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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Severe weather threatens eastern US states

BBC News online -- 29 April 2014
One man described Monday's tornadoes as "a roaring freight train"
Severe weather is threatening as many as 73 million Americans in the eastern states, after two days of powerful storms killed up to 28 people.

Government forecasters have warned of severe thunderstorms from the Gulf of Mexico up to the Great Lakes.

On Sunday and Monday, tornadoes cut a broad track of death and destruction through the southern US states.

The storms flattened buildings, overturned cars, and left thousands of residents without power.
Aerial footage captured by a drone shows emergency vehicles and debris on a highway south of Mayflower, Arkansas

"Widespread thunderstorms are forecast across the central Gulf Coast region, with several severe [or]supercell storms possible," the National Weather Service wrote in a morning forecast.
Meanwhile, the search for survivors continues in the southern US states that were smashed by huge tornadoes on Monday and Tuesday.

Early on Tuesday, residents of Louisville, Mississippi crept from their shelters to find their homes demolished by a tornado that punched holes in the roof of a local hospital.

A fierce storm blew a freight train off its tracks in Illinois

The storm and the tornadoes it spawned killed as many as eight people in Mississippi on Monday, including a woman who died when driving her car during the storm in Verona, south of Tupelo.
'Start all over' 
Giles Ward huddled in a bathroom with his wife and four other relatives as a tornado destroyed his brick house and overturned his son-in-law's four-wheel-drive parked outside his home in Louisville.
"For about 30 seconds, it was unbelievable,'' said Mr Ward, a Republican state senator. "It's about as awful as anything we've gone through."

The mayor of Tupelo, Jason Shelton, told CNN the damage from the storms was widespread and "devastating". A 21:00 local time (02:00 GMT) curfew was in place on Monday.

Power went out in much of the city as lines went down and trees were torn up by the storm, the US National Weather Service reported.

In Limestone County, Alabama, two deaths were confirmed by the coroner's office and four deaths were reported, although unconfirmed, elsewhere in the county.
Emergency crews search for survivors in Louisville, Mississippi (29 April 2014) Emergency crews searched for survivors in the rubble early on Tuesday in Louisville, Mississippi
Gloucester Street in Tupelo, Mississippi (28 April 2014) Gloucester Street in Tupelo was decimated
As many as 16 people were killed on Sunday, including 14 in the towns surrounding Little Rock, Arkansas, with Mayflower and Vilonia bearing the brunt of the damage.

Many homes and businesses, including a new secondary school worth $14m (£8.3m), were left in ruins in Vilonia after the storm.

"There's just really nothing there anymore. We're probably going to have to start all over again," said Vilonia schools chief Frank Mitchell after inspecting the wreckage of the school.
The death toll may yet rise as crews search the wreckage of destroyed buildings.

"We're trying to make sure everyone is accounted for," Brandon Morris, spokesman for the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management, told the Associated Press news agency.

Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe said the storm "may be one of the strongest we have seen".
A travel trailer sits in the rubble of a house in Mayflower, Arkansas (28 April 2014) A trailer was overturned in Mayflower, Arkansas
People search through the rubble of destroyed houses a day after a tornado hit the town of Vilonia, Arkansas (28 April 2014) People searched the rubble following a tornado strike in Vilonia, Arkansas
President Barack Obama, on a trip to the Philippines, offered his deepest condolences to those affected on Sunday and said federal emergency officials would be on the ground to help.
"Your country will be there to help you recover and rebuild, as long as it takes," he said.
Scientists in Oklahoma are working on implementing new technologies to study tornadoes
Map of Arkansas, Oklahoma and Kansas

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