AuthorTopic: Crazy Weather  (Read 100824 times)

Offline RE

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This shit is headed in LDs direction this afternoon.  Not good weather for a flatbed driver.

RE

https://abcnews.go.com/US/reported-tornadoes-days-severe-weather-heads-northeast/story?id=63195332

At least 7 dead as severe weather hits the Plains; storms next headed to East Coast

 

At least 7 dead as severe weather hits the Plains; storms next headed to East Coast

PHOTO: David Dick wades out of the water after checking on his flooded home in Sperry, Okla., Tuesday, May 21, 2019.Mike Simons/Tulsa World via AP
WatchSevere weather hits Missouri
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At least seven people are dead -- five in Missouri, one in Oklahoma and one in Iowa -- after severe weather hit the Plains this week.

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At least 80 tornadoes were reported across Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa and Nebraska within two days. On Wednesday alone, there were 22 reported tornadoes in Oklahoma and Missouri.

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The damage Wednesday night was mostly concentrated in Missouri's Jasper and Howard counties.

There were three deaths in the area of Golden City, about 45 minutes northeast of Joplin, and several injuries in Carl Junction, a suburb of Joplin, according to the Missouri Department of Public Safety.

PHOTO: This image taken from video provided by KOCO-5 shows homes dangerously close to the Cimarron River, May 22, 2019, near Crescent, Oka. KOCO-5 via AP
This image taken from video provided by KOCO-5 shows homes dangerously close to the Cimarron River, May 22, 2019, near Crescent, Oka. more +

Local authorities confirmed four deaths on Tuesday, including a woman who drove around a barricade and drowned in floodwaters in Perkins, Oklahoma; a 74-year-old woman who died as a result of her home being hit by a reported tornado in Adair, Iowa; and two deaths were attributed to a car accident in heavy rain near Springfield, Missouri.

PHOTO: Storm damage from a suspected tornado in Wright County at the Town and Country Supermarket in Hartville, Mo., May 21, 2019. Missouri State Highway Patrol via AP
Storm damage from a suspected tornado in Wright County at the Town and Country Supermarket in Hartville, Mo., May 21, 2019.

There was also concern in Webbers Falls, Oklahoma, where two barges broke free in swift water on the Arkansas River Wednesday evening and officials feared they could take out a dam downriver.

"Evacuate Webbers Falls immediately," the town said on its Facebook page. "The barges are loose and has the potential to hit the lock and dam 16. if the dam breaks it will be catastrophic!! Leave now!!"

Flood alerts were in effect in the Plains Wednesday. Another 4 inches of rain is expected in some of the already-flooded areas in the next 48 hours.

PHOTO: A house damaged in a tornado, May 20, 2019, in Mangum, Okla., is pictured from the air, May 21. A strong band of storms has spawned more than 30 tornadoes across the central U.S. Sue Ogrocki/AP
A house damaged in a tornado, May 20, 2019, in Mangum, Okla., is pictured from the air, May 21. A strong band of storms has spawned more than 30 tornadoes across the central U.S.more +
PHOTO: Hay bales and equipment are pictured in a flooded field, May 21, 2019, in Kingfisher, Okla. Flooding following heavy rains was an issue across the state. Sue Ogrocki/AP
Hay bales and equipment are pictured in a flooded field, May 21, 2019, in Kingfisher, Okla. Flooding following heavy rains was an issue across the state. more +

Joplin was the site of a catastrophic tornado, exactly eight years ago, on May 22, 2011. More than 150 people were killed in that natural disaster.

On Thursday, part of the storm system moves into the Northeast and brings a chance for severe weather from West Virginia to New England.

The Northeast is most at-risk for wind gusts, heavy rain, scattered hail and tornadoes during Thursday afternoon and evening.

The Plains will remain at risk for large hail, damaging winds and tornadoes at that time, too.

ABC News' Will Gretsky, Marilyn Heck, Reed Mcdonough and Melissa Griffin contributed to this report.

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Offline RE

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🌪️ Tornadoes destroy car dealership in Missouri
« Reply #796 on: May 23, 2019, 05:47:43 PM »
There's a few carz that won't be spitting out any CO2.

I wonder what his insurance claim will be for?

RE

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Offline RE

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Just in time for the next Hurricane to hit San Juan!

RE

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2019/5/23/18634376/congress-disaster-aid-puerto-rico-iowa-missouri

The Senate finally approved a disaster aid package with $1.4 billion for Puerto Rico

It took six months to get here.
By Li Zhouli@vox.com Updated May 23, 2019, 4:51pm EDT


The remains of homes that were heavily damaged by Hurricane Michael remain near the beach on May 9, 2019, in Mexico Beach, Florida. Scott Olson/Getty Images

After six months of fighting, the Senate has finally approved a deal on disaster aid, green-lighting $19.1 billion in relief to millions of Americans who have been waiting for help in the wake of devastating hurricanes, wildfires, and floods.

While disaster aid hasn’t always been a political flashpoint, the passage of this package proved especially challenging, given roadblocks thrown up by President Donald Trump. Initially, Trump took issue with the additional funding for hurricane-devastated Puerto Rico, spurring months of back-and-forth on the subject. Then, he requested $4.5 billion in aid for the border, which further complicated discussions.

The final disaster aid package, much like the funding that passed after the government shutdown earlier this year, does not really address either of Trump’s demands. Funding for border aid has been completely stripped out of the deal, and $1.4 billion in aid has been allocated to Puerto Rico. (Trump had previously balked at offering any more than $600 million in nutritional assistance.)

The House is expected to pass the legislation on Friday, and Trump has already agreed to sign it, according to Senate Appropriations Chair Richard Shelby, who spoke with the president via phone on Thursday.

Disaster aid is just proving to be the latest battleground where Trump caused major problems by inserting himself into the fight — with little to show for it.
Trump has been a big reason for the delay in disaster relief

Throughout the disaster aid negotiations, the wild card has continued to be Trump.

As Vox’s Tara Golshan reported, Democrats had pushed for additional funding to support Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria in 2017, while Trump had sought to limit that aid and actively railed against it. His longstanding aversion to helping Puerto Rico came down to allegations he’s made, with no evidence, about the regional government mismanaging funds — and it played a major role in delaying agreement on the package.

Democrats had argued that money to support the island needed to go beyond food stamps, and help bolster infrastructure, given the scale of the destruction. As a Washington Post report detailed, residents in Puerto Rico were struggling to get medical care, after a major regional hospital was damaged during the hurricane.

The White House’s additional request for border aid in May wound up emerging as a major sticking point as well. Though a chunk of the $4.5 billion ask was for humanitarian aid — both parties have agreed that large numbers of children and family migrants have overwhelmed US immigration resources at the southern border — Democrats opposed $1.1 billion in additional funds that would go to other operational costs like detention beds. Lawmakers are expected to consider this request at a later time, now that it’s been taken out of the deal.

On both points, Trump proved to be a big reason that progress on disaster aid had slowed to a halt.
The fallout of this delay is staggering

This delays on disaster aid have had major consequences: It’s now been more than a year since Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, seven months after Hurricane Michael hit Florida, and two months since flooding destroyed towns in Iowa and Missouri.

While lawmakers — and Trump — had been finagling what an appropriations package should look like, millions of people in these regions are waiting on aid. As Golshan reported, these disasters have affected Americans nationwide, and Congress was sitting on billions of dollars in money that’s needed to help rebuild housing, improve infrastructure resiliency, and provide nutritional assistance:

    At this point, the need for aid touches every part of the country — blue states and red states. A mid-March “bomb cyclone” has caused nearly $1.5 billion in damage in Nebraska alone. Farmers along the Missouri River in Missouri, Kansas, and Iowa are still trying to see how they can salvage their land. Iowa is estimating around a $214 million loss. California is still recovering from wildfires. And in the South, hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, and late freezes have all taken a toll on the agricultural industry and surrounding businesses.

As a result of this fight, people’s efforts to rebuild were left hanging in the balance while the partisan squabbles continued. And the politicization of this fight doesn’t bode well for the next time Americans may need help after a natural disaster.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2019, 02:00:04 AM by RE »
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Offline RE

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🌪️ Flooding threatens Memorial Day travel across the US
« Reply #798 on: May 24, 2019, 09:19:50 PM »
Flyover country will need Pontoon Boats for the Memorial Day Weekend BBQ!


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Time for Houseboats!


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https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/24/us/midwest-river-flooding.html

Flooding in the Midwest: 4 Rivers Surge, Along With Residents’ Worries

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Water from the Arkansas River flooded streets in Sand Springs, Okla., on Friday.CreditCreditNick Oxford for The New York Times

Flooding in the Midwest: 4 Rivers Surge, Along With Residents’ Worries

The threat of flooding has been relentless along four Midwestern rivers. With more crests coming, residents pile sandbags, watch levees and wait.

Water from the Arkansas River flooded streets in Sand Springs, Okla., on Friday.CreditCreditNick Oxford for The New York Times

  • May 24, 2019

ALTON, Ill. — To say that there is a powerful river in the Midwest that is threatening to flood communities nearby hardly narrows it down.

The Illinois, the Missouri, the Arkansas and the Mississippi Rivers were all at risk of spilling over in the coming days. The prospect put a patchwork of local and state officials on high alert on Friday, as they prepared sandbags, assembled barriers and nervously eyed the rising waters.

This spring has been a season of record-breaking floods across the Midwest, submerging farms, businesses and houses. Scientists have predicted that the flooding this year could be worse than the historic floods of 1993, which devastated the region.

And once again, the people who live along the four rivers were reminded of the delicate compact they have made, enjoying the beauty, recreation and commerce that the rivers provide, but also accepting their regular capability for destruction.

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In truth, these rivers are interconnected, each part making its contribution to the whole, said John Barry, whose 1997 book “Rising Tide” tells of the great flood of 1927 and the history of trying to tame the Mississippi River and its tributaries, which include the Illinois, the Missouri and the Arkansas.

At times, an overwhelming flood on one tributary can be devastating locally, but soon be subsumed into the larger system and forgotten. But when so many parts of what feeds the Mississippi River are experiencing record flooding, the effects are felt all the way down.

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The punishing rains are consistent with the effects of climate change, since warmer atmosphere can hold more moisture — and release it.

Add to that the complication of how flood crests along the Mississippi move at different speeds depending on conditions. The first flood crest of the season moves relatively quickly. The crests that follow are pushing against higher water, slowing everything down. The high floodwaters stay and stay, saturating the levees and building up pressure.

 

“It is one system,” Mr. Barry said.

Skyler Kates, 6, stood on a temporary flood wall as the Mississippi River pushed flood water into downtown Alton, Ill., on Friday.CreditWhitney Curtis for The New York Times
Image
Skyler Kates, 6, stood on a temporary flood wall as the Mississippi River pushed flood water into downtown Alton, Ill., on Friday.CreditWhitney Curtis for The New York Times

“Welcome to Alton,” reads the message painted on tall grain silos of downtown Alton, Ill., as the steadily rising Mississippi River pools menacingly at their base.

The thick horizontal lines near the bottom of the silos mark major floods of Alton’s past. The black line is for 1973. The red line, several feet higher, is for 1993. A short walk away is a memorial commemorating 10 major floods in Alton, beginning in 1844.

For the third time this spring, workers in Alton, a city of 26,000 people not far from St. Louis, have assembled a concrete wall to help stop the latest round of expected flooding. The Mississippi, which stretches from Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico, could crest in Alton on Sunday or Monday.

Marilyn Carroll, the owner of a business downtown, a small area lined with antique shops, pubs and a secondhand bookshop, said she has had enough. She tries not to look at the river, only steps from the back door of Chez Marilyn, her dark cocktail lounge with vintage movie posters in the front and a hair salon in the back.

“It’s nauseating, to be honest,” she said. “When you grow up in a river town, you take the river for granted. But now I hate seeing it.”

Customers keep coming in, chattering about all the rain that’s expected upriver, in Iowa and Northern Illinois.

“It’s just a detriment to your well-being to hear it,” she said. “I’m working all the time, trying to keep my mind off of it.”

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She busied herself with her customer, Darrell Voorhees, 61, carefully snipping away at his hair. Mr. Voorhees, a retired welder, recalled being summoned down to the river to fill sandbags back when he was in high school.

All spring, people in Alton have been dealing with flooding. The water rises, then recedes.

So does their relationship with the river, Mr. Voorhees said. “It’s a love-hate thing,” he said.

A flooded home in Sand Springs. This spring has been a season of record-breaking floods across the middle of the country.CreditNick Oxford for The New York Times
Image
A flooded home in Sand Springs. This spring has been a season of record-breaking floods across the middle of the country.CreditNick Oxford for The New York Times

In Sand Springs, Okla., local officials called what was happening on the Arkansas River dangerous. Homes were flooded nearly to their rooflines. Power was shut off in hundreds of other evacuated homes in anticipation of a deluge.

And yet, on Friday afternoon, some people were going toward the Arkansas, not away from it.

They came to see the water rushing out of the river’s Keystone Dam. The Army Corps of Engineers has been releasing water from the dam into the Arkansas River at a rate of 250,000 cubic feet per second, a flow it will continue through Sunday, after a week of heavy rainfall in the Tulsa region.

Beneath the persistent whoosh of the water, people stood on the banks beneath the dam, watching and sightseeing and taking pictures.

“It’s the No. 1 tourist attraction right now,” said Ernest Johnson, who lives in Tulsa.

“The public likes the river. We’ve been doing a lot of things in Tulsa to improve the use of the river, sightsee and riverwalks and bike-riding. This is just one of the risks you take living next to a river like this.”

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In Oklahoma, the Arkansas has the power to pull people in or push them away. In calmer weather, they sometimes forget it’s even there. The river — the nation’s sixth-longest, flowing through Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma and Arkansas — also connects the distinct cultures of those four distinct states.

“If it rains in Wichita, Kansas, that water is going to go right past my office in about a week,” said Grant Gerondale, the community development director in Sand Springs, a riverfront Tulsa suburb of 20,000 that was hard hit by flooding this week.

Officials are bracing for some of the worst flooding in decades in the Tulsa area this weekend, after the Army Corps of Engineers increased its release flow.

Several communities were recommending voluntary evacuations.

“We are not doing a mandatory evacuation,” the mayor of Tulsa, G.T. Bynum, told reporters Thursday evening. “We’re not going to drag somebody out of their house over this. But they need to know that if emergency personnel from our team comes to your house and tells you to leave, you have a couple hours before the floodwaters are expected to be in your neighborhood and you need to leave.”

A levee held back floodwaters from the Illinois River in Hardin, Ill., earlier this month. The river is forecast to crest on Monday.CreditWhitney Curtis for The New York Times
Image
A levee held back floodwaters from the Illinois River in Hardin, Ill., earlier this month. The river is forecast to crest on Monday.CreditWhitney Curtis for The New York Times

Hardin, Ill., a village of about 900 people, sits in a particularly unenviable spot this time of year, perched on the Illinois River near where it flows into the Mississippi River.

“When a flood happens, we’re trapped,” said Danielle Hurley, the city clerk, who on Friday afternoon was updating river forecasts every 20 minutes from the town office.

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Ms. Hurley, 53, said that there was little to do but wait, because of an immutable fact: “On the right side is the Illinois River, on the left is the Mississippi River.”

Ms. Hurley, who said she loved being out on the river, has studied its patterns during nearly three decades in Hardin.

The river, which runs fewer than 300 miles through Illinois, is forecast to crest on Monday at about 10 a.m.

Hardin has seen catastrophic floods before. There was 1993, when a 500-year flood swelled the river to more than 42 feet above flood level. And 1973, when the water climbed more than 38 feet above flood level.

And then there was earlier this month, May 7, when the river reached just under the 1973 mark, hitting its third-highest level in recent memory.

All those numbers matter because the Nutwood levee, just south of town, tops out at 38 feet. If the levee breaches, Illinois Route 16 would flood and the town would be cut off.

“If it goes, there’s no way out,” she said. “That’s our lifeline.”

Flooding this month led officials to close the Illinois River to traffic, and hundreds of volunteers, including school children and prison inmates, came to help fill sandbags. Those sandbags are still in place in front of Hardin’s homes and businesses — including Ms. Hurley’s house.

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Even if the Nutwood levee holds back the waters this weekend, Ms. Hardin said she was still concerned about its long-term stability, given all the water it has had to contain in recent months.

“The levee has taken a beating,” she said.

The Hawthorne Park apartments in Jefferson City, Mo., were hit hard by a tornado. On Friday, the complex was still strewn with debris and downed trees.CreditWhitney Curtis for The New York Times
Image
The Hawthorne Park apartments in Jefferson City, Mo., were hit hard by a tornado. On Friday, the complex was still strewn with debris and downed trees.CreditWhitney Curtis for The New York Times

Jefferson City, Mo., has been the site of dual crises this week.

As local officials prepared for flooding on the Missouri River, they were stunned by a tornado that ripped through town on Wednesday night, cutting a path through houses, restaurants and a car dealership.

On Friday, near downtown and the Missouri State Capitol, was the river, swollen, fierce and hours away from cresting.

Nearby, a few parking lots were filling with brownish water. Streets had been blocked off with orange traffic cones. Homes had been evacuated. Some curious passers-by milled around at the edges of the river, gazing across.

Because of the tornado, most state employees in Jefferson City had been told to stay home the rest of the week. The downtown had a deserted, empty feel, with businesses shuttered and few people milling around.

“I remember the 1993 flood,” said Laura Stratman, who works downtown, as she walked a few blocks from the river on Friday. “Everything around here was just literally surrounded by water.”

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Working near the river requires negotiations. When it floods, the street closures snarl downtown, making parking a puzzle and disrupting traffic.

“We just work around it — you have to,” said Brandon Owens, a body piercer who was on his way to his tattoo shop. “It looks really high now. It’s overwhelming.”

Even as emergency personnel blocked off more streets along the Missouri on Friday, pedestrians continued to set off on foot across it, taking a walkway on a bridge.

You can be drawn to the Missouri but also in awe of its power, said Carrie Tergin, the mayor of Jefferson City, as she coordinated cleanup efforts from the tornado while simultaneously tracking developments on the Missouri.

“It’s why we’re here, it’s why the capital was built here,” she said. “All the commerce came down the river. The river is who we are, but we also respect the river. We are reminded that we’re not in control of nature. And we wouldn’t want it any other way.”

Julie Bosman reported from Alton, Ill., and Jefferson City, Mo., and Manny Fernandez from Houston. Contributing reporting were Timothy Williams and John Schwartz in New York and Nick Oxford in Sand Springs, Okla.

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Offline RE

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🌪️ 2 Dead, Damage Extensive After Tornado Moves Through El Reno
« Reply #800 on: May 26, 2019, 02:45:56 AM »
Many more vids at the link.

RE

https://www.news9.com/story/40534385/2-dead-damage-extensive-after-tornado-moves-through-el-reno

Breaking News: 2 Dead, Damage Extensive After Tornado Moves Through El Reno


<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/bQzvjp49sck" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/bQzvjp49sck</a>


Multiple nighttime tornadoes moved through central Oklahoma, including in El Reno, where a tornado killed two people Saturday night. The Canadian County storm caused significant damage at the American Budget Value Inn near Interstate 40 and Highway 81 and the Skyview Mobile Home Park, right behind the hotel.

Mayor Matt White confirmed the fatalities at a 2 a.m. news conference. He also announced that a shelter has been opened at the El Reno VFW, located at 1515 Rock Island Avenue.

 

A tornado also moved through parts of Oklahoma City. Significant damage was reported along a path from 23rd Street and Classen Boulevard toward the state Capitol at 23rd Street and Lincoln Boulevard.

Here are some of the other damage reports we've been able to confirm:

-- Confirmed damage to Trinity Baptist Church at NW 23rd and Classen. News 9's Lee Benson did this report from there:

 

-- Confirmed multiple trees uprooted NW 19th to NW23rd from Blackwelder to McKinley. News 9 Storm Tracker Marty Logan did this report from the area.

 

-- Confirmed damage to Rainbow Records building at NW 23rd and Classen.

-- Confirmed damage to Paseo Arts Festival. Patrons in Sauced restaurant had to take cover in the basement. Watch News 9's Lisa Monahan interviewed one of the patrons.

If you have damage photos or video, email them to us at pics@news9.net.
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Offline RE

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🌪️ TWISTA hits Dayton!
« Reply #801 on: May 27, 2019, 09:22:27 PM »
Fucked up html.  Hadda delete.

RE
« Last Edit: May 27, 2019, 09:57:01 PM by RE »
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Offline RE

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🌪️ Best Tornado Chaser Vid EVAH!
« Reply #802 on: May 27, 2019, 09:58:53 PM »
Not this one, from 2106, but really good.

RE

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Offline RE

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🌪️ Tornadoes tear through Ohio ‘It looks like the apocalypse’
« Reply #803 on: May 28, 2019, 12:34:00 AM »
Fast Collapse ARRIVES in Dayton, Ohio.

Tomorrow's daylight vids should be interesting.

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🌪️ MOAR Twistas Today!
« Reply #804 on: May 28, 2019, 05:08:07 AM »
It's a rough spring out there in Tornado Alley.  :o

RE

https://abcnews.go.com/US/80000-power-deaths-reported-ohio-tornado/story?id=63314869



 

80,000 without power, but no deaths reported from Ohio tornado

PHOTO: This image from Tuesday, May 28, 2019, shows the view from an Ohio Department of Transportation vehicle clearing storm debris on Interstate 75 north of Dayton, Ohio.Ohio Department of Transportation via AP
WatchMassive Ohio tornado leaves trail of destruction
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More than 80,000 people in Ohio were without power early Tuesday morning following a massive tornado, but no deaths had yet been reported.

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Local authorities used snowplows to clear debris from major thoroughfares.

PHOTO: This image from Tuesday, May 28, 2019, shows the view from an Ohio Department of Transportation vehicle clearing storm debris on Interstate 75 north of Dayton, Ohio. Ohio Department of Transportation via AP
This image from Tuesday, May 28, 2019, shows the view from an Ohio Department of Transportation vehicle clearing storm debris on Interstate 75 north of Dayton, Ohio.more +

On Memorial Day, 51 tornadoes were reported across eight states -- Idaho, Colorado, Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio -- and severe weather is forecast to continue Tuesday and Wednesday.

The biggest threat for tornadoes on Tuesday is from Kansas City into western Illinois. Parts of Ohio and Pennsylvania also are at risk again for tornadoes, while other areas including Oklahoma City and parts of Texas may again see damaging wind and hail.

PHOTO: Much of the Midwest is bracing for more severe weather on Tuesday. ABC News
Much of the Midwest is bracing for more severe weather on Tuesday.

Similar threats on Wednesday will stretch from Texas all the way to New Jersey, with tornado threats highest in the southern Plains. More heavy rain could mean more flooding.

PHOTO: Severe storms are expected to continue on Wednesday. ABC News
Severe storms are expected to continue on Wednesday.
PHOTO: Flood watches and alerts have been issued for Tuesday. ABC News
Flood watches and alerts have been issued for Tuesday.

A day after Chicago's wettest Memorial Day ever, with nearly 2 inches of rain reported, seven states from Montana down to Texas are under flood alerts.

The Arkansas River near Forth Smith is approaching record flood levels, which could produce major flooding in Little Rock by the end of the week.

PHOTO: More heavy rain is expected this week. ABC News
More heavy rain is expected this week.

Rainfall the rest of the week, from Texas all the way into the Northeast, could be substantial and contribute to more flash flooding.pass in varsity game

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Offline RE

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...and the Twistas just keep on comin'...

On the upside, only 80K Industrial Civilization Homo Industrialis are without power.  :icon_sunny:

RE


May 28, 2019
At least 1 killed after large, destructive overnight tornado strikes Dayton, nearby Ohio communities
By Renee Duff, AccuWeather meteorologist
By Ashley Williams, AccuWeather staff writer


The sun rising over Dayton, Ohio, and surrounding communities Tuesday morning revealed the devastating path of significant damage and debris left behind by a deadly overnight tornado that struck Dayton and nearby areas including Vandalia, damaging dozens of structures.

These areas were under a tornado emergency as the dangerous tornado was reported late Monday night. At least one fatality has been reported in Celina, which is about 75 miles northwest of Dayton, as of Tuesday morning. The National Weather Service (NWS) called it a life-threatening situation as the tornado swept through the heavily populated area.

"A large, dangerous tornado touched down last night in northwest Montgomery County. We are focused on supporting life-saving measures, such as shutting down gas lines or locating people who are trapped by debris," a post on the county's Twitter page said. "Call 911 or contact your local fire station for emergency assistance."

Overnight and early morning pictures on social media showed strewn trees and severely damaged homes in the area. Law enforcement reported that the New Life Worship Center just north of Dayton was completely destroyed.

(AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Storm-damaged homes remain after a tornado passed through the area the previous evening, Tuesday, May 28, 2019, in Brookville, Ohio.

(AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Storm damaged homes remain after a tornado passed through the area the previous evening, Tuesday, May 28, 2019, in Brookville, Ohio.

(AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Storm damage litters a residential neighborhood, Tuesday, May 28, 2019, in Vandalia, Ohio.

(AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Storm damage litters a residential neighborhood, Tuesday, May 28, 2019, in Vandalia, Ohio.

(AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Storm damage litters a residential neighborhood, Tuesday, May 28, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio.

(AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Storm damage liters a residential neighborhood, Tuesday, May 28, 2019, in Vandalia, Ohio.

(AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Storm damage litters a residential neighborhood, Tuesday, May 28, 2019, in Vandalia, Ohio.

(AP Photo/John Minchillo)

A section of roof remains torn from Brookville High School after a tornado hit the area the previous evening, Tuesday, May 28, 2019, in Brookville, Ohio.

(AP Photo/John Minchillo)

A section of roof remains torn from Brookville High School after a tornado hit the area the previous evening, Tuesday, May 28, 2019, in Brookville, Ohio.

(AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Storm damage litters a residential neighborhood, Tuesday, May 28, 2019, in Vandalia, Ohio.

(AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Storm damage liters a residential neighborhood, Tuesday, May 28, 2019, in Vandalia, Ohio.

(AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Homes stand damaged after a tornado passed through the area the previous evening, Tuesday, May 28, 2019, in Brookville, Ohio.

(Instagram photo/@yojoshmartinez)

"It’s the first time I’ve encountered a tornado. Luckily I’m far enough way where we only lost power," wrote an Instagram user who shared this image during a tornado that struck Dayton, Ohio.

(Twitter photo/@MichaelTope)

Debris is strewn around outside of an apartment complex in Dayton, Ohio, after a tornado struck the area late on May 27.

(Twitter photo/@MichaelTope)

A home in Dayton, Ohio, suffered damage after after at least one tornado struck the city late on May 27.

(Photo/Ohio Department of Transportation)

Damage is strewn across Interstate 75 north of Dayton, Ohio, on Monday night.

(Twitter photo/@MichaelTope)

The interior of a home suffered considerable damage following a tornado that struck Dayton, Ohio, on May 27.

(Twitter photo/@MichaelTope)

"Our home is destroyed...I never thought that this kind of thing would ever happen," tweeted Michael Tope in the early morning hours of May 28 after a tornado hit his house in Dayton, Ohio.

(Twitter photo/@EquateHD)

Trees cover the ground in a Dayton, Ohio, neighborhood in the early morning hours of May 28 after a tornado devastated the area late Monday night.

(Twitter photo/@ODOT_Dayton)

Trucks and crews with the Ohio Department of Transportation worked to clear debris off of Interstate 75 north of Dayton in the early morning hours of May 28, following a tornado strike.

(Instagram photo/@yojoshmartinez)

"It’s the first time I’ve encountered a tornado. Luckily I’m far enough way where we only lost power," wrote an Instagram user who shared this image during a tornado that struck Dayton, Ohio.

(Instagram photo/@dramatic_jellyfish)

A tornado left behind damage outside of a home in Brookville, Ohio, on Monday night.

(Instagram photo/@dramatic_jellyfish)

A tornado left behind damage outside of a home in Brookville, Ohio, on Monday night.

(Instagram photo/ @jordanlynnfreshour)

Instagram user captured the damage from the tornado that struck Dayton, Ohio, at Troy Pike north of Stanley on Tuesday morning.

(Instagram photo/Ellis Pilcher)

"Welp, I saw my first tornado last night," Instagram user Ellis Pilcher wrote in a post on Tuesday morning. "We are in Dayton and there were 6 tornadoes in Southern Ohio, one of them happened to come through our neighbourhood."
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The City of Dayton is asking residents to conserve water as power has been lost at both water plants and pump stations. The City of Dayton has also issued a boil water advisory for water customers in all of Dayton and Montgomery Counties, officials tweeted on Tuesday morning. The city is setting up water distribution centers at some Red Cross shelters and other locations.

Residents living in a mobile home park Northridge, a town just north of Dayton, have told media they've been informed that they may be living without electricity for a week.

City officials, including Mayor Nan Whaley, gave an update on the tornado damage at a press conference at Dayton's City Hall at 7 a.m. Tuesday. "We have yet to find one fatality, and we have had three minor injuries," said Dayton's fire chief, Jeffrey Payne, at the conference. "I find that pretty miraculous, and I attribute much of that to the early notification to the public, and then the public heeding those warnings and getting shelter."

However, in Mercer County, where Celina is located, Mayor Jeffrey Hazel confirmed at a 9 a.m. press conference on Tuesday that one storm-related death occurred Monday night in the area after an 81-year-old man was killed after a car crashed through his home, where he was alone.

Montgomery County Sheriff Rob Streck told WKEF-TV in Dayton that the storm damage is the worst he has seen in his career.


Some schools have announced closures on Tuesday due to the storm damage. Shelters have opened up throughout the area. The shelter that was set up at Trotwood High School is being relocated after the school lost power.

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Residents are being told to stay off the roads.

The tornado's path crossed directly over Interstate 75. The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) is urging people to avoid the area north of downtown Dayton. Snowplows are being used to clear debris off the interstate.

"Our crews are assisting with debris cleanup from a tornado that hit about an hour ago," ODOT said on Twitter. "Please give them and emergency crews room to work."

A forecaster from WYMT-TV listening to scanner traffic from the Dayton area reported that rescue crews are "scrambling to mobilize" and "damage sounds catastrophic."

There have been reports of rescue crews going house to house looking for trapped residents.


Weather radar indicated debris was lofted tens of thousands of feet into the atmosphere, indicating that a strong and dangerous tornado was on the ground.

Less than 30 minutes after the large tornado swept through the Dayton metro area, yet another tornado-producing thunderstorm was targeting the same areas that were struck by the first tornado.

Several other tornadoes were reported in Ohio on Monday night, including in Celina, where numerous trees and power lines were downed.

Structural damage was reported to a house and barn in Laurelville around 1:10 a.m. EDT Tuesday.

In Beavercreek, the mayor has declared a state of emergency and many gas leaks have been reported across the town after a likely tornado swept through the town.


Power outages were affecting over 80,000 customers across Ohio at one point early Tuesday morning.

"We're in for a multi-day restoration effort," Dayton Power & Light said on Twitter.

The Dayton-based Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, which was under a tornado warning for a time during the height of the severe weather, tweeted Tuesday morning that it is open and that personnel who are not injured or dealing with damages preventing them from working should report for duty at normal reporting times while being cautious and checking for any road closures.

In a 24-hour period, the NWS Storm Prediction Center recorded 60 tornado reports across eight states. In Ohio, the NWS plans to conduct several storm surveys in areas including Celina, New Madison, Dayton, Laura and Laurelville on Tuesday and over the next few days to assess the damage.

Severe weather and tornado dangers will continue across Ohio on Tuesday and expand eastward into Pennsylvania, southern New York, Maryland and New Jersey.
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🌪️ 11 Straight Days of Tornadoes - A new record!
« Reply #806 on: May 28, 2019, 12:45:55 PM »
The new normal.

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« Reply #807 on: May 28, 2019, 07:01:39 PM »
They should just move all of Flyover Country to Oz already.

More photos at the link.

BTW, Peak Tornado Season isn't until June & July.  :o

RE

https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/28/us/severe-weather-tornadoes-flooding-tuesday-wxc/index.html

Swath of Kansas hit by a tornado

By Jason Hanna, Artemis Moshtaghian and Darran Simon, CNN


Updated 9:32 PM ET, Tue May 28, 2019
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(CNN)A large tornado touched down Tuesday in Kansas, striking the southeast portion of Lawrence, according to the National Weather Service.
The weather service issued a tornado emergency for Kansas City, Missouri and its densely populated western suburbs.
Along with twisters in Ohio and scorching heat in the South, the Kansas tornado was part of the severe weather engulfing parts of the country.
While residents in Linwood, Kansas, 15 miles east of Lawrence, appeared to be safe, dozens of homes just outside city limits are "all gone," Linwood Mayor Brian Christenson told CNN in a phone interview.

Christenson said he sheltered in his basement along with about 20 other residents as the tornado moved through shortly before 7 p.m. The mayor said crews and residents are out helping other in Linwood.
"We have local crews moving stuff around. City crews are moving with tractors, a lot of civilians are helping cut trees off cars and off houses," he said.
Storm damage destroyed a home in Linwood, Kansas.
Storm damage destroyed a home in Linwood, Kansas.
Dozens of tornadoes reported this week
The weather service received more than 55 tornado reports in eight states Monday and Tuesday. Parts of Oklahoma and Kansas were still under tornado warnings on Tuesday, CNN Meteorologist Taylor Ward said
Carl Shackleford Jr. carries his father&#39;s memorial flag out of a damaged apartment in Trotwood.
Photos: 'Devastation everywhere' after tornadoes tear through western Ohio
Carl Shackleford Jr. carries his father's memorial flag out of a damaged apartment in Trotwood.
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A man stands in the parking lot of Brookville High School.
Photos: 'Devastation everywhere' after tornadoes tear through western Ohio
A man stands in the parking lot of Brookville High School.
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A Trotwood resident looks at damaged homes.
Photos: 'Devastation everywhere' after tornadoes tear through western Ohio
A Trotwood resident looks at damaged homes.
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Damage and debris are seen in this photo from Celina.
Photos: 'Devastation everywhere' after tornadoes tear through western Ohio
Damage and debris are seen in this photo from Celina.
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Debris from an apartment complex lies on top of a car in Trotwood.
Photos: 'Devastation everywhere' after tornadoes tear through western Ohio
Debris from an apartment complex lies on top of a car in Trotwood.
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A tree barely stands in Celina.
Photos: 'Devastation everywhere' after tornadoes tear through western Ohio
A tree barely stands in Celina.
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A home&#39;s window is damaged in Celina.
Photos: 'Devastation everywhere' after tornadoes tear through western Ohio
A home's window is damaged in Celina.
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Damage is seen at the Westbrooke Village Apartment complex in Trotwood, Ohio, just outside of Dayton on Tuesday, May 28.
Photos: 'Devastation everywhere' after tornadoes tear through western Ohio
Damage is seen at the Westbrooke Village Apartment complex in Trotwood, Ohio, just outside of Dayton on Tuesday, May 28.
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Residents sort through damaged apartments in Trotwood.
Photos: 'Devastation everywhere' after tornadoes tear through western Ohio
Residents sort through damaged apartments in Trotwood.
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Mud covers a flipped car in Celina, Ohio, on May 28.
Photos: 'Devastation everywhere' after tornadoes tear through western Ohio
Mud covers a flipped car in Celina, Ohio, on May 28.
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An aerial photo shows a damaged home in Brookville, which is a suburb of Dayton. &quot;We went out in the streets and children were screaming and crying,&quot; &lt;a href=&quot;https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/28/us/dayton-ohio-tornado-michael-sussman/index.html&quot; target=&quot;_blank&quot;&gt;Brookville resident Michael Sussman told CNN.&lt;/a&gt; &quot;Devastation everywhere.&quot;
Photos: 'Devastation everywhere' after tornadoes tear through western Ohio
An aerial photo shows a damaged home in Brookville, which is a suburb of Dayton. "We went out in the streets and children were screaming and crying," Brookville resident Michael Sussman told CNN. "Devastation everywhere."
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Daniel Williams walks through his damaged house in Clayton, Ohio.
Photos: 'Devastation everywhere' after tornadoes tear through western Ohio
Daniel Williams walks through his damaged house in Clayton, Ohio.
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Neighbors walk past Williams&#39; destroyed home in Clayton.
Photos: 'Devastation everywhere' after tornadoes tear through western Ohio
Neighbors walk past Williams' destroyed home in Clayton.
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A utility pole lies in a street in Vandalia, Ohio. More than 70,000 utility customers were without power in Ohio, the weather service in Wilmington said early May 28, citing data from the US Department of Energy.
Photos: 'Devastation everywhere' after tornadoes tear through western Ohio
A utility pole lies in a street in Vandalia, Ohio. More than 70,000 utility customers were without power in Ohio, the weather service in Wilmington said early May 28, citing data from the US Department of Energy.
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Carl Shackleford Jr. carries his father&#39;s memorial flag out of a damaged apartment in Trotwood.
Photos: 'Devastation everywhere' after tornadoes tear through western Ohio
Carl Shackleford Jr. carries his father's memorial flag out of a damaged apartment in Trotwood.
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A man stands in the parking lot of Brookville High School.
Photos: 'Devastation everywhere' after tornadoes tear through western Ohio
A man stands in the parking lot of Brookville High School.
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A Trotwood resident looks at damaged homes.
Photos: 'Devastation everywhere' after tornadoes tear through western Ohio
A Trotwood resident looks at damaged homes.
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Damage and debris are seen in this photo from Celina.
Photos: 'Devastation everywhere' after tornadoes tear through western Ohio
Damage and debris are seen in this photo from Celina.
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Debris from an apartment complex lies on top of a car in Trotwood.
Photos: 'Devastation everywhere' after tornadoes tear through western Ohio
Debris from an apartment complex lies on top of a car in Trotwood.
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A tree barely stands in Celina.
Photos: 'Devastation everywhere' after tornadoes tear through western Ohio
A tree barely stands in Celina.
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A home&#39;s window is damaged in Celina.
Photos: 'Devastation everywhere' after tornadoes tear through western Ohio
A home's window is damaged in Celina.
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Damage is seen at the Westbrooke Village Apartment complex in Trotwood, Ohio, just outside of Dayton on Tuesday, May 28.
Photos: 'Devastation everywhere' after tornadoes tear through western Ohio
Damage is seen at the Westbrooke Village Apartment complex in Trotwood, Ohio, just outside of Dayton on Tuesday, May 28.
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Residents sort through damaged apartments in Trotwood.
Photos: 'Devastation everywhere' after tornadoes tear through western Ohio
Residents sort through damaged apartments in Trotwood.
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Mud covers a flipped car in Celina, Ohio, on May 28.
Photos: 'Devastation everywhere' after tornadoes tear through western Ohio
Mud covers a flipped car in Celina, Ohio, on May 28.
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An aerial photo shows a damaged home in Brookville, which is a suburb of Dayton. &quot;We went out in the streets and children were screaming and crying,&quot; &lt;a href=&quot;https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/28/us/dayton-ohio-tornado-michael-sussman/index.html&quot; target=&quot;_blank&quot;&gt;Brookville resident Michael Sussman told CNN.&lt;/a&gt; &quot;Devastation everywhere.&quot;
Photos: 'Devastation everywhere' after tornadoes tear through western Ohio
An aerial photo shows a damaged home in Brookville, which is a suburb of Dayton. "We went out in the streets and children were screaming and crying," Brookville resident Michael Sussman told CNN. "Devastation everywhere."
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Daniel Williams walks through his damaged house in Clayton, Ohio.
Photos: 'Devastation everywhere' after tornadoes tear through western Ohio
Daniel Williams walks through his damaged house in Clayton, Ohio.
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Neighbors walk past Williams&#39; destroyed home in Clayton.
Photos: 'Devastation everywhere' after tornadoes tear through western Ohio
Neighbors walk past Williams' destroyed home in Clayton.
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A utility pole lies in a street in Vandalia, Ohio. More than 70,000 utility customers were without power in Ohio, the weather service in Wilmington said early May 28, citing data from the US Department of Energy.
Photos: 'Devastation everywhere' after tornadoes tear through western Ohio
A utility pole lies in a street in Vandalia, Ohio. More than 70,000 utility customers were without power in Ohio, the weather service in Wilmington said early May 28, citing data from the US Department of Energy.
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04 severe weather 0528 TROTWOOD OH
17 severe weather 0528 TROTWOOD OH
13 severe weather 0528 CELINA OH
11 severe weather 0528 BROOKVILLE OH
15 severe weather 0528 CLAYTON OH
16 severe weather 0528 CLAYTON OH
10 severe weather 0528 VANDALIA OH
05 severe weather 0528 TROTWOOD OH
14 severe weather 0528 BROOKVILLE OH
06 severe weather 0528 TROTWOOD OH
09 severe weather 0528 CELINA OH
07 severe weather 0528 TROTWOOD OH
08 severe weather 0528 CELINA OH
12 severe weather 0528 CELINA OH
More than 500 tornado reports have been made across the nation in the last 30 days.
There are only four other recorded instances when more than 500 US tornadoes were observed in a 30-day period: in 2003, 2004, 2008 and 2011, according to Patrick Marsh, a meteorologist with the weather service's Storm Prediction Center.
Tulsa braces for record flooding and strained levees
In Tulsa, Mayor G.T. Bynum warned residents earlier Tuesday to prepare for the "worse-case scenario" of potential flooding as more rain is expected in the Oklahoma city.
The Army Corps of Engineers has been releasing about 275,000 cubic feet of water per second from the Keystone Dam, about 20 miles west of Tulsa -- which is the equivalent of three Olympic-sized pools -- to keep Keystone Lake from topping the floodgates.
Doing so will increase the strain on some of Tulsa's levees, Bynum said.
Bynum said it's too early to tell how the storms expected late Tuesday and possibly Wednesday could impact the release of water from the Keystone Dam. He urged residents to prepare for record levels of water release from the dam.
"We are planning for and preparing for the flood of record, and we think everybody along the Arkansas River corridor ought to be doing the same," Bynum said.
The mayor said the levees "continue to operate as they're designed."
Members of the Oklahoma National Guard are walking the levees to check the conditions, he said. Bynum said while "it's high risk," it's not an emergency between the levees. He encouraged those living near the levees to temporarily relocate.
Floodwaters inundate scores of homes Monday near Sand Springs, Oklahoma, a suburb of Tulsa.
Floodwaters inundate scores of homes Monday near Sand Springs, Oklahoma, a suburb of Tulsa.
The release of water from the Keystone Dam is contributing to flooding, however, near Sand Springs, just west of Tulsa. Scores of homes there were surrounded by floodwaters, and some homes had 2 to 6 feet of water in them, residents told a CNN crew there.
Jeremy Herrington told Tulsa television station KOTV on Monday that his house outside Sand Springs was flooded.
"It's been a complete upheaval of our life and everything the last six days, and we don't know when it's going to end," Herrington told KOTV.
Central US reels from week of deadly weather
Central US reels from week of deadly weather
Tulsa and western Arkansas are both under a flash flood watch until Thursday morning, with 1 to 3 inches of rain expected between Tuesday night and then, Ward said. Tulsa is also under a flash flood warning for the ongoing flooding on the Arkansas river as well, Ward said.
The weather service warned of "very large hail" and tornado threats for Tulsa.
Oklahoma's rainfall from January 1 through Monday was 50% above normal -- making this the fourth wettest year to date on record, according to the Oklahoma Climatological Survey.
Tornadoes and floods ravaged the nation's heartland
&#39;I looked up and I no longer had a roof&#39;
'I looked up and I no longer had a roof'
On the heels of a week of deadly weather in the central United States, Tuesday threatened more of the same, including possible severe storms in the Plains, South, Midwest and Northeast; dangerous flooding in many states; and a suffocating heat wave in the Southeast.
In western Ohio, crews began cleaning up Tuesday after storms and tornadoes left swaths of devastation overnight, killing at least one person and injuring dozens
At least three tornadoes were believed to have caused severe damage Monday night in western Ohio, including one in the city of Celina, where one man was killed and seven others were injured, Mayor Jeff Hazel said.
The storm apparently pushed a vehicle into a house there, killing Melvin Dale Hanna, 81, Hazel said.
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine on Tuesday declared a state of emergency for three counties impacted by the severe weather.
Aerial drone footage above Celina -- roughly 70 miles northwest of Dayton -- showed houses destroyed, with wood and other debris scattered for acres near a pond there Tuesday morning.
Aerial drone footage show debris scattered for acres in the western Ohio city of Celina.
Aerial drone footage show debris scattered for acres in the western Ohio city of Celina.
Two tornadoes also are believed to have slammed the Dayton area Monday night just 30 minutes apart, and both crossed Interstate 75 near the city, the National Weather Service says.
One twister ripped through Michael Sussman's home in Brookville, northwest of Dayton. He said he'd just walked into a hallway when a front room was blown apart.
"I was hit by debris in my head," Sussman said. "I looked up and I no longer had a roof." He and his daughter and her boyfriend, who were hiding in a bathtub, dodged swinging electrical wires and debris as they left.
"We went out in the streets and children were screaming and crying. Devastation everywhere."
Every single county in Oklahoma is under a state of emergency
Every single county in Oklahoma is under a state of emergency
'Catastrophic' flooding possible in Arkansas
Parts of Oklahoma and Arkansas have been battling flooding for days -- and additional rain was expected Tuesday to aggravate already-dangerous flood levels there
Major flooding was underway Tuesday morning in western Arkansas along the Arkansas River.
Parts of the river could soon crest over 4 feet above the record, meaning "catastrophic flooding is possible in the towns of Van Buren and Fort Smith," CNN meteorologist Dave Hennen said.
The river was rising around North Little Rock, the city government said Tuesday on Facebook.
"The first thing everyone needs to understand is we are dealing with two situations. One is the rising river. The second is the ability to drain any storm water we might get here in our city over the coming days," it said on Facebook. "Our city's storm water drains to the river and if it can't go out, it could cause additional flooding."
City engineers are working with the US Army Corps of Engineers to monitor the forecasted river levels and determine the areas that could be affected, the city said.
"The Mayor's office will be coordinating staff to visit every home potentially affected by flooding," the city said. "We will be knocking on doors in the coming days to inform them of the potential threats to their homes."

Officials will also be dropping tons of sand to multiple locations and have "thousands of sandbags available."
Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly spelled the name of Melvin Dale Hanna.
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🌪️ Today's Twistas LIVE from Kansas City
« Reply #808 on: May 28, 2019, 08:19:05 PM »
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« Last Edit: May 28, 2019, 08:37:48 PM by RE »
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🌪️ More than 200 tornadoes devastated the Midwest over 13 days. Why?
« Reply #809 on: May 29, 2019, 04:23:01 PM »
Apparently you can predict when the likelihood will be greater for tornadic activity, but you still can't predict exactly when or where they will touch down until briefly before they actually do that.  At that point, what can you really do?  Nada, just hunker down in the basement while your mobile home is turned into Matchsticks or warehouse into Razorblades.

Improve the building codes?  Yea good idea except it will cost a FORTUNE to put up buildings everywhere in Tornado Alley capable of withstanding an EF3 or higher.  The likelihood a tornado actually touches down on YOUR street remains fairly small, so you "risk it", build a storm shelter and buy insurance, right?  But will your insurance company pay out, totaling your home and build you a new one?  How often do you think that happens?

RE

https://www.vox.com/2019/5/29/18643166/tornado-2019-ohio-kansas-missouri

More than 200 tornadoes devastated the Midwest over 13 days. Why?

The spike in tornado activity this week, explained.
By Umair Irfan Updated May 29, 2019, 6:51pm EDT


A tornado touches down on May 28, 2019, in Lawrence, Kansas. It’s one of nearly 100 tornadoes reported in the past week across the United States. Kyle Rivas/Getty Images

Tornadoes have been tearing up huge swaths of the United States this week, leaving death and devastation in their wake. On Monday alone, about 55 tornadoes may have touched down, and at least 27 tornadoes were reported Tuesday. That made Tuesday the 12th consecutive day with at least eight reported tornadoes, beating the record set in 1980. The Washington Post reported Wednesday that 225 tornadoes have been confirmed since May 17.

Idaho, Colorado, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Ohio, Indiana, and Pennsylvania all saw massive twisters touch down over the past several days. Several people were killed, dozens injured, and hundreds of homes were destroyed. Walls of some buildings were ripped off, making them look like dollhouses.

Some of the most severe damage was reported near Dayton, Ohio on Monday, where repair crews had to use snowplows to clear debris. Tuesday evening, a mile-wide tornado landed near Lawrence, Kansas, about 40 miles west of Kansas City. It injured at least 12 people and damaged around 30 houses.

While it’s not unusual to have tornadoes several days in a row during tornado season in late spring and early summer, the sheer number this spring stands out.

“We haven’t seen a pattern this productive and that remained so productive for many, many years,” said Anton Seimon, a research assistant professor at Appalachian State University who studies thunderstorms and tornadoes.

Researchers say several factors brewing for weeks converged to lead to such a prolific outbreak of tornadoes, but they’re rooted in a weather pattern that originated halfway around the globe more than a month ago. And at least one scientist saw it coming.
A strong jet stream fuels strong thunderstorms, which spawn strong tornadoes

A tornado is a rapidly rotating air column that reaches from clouds on down to the ground. They’re a common phenomenon in some parts of the United States, emerging from strong thunderstorms.

In the US, clusters of tornadoes like the ones we’ve seen this week are fueled by warm, moist air coming from the Gulf of Mexico east of the Rocky Mountains, Seimon said. In places like Florida, the energy embedded in that moisture is dissipated in the form of frequent but relatively weak thunderstorms.
Rain obscures the view of a tornado on May 28, 2019 in Lawrence, Kansas. The Midwest has seen extensive severe weather this spring with widespread flooding and multiple tornadoes.
Rain obscures the view of a tornado on May 28, 2019, in Lawrence, Kansas. The Midwest has seen extensive severe weather this spring with widespread flooding and multiple tornadoes. Kyle Rivas/Getty Images

However, over the central United States, that energy can build up. In the spring months of March and April, there is a temperature gradient between the cooler northern parts of the United States and the warmer southern regions.

This gradient normally weakens by the end of May as the northern part of the country heats up. But if that gradient remains steep, as it has this year, it leads to an unusually strong jet stream, the narrow, fast-moving air current circling the planet at high altitudes.

A strong jet stream is instrumental in creating the conditions that promote strong, rotating thunderstorms called supercells. These are the least common but most violent type of thunderstorm. And they act as a vent for all that pent-up energy in the atmosphere and spawn tornadoes like the ones we’ve seen this week.
This scientist saw this spate of tornadoes coming

Hints that huge numbers of tornadoes would crop up this week started to emerge more than a month ago, according to Victor Gensini, a professor of meteorology at Northern Illinois University.

The key signal that tornadoes were coming in the US is a phenomenon known as the Madden-Julian oscillation. Similar to El Niño, it’s a periodic swing in temperature and moisture. But unlike El Niño, the MJO originates over the Indian Ocean rather than the Pacific Ocean, it varies on a week-to-week scale rather than over the course of years, and the pattern moves eastward rather than staying put.

“Our atmosphere is a fluid,” explained Gensini. “Imagine somebody is in a pool over in the Indian Ocean bouncing up and down with a raft. That sends waves out across the Pacific Ocean in the form of the jet stream. A few weeks later, those waves arrive in North America and produce these severe weather regimes.”

This year, Gensini’s research team saw a significant increase in activity over the Indian Ocean. Such a strong signal isn’t common, but it allowed his team to create a forecast of opportunity that projected high likelihood of tornado activity in late May.

“Around April 20, we started noticing a big swell up of convection, or thunderstorm activity, in the Indian Ocean,” Gensini said. “When you begin to see that, there are reasons to believe that the pattern in the United States for severe weather will start to favor tornadoes and hailstorms.”

He even discussed some of his findings in early May in an internet forum for storm chasers. “I think the [Northern Hemisphere] pattern is coming together for a pretty outstanding May for severe convective storms in the US (especially in comparison to the last few years!),” he wrote on May 1. “Should this turn into an active MJO and propagate across the Maritime Continent, it would have mouth watering for the back half of May.”

These kinds of predictions are part of an emerging field in meteorology known as sub-seasonal forecasting, and Gensini’s latest work has impressed other scientists. “I’m in awe of the skill represented,” Seimon said of Gensini’s tornado predictions. “He called it.”

But such strong warnings don’t always crop up, so it’s difficult to make similar predictions for every kind of tornado.

For now, forecasters expect that the storm system generated by the latest MJO is on its way out. “Things are going to quiet down as the jet stream begins to weaken and shift further north into Canada,” Gensini said. “We seem to be through the worst of it.”

But much of the US is still in tornado season, and supercells aren’t the only things that make tornadoes. “Many, many tornadoes come out of many configurations of the atmosphere,” Seimon said. That means other kinds of smaller storm systems can still generate tornadoes.
Storm damages are getting worse, but climate change isn’t too much of a factor

Climate change might play a role in tornadoes, but right now there isn’t a signal that rising average temperatures affected the number or severity of the recent storms.

That’s not to say there aren’t long-term shifts underway. In a paper published in the journal Nature last year, Gensini showed that the United States’ Tornado Alley — the region spanning South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas notorious for tornadoes — is shifting east. “The trends in tornado activity in places like the Midwest and the mid-South are increasing and they’re decreasing in places like the central Great Plains,” he said.
Residents in the West Brook neighborhood inspect the damage to their homes following a suspected ef-4 tornado early in the morning on May 28, 2019 in Trotwood, Ohio.
Residents in the West Brook neighborhood inspect the damage to their homes following a suspected ef-4 tornado early in the morning on May 28, 2019, in Trotwood, Ohio. Matthew Hatcher/Getty Images

The destruction left in the wake of these tornadoes is also on the rise. “Our cities are growing larger and we have more and more exposure and vulnerability to certain severe weather,” Gensini said. “Basically, we’re putting more assets on the ground, more targets for tornadoes to hit.”

For people in vulnerable areas, Gensini said the best thing to do might be to establish strong building codes and phase out weak-framed structures that are easily blown apart.
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