Saturday, June 1, 2013

Damage checks begin after deadly Midwest twisters

Sean Murphy in ABC News: Emergency officials set out Saturday morning to see how much damage a violent burst of thunderstorms and tornadoes caused as it swept across the Midwest overnight, killing at least five and injuring dozens.

The storm toppled cars and left commuters trapped on an interstate highway as it bore down during Friday's evening rush hour near Oklahoma City. The National Weather Service reported "several" tornadoes rolled in from the prairie, terrifying towns along their paths.

The storms brought another tense day for a region still reeling from the recent top-of-the-scale EF5 tornado that struck the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore on May 20, killing 24 and decimating neighborhoods. Many said they took severe weather warnings issued during the day Friday seriously.

...Storm chasers with cameras in their cars transmitted video showing a number of funnels dropping from the supercell thunderstorm as it passed south of El Reno and into Oklahoma City just south of downtown. As the cell advanced, police urged motorists to leave I-40 and seek a safe place.

Violent weather also moved through the St. Louis area. Early aerial images of the storm's damage showed homes with porches ripped away, roofs torn off and piles of splintered wood scattered across the ground for blocks. Officials in St. Charles County also reported that local schools suffered some damage.

...Meteorologists had warned about particularly nasty weather Friday but said the storm's fury didn't match that of the tornado that struck Moore. The Friday storm, however, brought with it much more severe flooding. It dumped around 8 inches of rain on Oklahoma City in the span of a few hours and made the tornado difficult to spot for motorists trying to beat it home, said Bruce Thoren, a meteorologist with National Weather Service in Norman....

The Moore, Oklahoma tornado on May 20, 2013, shot by Ks0stm, der the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license


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