Monday, April 18, 2011

Killer tornadoes claim 44 lives across southern US states

Environment News Service: From Thursday through Saturday, tornadoes ripped across communities of the southern United States from Oklahoma to North Carolina leaving at least 44 people dead in their wake. A total of 241 tornadoes in 14 states were reported over the three-day period.

This tornado outbreak ranks "among the largest in history," said Accuweather meteorologist Meghan Evans. Late Saturday night, the storms moved offshore, and the National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma is forecasting no organized areas of severe thunderstorms across the country today.

The deadly storms first struck Thursday in Oklahoma, where two people were killed. As they blew across the country seven people died in Alabama; seven people in Arkansas; seven in Virginia; and one in Mississippi, officials said.

In North Carolina, the state hardest hit, the estimated death toll has been revised down to 22 from 23, according to unconfirmed reports from communities across North Carolina. About 130 people are reported as injured, with most transported to hospitals for care.

A large tornado whirled through downtown Raleigh, North Carolina's capital city, on Saturday, cutting a wide swath of destruction. Governor Bev Perdue has declared a state of emergency for North Carolina, putting the state's emergency management plan into action and providing financial resources for communities affected by the storms….

Bill Reckert took this 1998 photo after the 1998 North Carolina tornado in Stoneville, NC

No comments: