Monday, April 16, 2012

Residents digging out after tornadoes hit Midwest

Sean Murphy and Roxana Hegeman in HTRN News via the AP: Bleary-eyed residents were scouring through damaged homes across the Midwest on Sunday after a violent storm system unleashed dozens of overnight tornadoes, killing at least five people in Oklahoma, leveling homes in Iowa and Kansas, and cutting power to hundreds of thousands.

More than 100 tornadoes had been reported across the region by daybreak, according to the National Weather Service. Although the storm system was weakening as it crawled into Arkansas and Missouri and additional tornadoes were unlikely, forecasters warned that strong thunderstorms were expected as far east as Michigan.

Five people were killed and more than two dozen were injured in Oklahoma, where a suspected tornado ripped through a mobile home park in Woodward, about 140 miles northwest of Oklahoma City. Streets in the 12,000-resident town were left dotted with mangled vehicles, toppled power lines and leveled buildings.

Retired firefighter Marty Logan said he spotted the tornado when it knocked down power lines, causing flashes of light, and saw a radio tower's blinking lights go black shortly after midnight. He later saw a man emerge from a twisted, wrecked sport utility vehicle that had been tossed along the side of the road.

"The guy had blood coming down his face," Logan said, adding that he saw people walking down the street covered in blood when he went to a hard-hit neighborhood. "It was scary, because I knew it was after midnight, and a lot of people were in bed." Search teams were scouring rubble for trapped and injured as the sun came up....

From NOAA: View of an EF4 tornado on March 2, 2012 from Memphis, Indiana

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