Thursday, April 28, 2011

Twister debris searched; at least 280 dead - Weather - msnbc.com

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42794539/ns/weather



Survivors and rescuers combed through destroyed towns and neighborhoods on Thursday, looking for belongings and victims after dozens of tornadoes ripped through the South overnight. The death toll continued to climb in Alabama, and at least 280 people in six states perished in the deadliest outbreak in nearly 40 years.
Deadliest days
People in hard-hit Alabama surveyed flattened, debris-strewn neighborhoods and told of pulling bodies from rubble after the storms passed.
"We have neighborhoods that have been basically removed from the map," Tuscaloosa Mayor Walter Maddox said after surveying his city.
The death toll seems out of a bygone era — before Doppler radar and pinpoint satellite forecasts were around to warn communities of severe weather. Residents were told the tornadoes were coming up to 24 minutes ahead of time, but they were just too wide, too powerful and too locked onto populated areas to avoid a horrifying body count.
"These were the most intense super-cell thunderstorms that I think anybody who was out there forecasting has ever seen," said meteorologist Greg Carbin at the National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center.
"If you experienced a direct hit from one of these, you'd have to be in a reinforced room, storm shelter or underground" to survive, Carbin said.





Map shows real-time reports of tornadoes, high winds and hail from April 23 through April 27, from the National Weather Service.
  1. Above: Map Tornado tracker
  2. Interactive Southern storms



msnbc.com news services msnbc.com news services
updated 7 minutes ago 2011-04-28T22:24:58



Survivors and rescuers combed through destroyed towns and neighborhoods on Thursday, looking for belongings and victims after dozens of tornadoes ripped through the South overnight. The death toll continued to climb in Alabama, and at least 280 people in six states perished in the deadliest outbreak in nearly 40 years.
Deadliest days
People in hard-hit Alabama surveyed flattened, debris-strewn neighborhoods and told of pulling bodies from rubble after the storms passed.
"We have neighborhoods that have been basically removed from the map," Tuscaloosa Mayor Walter Maddox said after surveying his city.
The death toll seems out of a bygone era — before Doppler radar and pinpoint satellite forecasts were around to warn communities of severe weather. Residents were told the tornadoes were coming up to 24 minutes ahead of time, but they were just too wide, too powerful and too locked onto populated areas to avoid a horrifying body count.
"These were the most intense super-cell thunderstorms that I think anybody who was out there forecasting has ever seen," said meteorologist Greg Carbin at the National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center.
"If you experienced a direct hit from one of these, you'd have to be in a reinforced room, storm shelter or underground" to survive, Carbin said.

Storms ravage South: A state-by-state look at the impact

The fierce storm system spread destruction from Texas to New York

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42798817/ns/weather/



Here's a state-by-state glance at the impact:
Alabama
  • At least 194 have died people across the state, which suffered "massive destruction of property," Gov. Robert Bentley said.
  • As of 10 a.m. ET Thursday, Alabama Power said 348,467 residents were without power, although the governor estimates that up to a million residents could be without power statewide.
  • 2,000 national guard troops have been and were helping to search devastated areas for the missing.
  • President Barack Obama — who will travel to Alabama on Friday — has spoken with Bentley and approved his request for emergency federal assistance.
  • Some of the worst devastation occurred in Tuscaloosa, home to the University of Alabama, killing at least 36 people including some students. Video taken at the university showed a massive funnel cloud flinging huge pieces of debris through the air.
  • 66 of 137 tornado reports the NWS Storm Prediction Center received on Wednesday came from Alabama.
  • A Tennessee Valley Authority nuclear power plant in Alabama that lost power after the storms will be down for days and possibly weeks, but the agency said backup power systems worked as designed to prevent a partial meltdown like the disaster in Japan.
Mississippi
  • At least 33 have been confirmed dead, and 120 injured, according to the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency.
  • According to reports, Gov. Haley Barbour says he will ask President Barack Obama for federal relief.
  • Damage has been reported in 50 counties, according to MEMA officials.
Georgia
Tennessee
  • According to NBC News, 33 people have died due to the storms.
  • Bill McCollum, chief operating officer of the Tennessee Valley Authority, tells the Knoxville News Sentinel that more than 300,000 customers were without power.
Virginia
  • Eight deaths were initially reported but that was later lowered to five.
Kentucky
  • One death reported.








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