Severe thunderstorms that ripped through the mid portion of the country Sunday spawned numerous tornadoes that did a lot of damage and claimed the lives of several people. One of the worst hit areas was Washington, Illinois – a town of about 15,000 that is located east of Peoria. The tornado that struck that community had winds of up to 200 miles per hour and was confirmed Monday as an EF-4. At least six people in Illinois were killed by the severe weather.
According to the National Weather Service, the severe weather system that swept across the Midwest Sunday spawned around 80 tornadoes that flattened many homes and completely demolished entire neighborhoods. The governor of Illinois declared seven counties disaster areas Monday. One man in Washington, IL was found dead on a street near his home. Up to 500 buildings sustained damage or were totally demolished in Washington and over 100 people sustained weather-related injuries. The damage in Washington is very reminiscent of Hurricane Katrina and the tornado that literally wiped Joplin, MO off the map.
The severe storms that erupted Sunday just before lunch time in Illinois rapidly roared into central Indiana bringing numerous tornadoes and powerful gusts of wind. There were several long-lasting super cell thunderstorms with at least four major tornado tracks in Indiana Sunday. A total of ten central Indiana counties were struck by tornadoes with three of those reporting funnel clouds.
The National Weather Service sent three teams out Monday in Indiana to survey the damage and to determine tornado track and rating. Because there is such a large area to survey, it could be several days before reports are ready.
A reported twister touched down around 4 pm Sunday in Lebanon, IN, causing customers trapped inside a coffee shop to fear for their lives. Employees and customers huddled in the bathroom for several minutes to the sound of crashing glass. When they emerged, there was debris everywhere and all the windows were blown out. A vehicle in the parking lot was flipped on its side but luckily no one was hurt.
In Indiana, the communities of Lebanon and Kokomo were among the hardest hit areas. Survivors of the tornadoes in those communities are now digging out and sifting through the wreckage of what’s left of their homes and businesses. Dozens of buildings in Kokomo were destroyed and a local fire station sustained very heavy damage from the tornado that ripped through that town at around 3pm Sunday afternoon.
Portions of this article were provided by the storm response team from NRN Services which is presently working in Indiana, Illinois and Michigan to help property owners recover from the damage and destruction.
Tension is high for residents living in the states of Louisiana and Florida this weekend as tropical storm Karen is expected to make landfall on Saturday. This storm began its formation between Cuba and the Yucatan peninsula, and the winds have been reported as being up to 65 mph on Thursday and slightly weakened on Friday. Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana has declared a statewide state of emergency. Governor Rock Scott of Florida has also declared a state of emergency in at least 18 counties. This storm is expected to hit mostly Louisiana, and a small portion of Florida as well. Although it does not show on the radar, this storm could easily turn into a hurricane as it makes landfall on Saturday. A whopping 4 to 8 inches of rain can be expected, as well as strong gusts of wind to come along with it. Storm surges are also going to be a concern, because places that have stayed dry this season will be experiencing extreme amounts of rain, which can cause major flooding in some areas.
The storm was moving north-northwest at 10 mph Friday morning, the hurricane center said. It is expected to turn north Friday and then northeast on Saturday. AccuWeather also reports that pockets of 3-6 inches of rain could also fall as the storm tracks it way across the U.S. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has already began preparations in sight of tropical storm Karen, recalling furloughed employees to get ready for the storm to make landfall. Once the storm makes landfall later on Saturday, the rainfall will begin to hit the mid- Atlantic and southeastern region on Sunday and Monday. For many residents, the most damage that will be caused from the storm is minor property damage, power outages, and fallen trees.
Preparations are already underway in Florida, trashcans and lifeguard towers are being removed from the beaches. Officials in Escambia are not yet taking any emergency actions in preparation for Karen. It is important to always stay updated with the changing weather conditions in your area. You should stay tuned to your local weather authority for updates, and always make sure to have an emergency plan in place for when the storm does make landfall. If you live in a city that is likely to get hit the hardest, it is also a good idea to have your property secured.
Chaos has been normalcy for residents of Mexico this week as tropical storm Manuel wreaks its havoc on residents. Many roads and bridges have been completely destroyed, and the weather has also triggered landslides. Homes have been buried due to these landslides, and at least 97 people have been declared dead. About 40,000 tourists are trapped at a resort of Acapulco with no way to leave. Emergency services have reported that heavy rains have been pounding the southern state of Sinaloa and that hundreds of people are being evacuated from their homes for safety precautions. The U.S National Hurricane Center has reported that there is an area of low pressure over the Gulf of Mexico has a 60 percent chance of becoming a tropical cyclone within the next 24 hours and could possibly dump rains onto an already flooded section of Mexico.
This flash flooding occurred because of the convergence of tropical storms Ingrid and Manuel. Fortunately Ingrid dissipated, but Manuel has only gotten stronger. It was originally expected to drop into a tropical depression by late Thursday, but it continued to wreak its havoc on residents all over Mexico. More than a million people have been affected by tropical storm Manuel and at least 50,000 people have already been evacuated from their homes. The high gusts of wind have been ripping roofing structures off of homes, and at least 11 rivers have breached their banks. Many residents have had to wade through chest-deep muddy waters in some areas.
In Atoyac de Alvarez, a small municipality near Guerrero state, at least 58 people are still missing. 288 people were rescued from the site due to the large mudslide that hit and collapsed houses. An official reported that they hadn’t seen two aggressive forces hit their country like that in years. All but two of Mexico’s ports are still open to large ships, including its three main oil export hubs along the Gulf, nearly 40 ports along both the Gulf and Pacific coasts were closed on Thursday morning to smaller boats, the transport ministry said.
A massive, widespread, severe flooding situation is taking place in Boulder County, Colorado as well as in parts of northwest Jefferson County, CO. Thus far, two people have lost their lives due to flooding. One was killed when a structure fell on him due to flooding. The other victim lost his life because of flooding although the exact cause isn’t yet clear. It has however been reported that the second victim’s body was recovered by a “heavy” rescue team.
A series of four dams in the Big Elk Meadows area all over-topped overnight Wednesday with one actually breaking. Residents in several homes there were left stranded by flood water. A spokesman for the Larimer County Sheriff’s Dept said that his department requested that the National Guard bring in helicopters to rescue stranded residents but that the weather was too severe to put the choppers in the air.
As of rush hour Thursday morning, residents of the community of Jamestown which was affected by severe flooding, were put under a mandatory flood evacuation order. Meanwhile, in nearby Boulder Creek, residents there were told to stay at home or to seek higher ground if at all possible because of imminent flooding.
The National Weather Service reported early Thursday that several structures in mountainous areas have been “lost” due to rock and mudslides caused by severe flooding. Hundreds of students living near an overflowing creek at the University of Colorado-Boulder were evacuated and the campus was shutting down Thursday due to serious flooding. A university spokesman said that experts believe that nearly every building on the big campus was affected by flooding. Colorado’s Emergency Management Director told people to avoid creeks and waterways and not to try crossing flooded intersections in their vehicles.
By early Thursday, an estimated six to seven inches of rain had fallen across Boulder County with some areas getting even more. Most of that rainfall came down overnight Wednesday, catching most people completely off-guard. As if things could get worse, there is more bad news: the National Weather Service said that rain is once again in the forecast for Thursday.
Portions of this article were provided by the restoration teams from NRN Services, who are working in the Colorado market to help property owners from Boulder to Lakewood with water damage, basement flooding, cleanup and restoration services.
The official start to the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season kicked off on June 1st and runs through November 30th. NOAA has warned that this will be an extremely active hurricane season with up to 20 named storms of which up to 11 could have winds in excess of 74 miles per hour including up to 6 major hurricanes with wind speeds in excess of 111 miles per hour.
Home and business owners up and down the east coast of the US are still struggling to rebuild after Hurricane Sandy. The late October “Super Storm” will go down in history as one of the country’s largest natural disasters. Many home and business owners in New York and New Jersey were completely caught off-guard when Sandy struck. Not only was there a lot of property damaged by the winds and rains but power outages also created many problems and resulted in huge financial losses for scores of business owners.
NOAA reported Thursday that Tropical Storm Dorian is picking up strength and speed in the Atlantic Ocean and that the system may impact Puerto Rico by the weekend. Whether or not Dorian will proceed on a track that takes it close the the US shoreline with the status of a hurricane is yet to be seen, but it’s still not too late for home and business owners to get their disaster plans in order so that they’re prepared when a hurricane does make landfall. While there have been no major storms striking the US yet this Atlantic hurricane season, it’s just a matter of time until one does come ashore so people need to be ready.
If you are a home or business owner who is located in a hurricane-prone area, now is the time to assess your home or business’s risk for flooding, wind damage and storm surge. Now’s the time to make an updated list of contact information of friends, family, employees and customers so that you’re well prepared if a major hurricane does strike your area. Remember that power is usually out during a hurricane and that internet connection is often lost. This is why you need to document important information on paper and store it in a safe place so you can get in touch with the people and organizations you need to reach during a hurricane disaster. If you’re a home owner, gather family around so you can discuss where you will all meet if an evacuation order is issued. Don’t forget to make plans for family pets and to check with elderly neighbors to ensure they have someone caring for them should a hurricane strike.
People living in the Southeast may not have a very fun Independence Day weekend as the National Weather Service is calling for thunderstorms and torrential rainfall. An upper level storm system that’s packing a whole lot of moisture is forcing numerous communities in the Southeast to cancel or postpone 4th of July celebrations and fireworks as the forecast is very, very wet.
Heavy rainfall drenched northern Georgia Wednesday, forcing many cities to cancel their Independence Day festivities, putting a damper on the start to the extended holiday weekend. Rainfall rates in Atlanta could be anywhere from 1 to 3 inches per hour on Thursday with some spots getting over 6 inches of rain before all is said and done. The problem is that the ground is already saturated which means that flash flooding is very likely to occur as is localized flooding of low-lying areas and areas with poor drainage. Meteorologists are expecting that numerous flash flood warnings could be issued for many Atlanta metropolitan counties on Thursday. The National Weather Service already has a flash flood watch in effect for the greater Atlanta area which will remain in effect through Friday morning.
Elsewhere in the country, flash flooding ripped through Lebanon, New Hampshire this week. The racing waters were fueled by heavy, relentless rainfall as four or more inches fell in just a 24-hour period. Many homeowners in Lebanon were forced to evacuate their homes as the floodwaters were racing toward them. Dozens of roads in Lebanon were damaged by the raging, muddy water. Officials fear that it could take weeks before many of the roadways were repaired as the earth underneath was washed completely away. The damage from flooding in Lebanon was so significant that the governor was prompted to declare a state of emergency.
The National Weather Service has been busy issuing flash flood watches and warnings for many areas of the United States due to the deep plume of tropical moisture from the Caribbean that’s made its way into the country. The most serious flash flood threat for the long holiday weekend is for portions of Florida northward into the Appalachians. Already on Wednesday, parts of Florida’s Panhandle and portions of Georgia have received tremendous amount of rain as drenching thunderstorms moved through. The very heavy rainfall is following on the heels of the wettest June on record for spots such as Macon and Augusta, Georgia and Johnson City, Tennessee.
People living in the Sunshine State are the first in the country to experience rain that is coming from the first tropical storm of the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season. The storm is aiming for the west coast of Florida as a new tropical storm warning was put into effect for a large portion of the US eastern seaboard.
The storm which is being called Andrea is expected to make landfall in the Big Bend area of Florida Thursday before it moves into southern Georgia and the Carolinas. Thus far, forecasters do not think Andrea will become a hurricane but it is a storm that is going to bring a lot of rain and potential flooding to many parts of the country and especially to low-lying areas and coastlines. It is being predicted that as much as five inches of rain can come down along the coast from Florida all the way up to New York.
Forecasters are warning that a storm surge of up to four feet could occur along the area where Andrea is first going to come ashore in Florida. Flash flooding is also a worry in the state of Florida as anywhere from between three and six inches of rain is expected. Some areas such as southeastern Georgia could end up getting eight or more inches of rain from the system. If that happens, there is sure to be widespread flooding along Georgia’s shoreline, in locations with poor drainage and in low lying areas.
Andrea is expected to stay close to the coastline as it chugs along on a northeast path. As the system moves along over the next couple of days it will be dumping rain and at times, lots of it. Some parks in Florida where flooding could be a major issue have already shut down. Condo associations in Pensacola asked people to remove furniture from high balconies because of the dangers of it flying away in the high winds Andrea will be kicking up.
Thirteen people had to be rescued from rough waters in Alabama Wednesday after they were swept out to sea by the strong winds from Andrea. Many beaches which are in the path of the tropical storm may be closed this weekend as the surf will simply be too dangerous for swimmers.
Contributions to this article were made possible by David Quinn, with the restorationpros.co and his company the flood damage cleanup experts that help during times of flooding disasters.
A massive storm system stretching from Texas up to Minnesota was moving northeast on Sunday when it spawned several tornadoes that touched down in Oklahoma, Kansas and Iowa, causing damage and injuries. A trailer park community located near Oklahoma City was struck by a twister that flattened homes and sent residents running for cover. At least four tornadoes touched down in the state of Oklahoma Sunday, injuring a couple dozen people.
The large system also dropped hail the size of softballs and heavy rain as it marched across the country’s mid-section Sunday. In the central portion of Oklahoma, homes were ripped off their foundations, powerlines were down and trees were torn out of the ground. The Twin Lakes area outside Wellston saw some of the worst damage that roared through Sunday afternoon, prompting the governor of Oklahoma to declare a state of emergency for that county as well as for fifteen others.
A tornado was also spotted south of Wichita late Sunday which put that city and the surrounding areas under a tornado warning. The twister took down some power lines and damaged a few homes but no massive damages were reported nor were there any injuries. There were also tornadoes spotted on the ground near Udall and Emporia, KS.
The weather forecast is not looking good for the mid part of the country early this week. Forecasters are warning that there very well could be more tornadoes as well as large hail and damaging winds as the low pressure system in the Plains will keep things very unstable and stormy as we head into the new work week. The threat for bad weather including tornadoes will move its way into the Great Lakes area by late Monday or early Tuesday where large hail and damaging winds are also possible.
May is usually a very active tornado month in the US but this year it’s been quite slow. However, there was a deceptively quiet beginning to the tornado season in 2011 but that season ended up being one of the most deadly on record. The Joplin, MO tornadoes and those which touched down in several other states resulted in May 2011 being above average with over 300 tornadoes being reported, 178 deaths, thousands of injuries and billions of dollars worth of damages.
People living in the Midwest are being told that a strong spring storm is heading their way. That’s not great news for people living in dozens of Michigan counties as a great portion of the Great Lakes State has had more than its share of rain over the past week or so. There are flood advisories in effect for several lower Michigan counties Wednesday of which many may be changed to flood warnings as heavy rain is in the forecast.
In the west, scattered snow is expected throughout the day Wednesday in the central Rockies. Snow will be falling in the central High Plains as well and on to the Red River Valley as stormy weather grows stronger over the eastern portion of Nebraska. There are flood watches in effect from Missouri to Michigan Wednesday as a big system from the west is moving toward the Corn Belt and on into the Great Lakes. Between two and four inches of rain may fall from the eastern portion of Oklahoma to Michigan over the next few days, making flooding fears more intense for scores of potential flood victims.
People living in the southern portion of Minnesota have a real ‘slop fest’ to look forward to mid-week. That part of the state could see a variety of weather Wednesday and Thursday ranging from light snow to a rain & snow mix to mainly snow that could accumulate up to five inches or more. And yes, Minnesotans also could see sleet and thunder to broaden the weather spectrum even more. The next wave of weather to hit Minnesota looks to be much stronger, windier and snowier Thursday night into Friday. By the time it all ends later Friday, people there will have seen a little bit of everything and will spend the start of the weekends shoveling yet another batch of wet, sloppy snow off their walks and drives. The Twin Cities of Minnesota have seen its snowiest April in eleven years and if the current forecast plays out as expected, more springtime weather records may be shattered. We’ll just have to wait and see.
Sandbagging efforts were underway in Lake County, Illinois Wednesday as that area braces for flooding. The National Weather Service says that there could be very serious flooding along the Des Plaines River as well as other area rivers and creeks. If that county does get the forecast heavy wet snow and up to four inches of rain, experts say that moderate to major flooding could indeed occur during the coming days.
A strong storm system with moderate to heavy rainfall and thunderstorms is making its way across the Gulf Coast and will begin moving into the Southwest by early Thursday. Because the system is coming off the Gulf of Mexico, it will have a significant amount of moisture in it along with some thunderstorms which may become severe in the northern portion of Florida and adjacent areas of the Southeast. The biggest concerns include strong gusting winds, damaging hail and even the threat of tornado activity. Residents of Florida are being warned to keep an eye on local weather conditions and to be prepared to take cover if need be, some companies were receiving dozens of calls to help with tarps and wind/hail related repairs.
Hail the size of softballs pummeled one Texas town near Houston earlier this week. Residents of Hitchcock, TX were shocked by the fast moving storm that brought large hail with it. Scores of vehicles and homes in the community were damaged by the large pounding hail as were seven of the town’s 11 police vehicles. Forecasters said that large hail also fell across other areas of Texas as did up to two inches of rain. There was flooding in Houston as the heavy rains washed over roadways during the evening rush hour on Tuesday. There were also several reports of basements flooding in the greater Houston area as most of the two or more inches of rain that fell came down within a 2 hour period from 4:30 to 6:30 pm.
The potent storm system that’s taking shape in the Gulf will spread heavy rain, thunderstorms and the risk of flooding and severe weather to a greater part of the southeastern portion of the country Thursday into Friday. Some locales with the greatest risk of dangerous thunderstorms include Tallahassee, Panama City, Orlando, Jacksonville and Tampa, to name a few. Severe weather also could stretch as far north as Savannah, Georgia.
The thunderstorms produced winds in excess of 60 miles per hour in the Houston area Wednesday. It’s being forecast that the same could happen in Florida’s panhandle as well as in northern and central Florida Thursday going into Friday. A bit further to the north, a heavy downpouring of rain will also soak areas from eastern Alabama into Georgia and most of the Carolinas. Residents in many coastal communities along the Gulf are being warned to be aware of the threat of flooding as the rainfall could be very heavy at times. Damaging winds are also a threat as gusts up to 60 miles per hour are possible. Winds of that strength can easily take down trees and powerlines. T