Sign In | Create an Account | Welcome, . My Account | Logout | Subscribe | Submit News | Contact Us | All Access E-Edition | Home RSS
 
 
 

Tornadoes tear through US South, add to death toll

April 29, 2014
Associated Press

LOUISVILLE, Mississippi (AP) — A dangerous storm system that spawned a chain of deadly tornadoes over three days flattened homes and businesses, forced frightened residents in more than half a dozen states to take cover and left tens of thousands in the dark Tuesday morning.

As the storm hopscotched across a large swath of the U.S., the overall death toll was at least 28, with 11 killed Monday and 17 Sunday in a band stretching from Oklahoma in the central heartland to Alabama in the Southeast. Forecasts showed the storm continuing to move east early Tuesday, with Georgia and Alabama residents waking to sirens, howling wind and pounding rain.

Others found their loved ones missing and their homes pulverized early Tuesday. In Louisville, Mississippi, firefighters picked through the remains of mobile homes, searching for three people unaccounted for after a tornado tore through. Twenty firefighters linked hands and waded through an area where woodframe homes had also been heavily damaged. Rescue workers stepped gingerly over downed power lines and trees that were snapped in half and stripped of branches.

The storm system is the latest onslaught of severe weather a day after a half-mile (800-meter)-wide tornado carved an 80-mile (128-kilometer) path of destruction through the suburbs of Little Rock, Arkansas, killing at least 15. Tornadoes or severe storms also killed one person each in Oklahoma and Iowa on Sunday.

The Mississippi tornado caused water damage and carved holes in the roof of a medical center, where an emergency room was being evacuated.

Mississippi emergency officials said seven people had been killed statewide. State Director of Health Protection Jim Craig said officials were working with coroners to confirm the total.

Six people died in the Louisville area. One of the six was a woman who died in the day care center she owned in Louisville, county Coroner Scott Gregory told The Associated Press late Monday. It was unclear if any children were in the day care center at the time, said William McCully, acting spokesman for the Winston County Emergency Management Agency.

In Tupelo, a community of about 35,000 in northeastern Mississippi known as the birthplace of Elvis Presley, every building in a two-block area sustained damage, officials told a reporter on the scene. Some buildings had their roofs sheared off, while power lines had been knocked down completely or bent at 45-degree angles. Road crews were using heavy machinery to clear off other streets.

The Northeast Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo had received 30 patients as of Monday night, four of whom were being admitted with non-life-threatening injuries, said center spokeswoman Deborah Pugh. Pugh said the other 26 patients were treated for minor injuries and released.

The storm sent staff at a Tupelo TV news station running for cover. WTVA-TV chief meteorologist Matt Laubhan was reporting live on the weather around 3 p.m. when he realized the twister was coming dangerously close.

"This is a tornado ripping through the city of Tupelo as we speak. And this could be deadly," he said in a video widely tweeted and broadcast on YouTube.

Moments later he adds, "A damaging tornado. On the ground. Right now."

He peeks in from the side to see if he's still on the air before yelling to staff off-camera: "Basement, now!" He then disappears off camera.

Later, the station tweeted, "We are safe here."

In southern Tennessee, two people were killed in a home when a suspected tornado hit Monday night, Lincoln County Emergency Management Director Mike Hall said. The winds destroyed several other homes as well as a middle school in the county that borders Alabama, Hall said.

In northern Alabama, the coroner's office confirmed two deaths Monday in a twister that caused extensive damage west of the city of Athens, said Limestone County Emergency Director Rita White. White said more victims could be trapped in the wreckage of damaged buildings, but rescuers could not reach some areas because of downed power lines.

The threat of dangerous weather jangled nerves a day after the three-year anniversary of a historic outbreak of more than 60 tornadoes that killed more than 250 people across Alabama on April 27, 2011.

 
 

 

I am looking for:
in:
News, Blogs & Events Web