Skip to comments.Tornadoes kill at least 18 as storms pummel Plains, Midwest, and South
Posted on 04/28/2014 4:00:18 AM PDT by ilovesarah2012
At least 18 people were killed Sunday by three separate tornadoes spawned by a powerful storm system that moved through the central and southern United States.
The Arkansas Department of Emergency Management confirmed early Monday that at least sixteen people had died after a tornado tore through central Arkansas, while an Oklahoma county sheriff's dispatcher reported that one person had died in the town of Quapaw, near the state's borders with Kansas and Missouri. Fox News has also confirmed that one person died when a tornado hit Keokuk County, Iowa.
The Arkansas tornado touched down about 10 miles west of Little Rock at around 7 p.m. local time and moved northeastward for at least 30 miles, the National Weather Service reported. It missed the state capital but passed through or near several of its suburbs, causing widespread damage in the communities of Mayflower and Vilonia.
According to the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management, ten of the deaths occurred in Faulkner County, where Mayflower and Vilonia are located. Five more occurred in Pulaski County, and one occurred in White County.
The tornado, which grew to be a half-mile wide, turned buildings into rubble and stripped the leaves and smaller branches off of trees.
(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...
Prayers for all the families who lost loved ones and for those whose homes are devastated.
The Weather Channel reporters act as if this is a SCI-FI movie - breathless drama queens. Terror and tragedy should be reduced to sound bites.
“Should NOT be reduced to sound bites”
Gave up watching the Weather Channel’s coverage of major weather events a long time ago. Drama queens is right.
Really. A two thousand six hundred foot wide tornado?
Yep, really. They can sometimes be as much as a mile wide.
Of course, the Marxist in chief will say it was either 1) Global Warming, 2) Tea Party fault or 3) Bush and Republicans fault.
2600 foot wide tornado? YES! I lived through one. On April 4, 1974 At 4:40PM. I watched a Tornado that was over a half mile across come over the Rt. 35 bypass and destroy my neighborhood, my town and two universities along it's path.
Oh yeah, they get that big and bigger.
Prayers for people struck in this latest outbreak.
Reports from last night were EF4-5 and 3/4 mile wide vortex.
The Moore OK tornado was 1.3 miles wide.
Video of damage from yesterday in central Arkansas:
Last year El Reno, OK had a 2.6 mile wide...the largest ever recorded.
Yes, there are a couple of photos of the “Mayflower Tornado” that show a classic, wedge-shaped funnel, wider than it is tall. Many—but not all—destructive tornadoes have that appearance.
The real question is why we keep losing people in storms that are forecast well in advance. The Storm Prediction Center was warning of a major outbreak two days in advance; they pegged southern/central Arkansas as the most likely area for dangerous, long-track tornadoes by early afternoon and had a PDS watch up 3-4 hours before the Mayflower storm developed. Couple that with warnings from the local NWS in Little Rock and other sources (including the Weather Channel) and virtually everyone along the twister’s path had at least 20 minutes warning time. Yet, 16 people died in Arkansas alone and the death toll will go even higher.
I believe there are several factors that contributed to this. First, in places like Arkansas, there are more people living in mobile homes and we know what a tornado does to that type of structure. However, the Mayflower storm demolished well-built wood and brick structures as well, and that raises another point: if you’re in the path of one of these monsters, the odds of your survival may be slim if you don’t have a basement or tornado shelter. In that regard, Arkansas is like every other state in Tornado Alley; the number of people with basements or shelters is very low.
But I think the biggest problem is complacency on the part of the public. The low-information crowd can’t be bothered with non-stop weather coverage (might interrupt the newest episode of their HBO drama, or at the other end, keep them from watching “Devious Maids on Lifetime).
Viewers who actually tune in receive a flood of information, and assume they know exactly where the storm is, and can go about their regular routine. There was a well-publicized incident during the deadly Joplin tornado where a young couple complained about not being served at a local restaurant because the tornado sirens were going off. They went to another eatery and arrived just in time to be herded into the walk-in freezer, moments before the EF-5 leveled the neighborhood. I wonder if they still go out to eat when their county is under a tornado warning.
Finally, I’ll put part of the blame on local radio stations, which should be a lifeline during a weather emergency. But due to budget cuts, they’ve deferred “live” coverage to local TV stations, cable outlets and the web. But when the power goes out, many of those other sources are unavailable, and when they tune to the local radio station, they hear (in most cases) an automated jukebox. The announcers, with the possible exception of the morning crew, are “voice-tracked” from a personality or format service hundreds of miles away.
When I lived in Mississippi, I remember walking out of a Wal-Mart on a story Sunday night, just as the tornado sirens went off. I jumped in my car and turned on the most popular local station; the announcer assured us that it would be a “beautiful day, with a high near 85.” Not only was the forecast hours out date, the station apparently did not air weather bulletins through through the emergency alert system (EAS).
I don’t know if it was ignorance, indifference, or a lack of warning through the “right” media, but there should not have been that many people on I-40 when the storm blew through last night. It will be interesting to learn if any of the victims died on the highway, or they were killed at home, in the communities hardest-hit by the tornadoes. When you’ve got a deadly tornado churning through the country-side, you don’t need to be in a vehicle, unless you’re law enforcement, another first responder, or someone evacuating from a mobile home.
A tornado is not like a hurricane which will ravage an entire area. Literally a tornado can destroy one house while leaving a house just across the street virtually unscathed....so even if your town is in the path, the odds for your house getting hit still aren’t all that high.
I agree with all of your points...the other factor when I chase tornadoes, I find that many of the locals have lived through countless Tornado Watches/Warnings and have never been directly impacted that they just don’t believe they will be impacted.
Your point about well built homes being swept away is the #1 issue, though. You need to be underground or in a new above ground storm shelter to survive the type of tornado that plowed through Arkansas. Many folks do not have that luxury...
I’m guessing you don’t live in the Midwest.
Not unheard of. They can get even bigger.
The one in Greensberg, KS was allegedly over 1.5 miles wide. If you google the images of the aftermath, it clearly shows complete devastation 8 blocks wide, which is a mile.