People of Northwest Public Radio
Fri March 2, 2012
Tornado Trauma: Five Died On One Short Street; More Storms Due Today
Originally published on Fri March 2, 2012 3:09 pm
Five of the estimated 13 deaths from the tornadoes that pounded Illinois, Missouri and Tennessee on Wednesday happened on one "short avenue in a tight-knit neighborhood" of Harrisburg, Ill., the Los Angeles Times writes today.
Brady Street was pummeled. "There are no words to describe this," Dena McDonald, whose mother was killed there, tells the Times. The newspaper describes the aftermath this way:
"Cinder blocks littered the ground like discarded Lego pieces. Refrigerators and cars lay crushed beneath mountains of plywood and siding. Family photos, bank statements, holiday cards were strewn around the neighborhood, soaking in puddles and sticking out from collapsed roofs."
Now, according to the National Weather Service and The Weather Channel, residents in some of the same places — from Missouri east through Ohio and south across a stretch from Louisiana to Georgia — need to be prepared for more severe weather, and possibly more tornadoes, later today.
The "greatest threat" for tornadoes, according to The Weather Channel, lies in an area from central Tennessee north through central Kentucky and into southern Indiana.
The National Weather Service, though, warns that there is moderate risk today of severe thunderstorms and thunderstorms "across much of the Ohio Valley [and] southward into the central Gulf States."
Update at 6:07 p.m. ET. A New Post:
With three deaths reported, we've started a new post.
Update at 4:12 p.m. ET. Widespread Damage In Indiana:
The AP just moved this alert:
"Authorities say tornadoes have left widespread damage in southern Indiana and a sheriff's official says at least one town is 'completely gone.'
"National Weather Service coordinator Bill Whitlock says the agency is tracking 'extreme damage' in the Henryville area, about 20 miles north of Louisville, Ky.
"Clark County Sheriff's Department Maj. Chuck Adams says the nearby town of Marysville is 'completely gone.'"
Update at 3:45 p.m. ET. Dire Situation In S. Indiana:
CNN reports that New Pekin, In. is getting hit very hard this hour. Two suspected tornadoes have hit the Southern Indiana town.
The Capital Weather Gang reports that radar shows an "extraordinarily ominous ... train of rotating, supercell thunderstorms" is moving across the area.
Reports of tornadoes are widespread. NOAA's Storm Prediction Center lists 38 reports of tornadoes today and they span five states.
Update at 1:11 p.m. ET. Severe Weather Likely:
NOAA's Storm Prediction Center now says "an outbreak of tornadoes and severe thunderstorms is likely over a large area from Indiana and Ohio into Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama" through tonight.
If you look at that image above — that center pink area with the black outline has been put under a "high risk" for severe thunderstorms.
That designation, says The Washington Post's Capital Weather Gang, "is reserved for the most dire severe weather situations, and used only a few times a year on average."
Update at 11:35 a.m. ET. Tornado Map.
You can see the National Weather Service's national doppler radar sites here. A few moments ago its radar covering northern Alabama and Central Tennessee was showing tornadoes to the north of Huntsville, Ala., and to the northeast of Chattanooga, Tenn.
Update at 11:05 a.m. ET. Damage Reported In Alabama:
Alabama's Emergency Management Agency is tweeting about the severe weather now hitting the state.
It says: "We are aware of the damage in the Huntsville area and we have state resources ready to deploy."
And the Madison County, Ala., EMA says there have been "houses destroyed on Mt. Lebanon and Patterson Lane. Requesting EMS." That be near Meridianville, Ala.
Update at 10:40 a.m. ET: A tornado warning has been issued for the area around Hunstville, Ala.