Thursday, February 7, 2008

Aftermath Of Super Tuesday Storm

The photo caption reads: James Devaney searches through the debris of his daughter's home on County Rd. 183 in the Aldridge Grove community of Lawrence County, Ala., Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2008. Devaney's daughter Becky Coleman was killed along with her son Gerreck and her husband Greg when the tornado hit at 3:06 a.m. (AP Photo/The Decatur Daily, Gary Cosby Jr.)

Per unit area, there's probably no weather phenomenon that's more devastating than a full-force tornado. Hurricanes can devastate large areas, but F-5 tornados, packing winds of up to 300 MPH, can literally wipe buildings off the map. At least one F-4 storm, with winds of more than 200 MPH, struck western Tennessee Tuesday during the Super Tuesday storm:

The tornado touched down in Madison County Tuesday night around 7 p.m. and left a 35-mile path of destruction, according to Paul Latture, public information officer for the Jackson-Madison County Emergency Operations Center.

"We did have an EF-4 tornado, which means winds were anywhere between 207 to 264 miles per hour," Latture said during a press conference Wednesday afternoon.

'It is time to get cleaned up now and rebuild,' mayor says

Reuters describes the damage done by Tuesday's tornados:

Communities across the U.S. South grieved for the dead and tried to pick up their lives on Thursday after the deadliest round of tornadoes in nearly a quarter century killed 57 people.

Damage was likely to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Tennessee's Madison County alone estimated it had suffered $47 million in property damages.

Two additional deaths were confirmed on Thursday, one each in Tennessee and Alabama. Tennessee counted 32 dead, Arkansas 13, Kentucky seven and Alabama five. There were many injuries, with some survivors reported in critical condition.

Death toll rises to 57 in U.S. tornadoes

CTV reports on one tornado in Tennessee:

Reporter Tony Reed, of Tennessee's Jackson Sun, has been covering the devastation firsthand and described the scene at Union College, where 13 students were trapped inside crushed dormitories, to CTV Newsnet on Wednesday.

"We started off the day thinking maybe we'd be missed and then later last night it happened," said Reed. "The dorms are gone. There is no place for these students to stay. We are very blessed that no students lost their lives."

Tornadoes leave at least 55 dead in southern U.S.

The AP adds:

Tornado warnings had been broadcast for hours Tuesday, and when the sirens finally announced the twisters had arrived, many people across the South took shelter and saved their lives. But others simply had nowhere safe to go, or the storms proved too powerful, too numerous, too unpredictable.

54 dead in twisters’ wake

That picture is from Columbia, South Carolina's The State. Click on the link above for the full size version.

Things seem to be especially bad in Tennessee. Tennessee blogger Monkeyfister reports:

Tragic. I pray that peace, kindness and hope can find each and every one of those touched families.

I've been looking around for some local centralized relief group/agency... Someplace.

Right now, I recommend the:

American Red Cross
Mid-South Chapter
1400 Central Avenue
Memphis, TN 38104

United Way of the Mid-South phone in a donation at (901) 433-4300.

They take DIRECT donations, so you can skip all the National-level waste and delay, AND they serve nearly every community in the effected radius.

I don't ask for much from my readers, but I sure would appreciate some link love on this post-- or better yet-- if you'd work-up something of your own linking to the Mid-South Red Cross Chapter to help this area get back on it's feet, re-building, and healing. It'd mean an awful lot to many. A bit of a small-blog swarm would be a mighty thing.

The Toll Is At 54 And Rising...

[links from the original]

As usual, our government offers nothing more useful than prayers, so it's up to the rest of us to help.

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