Southern Weather Storms: Update

The severe weather expected in the Southeastern states has started, kicking off with a tornado that touched down and travelled through Goodman, Missouri on Tuesday night.  Local news channels have reported two people injured and damage to the fire department, an elementary school, and parts of the downtown area. Fortunately, no fatalities have been reported. The tornado was assigned an EF – 2 rating by the National Weather Service based on a damage survey of the area. The town was under a  tornado warning last night.

As the impending storms begin, the more southern states have began preparing for the severe weather. The Governor of Alabama declared a state of emergency Tuesday in anticipation of Wednesday’s forecasts. 50 National Guard soldiers have also been deployed to the area to assist any rescue and recovery efforts during the warning. Schools were closed as well in an effort to keep everyone safe and off the roads.

The PGA Master’s Tour in Augusta, Georgia had to suspend a practice round as storms began around 11am this morning. Warner Robins, a town in central Georgia, is using Facebook as a means of communicating to local residents that they’re city hall has opened the doors to be used as a storm shelter.

Link to article:

String of Tornadoes hits the Midwest

Monday and Tuesday this week, several tornadoes and storms have hit the midwest from Oklahoma and Arkansas, as far north as Minnesota and Wisconsin. 28 tornadoes have been confirmed so far, with at least 1 EF-3, a couple EF-2 tornadoes, and several EF-1 tornadoes. These super cell storms have produced hail and caused dangerous travel conditions. A semi-truck was overturned and an airport was shut down due to high winds.

Several homes have been damaged, some of those were completely destroyed. Trees have also been uprooted, and power lines taken down. One of these tornadoes had a track of 36.7 miles. Some of the photos with the article show the process of recovery, as people collect items from the wreckage of a home that has been destroyed. Several people have been injured, but fortunately there have been no fatalities from this storm. Seeing the damage that an EF-2 can cause, it is difficult to imagine what the impact of an EF-5 would look like on a community.

Original Story:

Severe Storms in the Central US

A system of super-cell thunderstorms hit the central US yesterday and created several tornadoes that killed three people. The storm was very large and affected people from Arkansas, Iowa, Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee. Even in New York City, there was a lightning strike to the runway which caused a hole and shutdown that particular runway. Many homes have been destroyed by the tornadoes, and even more have been damaged. Thousands are without power, due to downed power lines.

This storm system reached our area today, causing the high winds and the quick downpour seen not long after Wednesday’s Natural Hazards class. Here at Mary Washington, there are many scattered sticks and even a few benches have been knocked over, one by Monroe and another by George Washington hall. The sirens were used this afternoon as well, which I have only heard once prior to this.

Original Story:



Tornadoes Wreak Havoc In Southern States

This weekend southern states including Florida, Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi have seen a combined death toll of 16 people and the number is expected to grow. The states are currently facing a storm system comprised of multiple tornadoes resulting in watches being issued for the Panhandle of Florida and southern Alabama. A state of emergency has also been issued by the Georgia Emergency Management Agency and Homeland Security Agency. The National Weather Service is currently predicting a third wave of storms to reach as far north as Atlanta.


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Aftermath of tornado in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Photo: WDAM-TV Photojournalist Ryan Moore.

Fairdale and Rochelle, Illinois, Tornado Debris Found up to 80 miles away

An EF4 tornado last Thursday ripped through the towns of Fairdale and Rochelle, Illinois, destroying homes and businesses. The tornado left a 30 miles long path in 41 minutes. Two people were killed. Debris was lofted as far as 80 miles away, as far as southeast Wisconsin.

A Facebook page called Fairdale Illinois Tornado Facebook page (link at bottom) was created to help reunite photos and other personal items found with their owners. The page now has more than 3,932 likes.


Among the possessions on the page was the sign for the Grubsteakers Family Restaurant in north Rochelle, which was demolished by the tornado. The sign was found in a farmer’s field in Harvard, Illinois, 49 miles to the northeast of where the tornado hit. A photo was recovered in Twin Lakes, Wisconsin about 60 miles northeast of the tornado path. A photo of a check was also found 80 miles away in Racine, Wisconsin. Also in Racine a family photo was found.


Other items found were a children’s book and a photo that was identified of Mr. and Mrs. Clem Shultz of Fairdale, taken 25 years ago. Interesting enough, Geraldine Shultz was one of the two people killed in the tornado. But the photo was returned to Mr. Shultz, her husband.


To give some perspective on this, large, violent tornados (EF4 and EF5s) have often lifted debris hundreds of feet in the air, and in the case of this tornado “Tornadoes have been reported to carry an object at least as heavy as 83 tons, in the case of a railroad car,” said Dr. Greg Forbes, a severe weather expert. Since April 27, 2011, a total of 44 items have been found to have traveled at least 135 miles from their original source because of a tornado. A mattress was once blown 40 miles from Worcester Massachusetts, into Massachusetts Bay on June 9, 1953.


Link to the Facebook page-

To see the sign and some photos-

Tornadoes hit Oklahoma, Arkansas; One dead, several injured

First tornadoes of 2015 hit Arkansas and Oklahoma

One person was killed and several people were injured in a tornado that hit Tulsa, Oklahoma yesterday. At least 9 people were hospitalized due to injuries, according to Oklahoma Department of Emergency Services Spokeswomen Keli Cain. Tulsa County Sheriff Cap. Billy McKevley said that the one person killed live in the mobile home park in Sand Spring, a Tulsa suburb. “It could have been much worse.” He said.


This tornado is the first in a month in the tornado-prone Midwest. In the nearby town of Moore, Oklahoma, another tornado hit, tearing off roofs, flipping cars on the highway, and strewing debris across the area. It tore off the roof of an elementary school in Moore and filled many of the classrooms with water. Tens of thousands of Oklahoma residents were without power in the wake of the storm that caused the tornado.


Governor Mary Fallin declared 25 counties in a state of emergency. In accessing damage, Fallin said, “We’ve been down this road before. We know what to do.” Of the tornado Wednesday, Mayor of nearby town Moore, Glenn Lewis, described the tornado Wednesday as “kind of like a junior storm for us.”


My thoughts on this article:

The community official’s nonchalant attitude towards the tornado alarms me. They are so confident in handling such storms, but then again they’re so accustomed to tornados. I can only hope that they’re properly prepared for the damage and the death a tornado can inflict. I also thought it was interesting that the article says that the last time there were almost no tornados in March was 50 years ago. I wonder if that will be “made up for” as to say, in the coming months this year.