at 10:41 AM

It’s bad. Tornados hit two cities right in the downtown area–Tuscaloosa and Cullman. Local TV webcam showed the tornados in both cities, and they were huge and horrific. A great deal of damage and loss of life. Last count I heard, driving in to work, was over 120 dead. Almost certainly going to climb as people start digging through the rubble.

I was lucky–only lost power from about 8:30 last night–still out at home. I drove into work, which never lost power and didn’t sustain damage.

Our yard is littered with debris from tornado damage–roof shingles, insulation, tree branches. Drove through a section just south of where I live where whole stands of trees were snapped in half. Helicopters circling–in search of survivors? I”m not sure.

Let’s table climate change talk, how about it? At least until we bury the dead.

bamaconservative on April 28, 2011 at 10:46 AM

Hey sesquidipshitalian:

HIDE THE DECLINE!

I’m positive that didn’t mean what it so clearly meant. And I’m also sure that all those killer hurricanes we’ve had since Katrina absolutely prove that global warming is a real…what? No hurricanes since Katrina?

I blame global warming.

misterpeasea on April 28, 2011 at 10:52 AM

Let’s table climate change talk, how about it? At least until we bury the dead.

bamaconservative on April 28, 2011 at 10:46 AM

I agree. I couldn’t help but slap him back.

This will be an historic event, it might surpass the 1974 Super outbreak, which spurred the development of the warning systems and radar network.

The images I have seen look really terrible, and those videos of the tornadoes show that they were just about as bad as it can get. The only scarier one I have seen is the 1999 Oklahoma City F-5.

Prayers for all you guys in Alabama.
My brother was born in Birmingham.

Brian1972 on April 28, 2011 at 10:57 AM

I don’t think we could survive here if it were F-3,4 or 5.

Brian1972 on April 28, 2011 at 10:15 AM

We lived a mile south and three east of the F4 which wiped Hallam, NE off the map a few years back. We were huddled in the basement watching it arrive via local weather channel.
It was coming straight east for us, then veered northeast and wiped out Norris school and a few more villages. At the same time, there were two more coming at us from the south and southeast. Don’t know where they went. 10 inches of rain that night, and our first experience with FEMA’s incredible incompetence as the neighborhood pitched in for cleanup. Farmers finally told them to get the hell out of the way, and the locals did it themselves.

a capella on April 28, 2011 at 11:08 AM

This outbreak may surpass the historic Super Outbreak of 1974 in number of tornadoes, but not death toll.

It isn’t global warming, it is regular weather cycles.

Brian1972 on April 28, 2011 at 9:31 AM

I was in a red Vega sedan on Rt. 49 just north of Homer Illinois when an F2/F3 tornado from that 1974 outbreak went directly over us and we were literally in the eye of the tornado. Our ears popped, corn shucks got washed through the seams of the doors and the car rocked but did not overturn. I asked my dad afterward why he stopped the car directly in the path of the tornado and he said they always say do not try to outrun a tornado. (I am not sure they meant to stop right in front of it.)

Years later, I met a man who told me that he had seen a tornado hit a little red car on Rt. 49 near Homer lake; but amazingly, after the tornado passed, the car just drove on. I laughed and told him I was in the car.

KW64 on April 28, 2011 at 11:46 AM

Thank you for your prayers. We need them. Tuscaloosa is devastated and the clean-up will be long and arduous.

College Prof on April 28, 2011 at 11:55 AM

sesquipedalian on April 28, 2011 at 9:25 AM

Talk about “carnival barker”…

Seven Percent Solution on April 28, 2011 at 12:15 PM

nukemhill on April 28, 2011 at 10:09 AM

Hey, you’re right down 140/795 from us! Howdy, neighbor.

Looks like the rain has stopped, but the flooding near my house is getting pretty bad. We’re on a hill, but there are two farms along Little Pipe Creek that are quite flooded, with one house being completely cut off from the road due to the depth and speed of the water. I feel very fortunate we didn’t have any tornadoes up here – we had a few the last time major thunderstorms came this way. Crazy spring.

Anna on April 28, 2011 at 12:29 PM

the “climategate” controversy was refuted by several independent panels

sesquipedalian on April 28, 2011 at 10:32 AM

FALSE.

fossten on April 28, 2011 at 1:21 PM

Penn State Whitewashed ClimateGate

“A federal government inspector general has revealed prima facie proof that the so-called independent inquiries widely if implausibly described as clearing the ClimateGate principals of wrongdoing were, in fact, whitewashes. This has been confirmed to Senate offices. It will not be released to the public for some time because the investigation is ongoing.”

slickwillie2001 on April 28, 2011 at 1:26 PM

The weather team at corporate sibling WJLA Wednesday night confirmed a tornado touched down around the golf course at Andrews Air Force Base.

Fortunately, the Secret Service wrestled the racist tornado to the ground.

J_Crater on April 28, 2011 at 2:31 PM

Sesquipinhead, no one died on Eds porch. How about you save your snarl until at least all the dead are counted down here. Bad where I am. Quite a few dead. No power. I was supposed to leave this w.e. but I’m stuck. No power, no gas.

hawkdriver on April 28, 2011 at 3:03 PM

“Snark”

hawkdriver on April 28, 2011 at 3:08 PM

Our prayers are with you, Tuscaloosa.

rogerb on April 28, 2011 at 8:46 AM

My son and daughter-in-law live in Tuscaloosa along with their 3-year old son. All are ok with the exception of being homeless and losing most of their possesions. There dog was missing since the tornado hit yesterday, but good news someone actually found their dog! A silver lining and blessing from the lord in what was otherwise a really tragic day for many.

My thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by the tornados and its aftermath.

Liberty or Death on April 29, 2011 at 12:19 AM