Dallas orders curfew after tornado shreds homes; thousands without power

Dallas orders curfew after tornado shreds homes; thousands without power
(Reuters) – Police declared a curfew on Monday in parts of Dallas where a powerful tornado tore apart homes and flipped cars, leaving tens of thousands without power for a second night.

Three people were reported hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries after the Sunday storm ripped through north Dallas with maximum wind speeds of 140 mph (225 kph), according to the National Weather Service.

Emergency management workers went door to door in areas such as Preston Hollow and Richardson, checking homes without roofs or crushed by fallen trees, tagging structures with orange spray paint.

“#DallasTornado you took my job! my school!” one Twitter user, Monica Badillo, posted, along with images of shattered windows and debris at Primrose School in Preston Hollow, where she said she worked.

The Dallas Police Department (DPD) asked residents to stay indoors between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. and told non-residents to stay out of areas where the twister left a miles-long swath of destruction.

“DPD is urging residents to remain vigilant and not enter the impacted areas for their own safety,” the department said, adding it had received reports of looting that had so far turned out to be false.

Dozens of residents were expected to spend the night at a leisure complex turned into a shelter near Love Field Airport, city authorities said.

The winds were powerful enough to cave in a Home Depot <HD.N> do-it-yourself store, leaving a mangled mess of ceiling beams.

The tornado caused traffic chaos, with numerous roads blocked and dozens of stop lights out, transport authorities said.

Fire rescue officials said it would take another day to make a final assessment of the destruction, with less than half of the affected area checked by nightfall.

About 42,000 people were without power by Monday evening, according to utility firm Oncor, which pressed helicopters and drones into its effort to find and fix damaged lines.

Some residents should prepare for a possible multi-day outage as destroyed electric equipment is rebuilt, it added.

Although no fatalities were reported in the Dallas area, severe storms were blamed for at least three deaths in Oklahoma and one in Arkansas, state authorities said.

(Reporting by Subrat Patnaik in Bengaluru, Rich McKay in Atlanta, Gabriella Borter in New York and Andrew Hay in New Mexico; Editing by Andrea Ricci and Clarence Fernandez)

Homes destroyed, thousands without power after tornado rips through Dallas

Homes destroyed, thousands without power after tornado rips through Dallas
(Reuters) – Emergency responders on Monday were assessing damage from a tornado that plowed through parts of northern Dallas late on Sunday, knocking out power to more than 175,000 homes and businesses and delaying flights at regional airports.

The city’s emergency management department said on its website that 100 traffic lights were without power and several more were knocked down on Monday morning, and crews were still surveying the damage. There were no reports of fatalities.

Some 63,000 homes and businesses in Dallas county were still without power on Monday morning, according to PowerOutage.us.

The storm left a miles-long swath of destruction through Dallas, hitting near the Love Field airport in the city’s north, the National Weather Service’s Weather Prediction Center in College Park Maryland said early on Monday.

Video footage on Twitter showed collapsed roofs, overturned cars and homes reduced to piles of debris in the wake of the twister in Richardson, Texas, a northeast suburb of Dallas. Images showed the roof and walls of a Home Depot <HD.N> store had caved in, exposing a mangled web of ceiling beams.

“It was exactly one tornado that hit at 9:02 p.m.,” said National Weather Service meteorologist David Roth.

“We also saw golf ball- and baseball-sized hail in some areas and a narrow swath of north Dallas that got between one to three inches of rain,” Roth said, or the equivalent of 2.5 cm to 7.6 cm.

(Reporting by Subrat Patnaik in Bengaluru, Rich McKay in Atlanta and Gabriella Borter in New York; Editing by Alex Richardson and Steve Orlofsky)

Tornado hits near Tulsa, Oklahoma airport as five states brace for severe weather

A tornado spins during stormy weather in Mangum, Oklahoma, U.S., May 20, 2019, in this still image taken from video from social media. Lorraine Matti via REUTERS

By Rich McKay

(Reuters) – A tornado was spotted near the main airport in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Tuesday, as 22 million people in the central United States faced a severe weather system that brought hail, heavy rain and flooding, the National Weather Service (NWS) said.

The silhouette of a tornado appears during a lightning strike in Haskell, Oklahoma, U.S., May 20, 2019 in this image obtained from social media. Matthew Harden via REUTERS

The silhouette of a tornado appears during a lightning strike in Haskell, Oklahoma, U.S., May 20, 2019 in this image obtained from social media. Matthew Harden via REUTERS

The twister near Tulsa International Airport was one of at least 22 that have ripped through the region since late Monday evening, according to the NWS. There were no immediate reports of serious injuries and airport officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A tornado spins during stormy weather in Mangum, Oklahoma, U.S., May 20, 2019, in this still image taken from video from social media. Clint Lively via REUTERS

A tornado spins during stormy weather in Mangum, Oklahoma, U.S., May 20, 2019, in this still image taken from video from social media. Clint Lively via REUTERS

“More tornadoes are on the way today,” said NWS forecaster Rich Otto.

The NWS said it expected severe weather across Texas, Louisiana and into Alabama and as far north as Iowa and Nebraska throughout the day and into the night on Tuesday.

Flooding in the area forced evacuations and high water rescues overnight, local media reported.

Some 4 million people were under a flash flood warning or watch through Tuesday in the region.

On Monday, the NWS said the risk of tornadoes in the region was higher than at any time in years.

Local media and officials reported that some homes and businesses were damaged but it was not immediately known if there were any serious injuries.

“Flooding is still the big concern,” Otto said. “Some areas could get another 2 inches (5 cm) of rain today, but that comes after another 5 to 10 inches (13-25 cm) some areas have already seen.”

A new storm system is brewing and could hit the same southern states later this week.

“The whole area is in the bullseye, with more rounds of severe storms possible,” the forecaster said.

(Reporting by Rich McKay in Atlanta and Brendan O’Brien in Milwaukee; Editing by Scott Malone and Jeffrey Benkoe)

Alabama tornadoes kill 23, including 3 children; like ‘giant knife’

Dax Leandro salvages clothing from the wreckage of his friend's home after two back-to-back tornadoes touched down, in Beauregard, Alabama, U.S., March 4, 2019. REUTERS/Elijah Nouvelage

By Deborah Bloom

BEAUREGARD, Ala. (Reuters) – Alabama residents and rescue workers on Monday dug through the remnants of homes destroyed by a spate of tornadoes that killed at least 23 people, including at least three children, the deadliest U.S. twisters since 2013.

The tornadoes ripped through Lee County on Sunday with winds of up to 170 miles per hour (274 km per hour), at step four of the six-step Enhanced Fujita scale, which meteorologists use to measure tornado strength. Earlier estimates had put winds at 150 mph (241 kph).

Debris of housing seen following a tornado in Beauregard, Alabama, U.S. in this March 3, 2019 still image obtained from social media video. SCOTT FILLMER /via REUTERS

Debris of housing seen following a tornado in Beauregard, Alabama, U.S. in this March 3, 2019 still image obtained from social media video. SCOTT FILLMER /via REUTERS

At least two tornadoes struck an area of eastern Alabama near the Georgia border in the space of a few hours on Sunday afternoon, with some of the worst damage in the tiny community of Beauregard, according to the National Weather Service.

Mobile homes were tossed on their sides and ripped open, their contents strewn on the ground, live television images showed. Pieces of homes hung from trees that were not flattened by the storm.

More than 50 people were reported injured, authorities said, making the tornadoes the deadliest since the one that tore through Moore, Oklahoma, in 2013, killing 24 people.

“It looks almost as if someone took a giant knife and just scraped the ground. There are slabs where homes formerly stood, debris everywhere, trees are snapped,” Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones told a morning news conference.

Three of the dead were children, ages 6, 9 and 10, County Coroner Bill Harris told an afternoon news conference. Family members identified two of the young victims.

A morning search of the area found no additional bodies, which officials had feared likely.

“We have not recovered any further victims from the areas that we have initially searched but I want to add a caveat to that, that we have not completed our searches,” Jones told the afternoon briefing.

All but six of the victims were identified and investigators think they know the identities of the others, Harris said.

‘THAT’S HALF MY HOME’

Jenifer Vernon, a 40-year-old grocery store attendant, surveyed the wreckage of her flattened home, spread in piles on either side of her Beauregard street.

“That’s half my home,” said Vernon, pointing to the debris. “That’s the other half.” She was in the nearby town of Opelika with her husband and 14-year-old daughter when the tornadoes hit.

Looking over splintered pieces of wood and the remains of kitchen appliances, Vernon said she had lost another home to fire last year, adding, “We’ll bounce back from this.”

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Twitter on Monday that the Federal Emergency Management Agency would be helping.

“FEMA has been told directly by me to give the A Plus treatment to the Great State of Alabama and the wonderful people who have been so devastated by the Tornadoes,” Trump said.

The death toll was more than double the 10 people killed by tornadoes in the United States for all of 2018, according to government data.

Julie Morrison, a 61-year-old produce manager who has lived in Beauregard for 19 years, said she survived the storm by hiding in a bathtub with her husband.

On Monday, all that remained of her home was its concrete foundation, piled under heaps of wood and broken furniture, with the tattered remainders of a trailer wrapped around a tree.

“It’s just devastating to see this,” Morrison said. “I just thank God that me and my husband survived.”

(Additional reporting by Joseph Ax and Gabriella Borter in New York and Rich McKay in Atlanta; Editing by Scott Malone, Jeffrey Benkoe and Cynthia Osterman)

Hundreds of thousands without power in Ottawa after tornado hits

A man removes branches from a damaged tree after a tornado hit the Mont-Bleu neighbourhood in Gatineau, Quebec, Canada, September 22, 2018. REUTERS/Chris Wattie

OTTAWA (Reuters) – Hundreds of thousands of people were stranded without power in and around the Canadian capital Ottawa on Saturday after a tornado touched down twice, destroying some houses and ripping the roofs off others.

At the same time high winds also battered the region and Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson said it could be days before electricity was fully restored. At least six people were injured.

A woman walks past debris after a tornado hit the Mont-Bleu neighbourhood in Gatineau, Quebec, Canada, September 22, 2018. REUTERS/Chris Wattie

A woman walks past debris after a tornado hit the Mont-Bleu neighbourhood in Gatineau, Quebec, Canada, September 22, 2018. REUTERS/Chris Wattie

“It’s in the top two or three traumatic events that have affected our city,” Watson told reporters. “It looks like something from a movie scene or a war scene.”

The tornado hit on Friday evening, demolishing homes in the town of Dunrobin to the north west of the city before crossing over to the town of Gatineau, which lies directly to the north of Ottawa in the province of Quebec.

High winds damaged part of Ottawa’s major electrical substations and officials said around 200,000 people on both sides of the river were without power. Ottawa and Gatineau together have a population of around 1.3 million people.

“We have lost absolutely everything. I have got a beer fridge that’s sitting in my garage – that is the only thing that is untouched – but everything else has gone,” Ottawa resident Todd Nicholson told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. He was not home when the tornado struck.

Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard broke off campaigning ahead of an Oct 1 provincial election to travel to Gatineau.

(Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Franklin Paul)

Weakening Nate brings rain, tornado warnings to U.S. South

Weakening Nate brings rain, tornado warnings to U.S. South

By Rod Nickel and Jessica Resnick-Ault

BILOXI/PASCAGOULA, Miss. (Reuters) – Hurricane Nate weakened to a tropical depression on Sunday after coming ashore in Mississippi, flooding roads and buildings but sparing the state from catastrophic damages.

Maximum sustained winds from Nate, the fourth major storm to hit the United States in less than two months, dropped to 35 miles per hour (55 km per hour) as it moved through Alabama and into Tennessee.

The remnants of the storm spawned tornado warnings in those states and the western portions of North Carolina and South Carolina. It is forecast to bring gusty winds and up to 4 inches (10 cm) of rain to parts of Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York on Monday.

The storm made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane, the weakest designation by the U.S. National Hurricane Center. Only a few hours earlier, its winds had been blowing at 70 mph (113 kph) but appeared to lack the devastating punch of its recent predecessors.

Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant told reporters there had been no deaths or reports of catastrophic damage. “We are very fortunate this morning and have been blessed,” he said.

Nate killed at least 30 people in Central America before entering the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico and bearing down on the U.S. South. It has also shut down most oil and gas production in the Gulf.

Nate follows hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, which have devastated areas of the Caribbean and southern United States.

The tropical depression’s center will move up through Alabama into Tennessee and Kentucky through Monday, the hurricane center said. Heavy rainfall and storm-surge flooding remained a danger across the region, and the hurricane center said Florida’s Panhandle and parts of Alabama and Georgia might feel tropical storm-force wind gusts.

The storm was expected to bring three to six inches of rain to parts of western North Carolina through midday Monday, with up to 10 inches possible in isolated spots. Power outages, damaged homes and roads closed by debris were all reported in the region.

Nate made its first U.S. landfall on Saturday evening near the mouth of the Mississippi River and then made a second one early on Sunday near Biloxi, Mississippi.

In Biloxi, water surged over roads during the storm and quickly receded on Sunday, leaving a boat that broke loose marooned on the beach. At a Waffle House restaurant, the storm surge deposited a dumpster in its parking lot.

Jeff Pickich, a 46-year-old wine salesman from D’Iberville, Mississippi, was counting his blessings. Heavy winds left only minor damage, blowing down part of a fence on his rental property in Biloxi.

“I’m just glad,” he said, digging fresh holes for fence posts. “I was afraid of the water. The water is Mother Nature. You can’t stop it.”

Water flowed through Ursula Staten’s yard in Biloxi, pushing over part of her fence and scattering debris, but did not breach her house.

“I have a mess,” the retired massage therapist said. “If we had got Irma, I would have lost everything.”

At the Golden Nugget Casino, one of eight Biloxi gaming establishments, workers rushed to clean up mud, debris and minor damage from 3 feet (1 m) of water sloshing into an entrance and the parkade. The gaming room stayed dry.

Three hundred guests remained in the hotel, some eager to try their luck after surviving Nate.

But dangers from the storm remain, with Florida Governor Rick Scott warning of tornadoes springing up in the Panhandle region and Alabama Governor Kay Ivey urging residents to prepare for strong winds and storm surges.

U.S. President Donald Trump declared federal emergencies in Alabama and Florida on Sunday, which provides additional funding for disaster relief.

Mississippi Power had restored electricity to 10,000 customers, but 4,800 were still without it. More than 1,000 people had arrived at shelters, the state Emergency Management Agency said.

Alabama Power said it had restored electricity to 58,000 of 146,000 customers who lost it.

Rainfall of 3 to 6 inches (8 to 15 cm), with a maximum of 10 inches (25 cm), was expected east of the Mississippi River in Alabama and Tennessee, the hurricane center said.

NEW ORLEANS THREAT DOWNGRADED

Forecast at one point to make landfall in Louisiana, Nate headed farther east and spared many New Orleans parishes that were devastated by Hurricane Katrina 12 years ago.

“I had prayed for this – that we would be spared,” said Amos Cormier, president of Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana’s equivalent to a county.

Bernice Barthelemy, a 70-year-old Louisiana resident, died from cardiac arrest overnight after telling Reuters on Saturday that she did not mind having to evacuate, Cormier said on Sunday. He attributed her death to the stress of the move.

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu said he expected that evacuated residents could return home soon.

Vessel traffic and port operations at New Orleans resumed on Sunday afternoon, while the Port of Mobile in Alabama remained closed. Oil ports, producers and refiners in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama were planning reopenings as the storm moved inland on Sunday.

The storm curtailed 92 percent of daily oil production and 77 percent of daily natural gas output in the Gulf of Mexico, more than three times the amount affected by Harvey.

The storm doused Central America with heavy rains on Thursday, killing at least 16 people in Nicaragua, 10 in Costa Rica, two in Honduras and two in El Salvador.

(Reporting by Rod Nickel in Biloxi, Miss. and Jessica Resnick-Ault in Pascagoula, Miss.; Additional reporting by Marianna Parraga, Erwin Seba and Gary McWilliams in Houston; Jonathan Allen in New York; Writing by Lisa Shumaker; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn and Peter Cooney)

More than 30 injured after tornado hits in Tulsa

Tornado damage from overnight storm in Tulsa 8-7-17

(Reuters) – More than 30 people were injured and dozens of buildings damaged when a tornado hit Tulsa early on Sunday, causing power outages to about 17,000 customers after powerful winds snapped utility poles and downed trees in the Oklahoma city, officials said.

The tornado flipped cars, ripped apart buildings and blew windows out of a high-rise building, images from local TV broadcaster KTUL showed.

Oklahoma emergency officials told local media there were no deaths from the tornado classified by the U.S. National Weather Service as an EF-2 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale, meaning it had winds of about 125 miles per hour (200 kph).

Tornadoes coming in August and hitting at night are rare for Tulsa, the service said.

“The tornado that occurred did so suddenly and unexpectedly,” Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum said in a Facebook post.

The Public Service Company of Oklahoma said as of Sunday afternoon, it had restored power to more than 11,000 customers.

 

 

 

(Reporting by Jon Herskovitz in Austin, Texas; Editing by Richard Chang)

 

Tropical Depression Cindy still packs a punch after landfall on Thursday

Radar from the continued threat of Tropical Storm Cindy

By Kami Klein

In the wake of the landing of Tropical Depression Cindy, there is extensive flooding in many states, the death of a 10 year old boy from debris in Fort Morgan, Alabama  as well as the damage and injuries from an F2 tornado that plowed through Birmingham, Alabama on Thursday,  From reports by the National Weather Service, this was just the beginning of problems that will be arising from this intense storm system.   

The F2 Tornado that hit a heavily populated area in Birmingham, Alabama Thursday afternoon left extensive structural  damage and injured four people. The Weather Channel also reported that Mayor Tim Kerner of the town of Lafitte, Louisiana (located south of New Orleans) said the rising water may impact homes and vehicles, and he issued a voluntary evacuation for all residents.

The AP has reported that more than a foot of rain has fallen in Ocean Springs, Mississippi. Residents are concerned with the damages and hazards brought by the immense amount of water, including the dangers of alligators that are prevalent in many ponds and will now move into more populated areas.  

Mississippi residents are not the only people concerned about frightening impacts in nature caused by the flooding. The Alabama Cooperative Extension System warned of floating colonies of fire ants in the flood waters.  In a statement, the agency said the fire ants may resemble ribbons, streamers or large balls of ants floating on the water and that residents should be on the lookout when maneuvering in or being near flooded areas.

So far the states of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Texas, Tennessee and even southern Arkansas have been affected by the torrential rains contained in Tropical Depression Cindy.  Officials in all states have warned that there is a strong possibility for more flash flooding and tornadoes.  

In a report by The Weather Channel, remnants of the storm moved into Tennessee on Friday, knocking down trees and prompting power outages. According to Memphis Light Gas and Water, nearly 10,000 customers were without power Friday morning. Kentucky and West Virginia are bracing themselves for Heavy rainfall and flooding and reports from the weather service show that portions of Michigan and Indiana are also being affected by this storm system as well.  

The National Weather Service says that the path of Tropical Storm Cindy will spread heavy rain into the Tennessee and Ohio Valleys today – and into the Appalachians and Mid-Atlantic tonight. Flash flooding is possible in these areas as well as strong to severe thunderstorms.  

 

 

 

 

At least one killed as tornado tears though dozens of Oklahoma homes: media

(Reuters) – A tornado tore through western Oklahoma on Tuesday evening, destroying or damaging dozens of homes and killing at least one person, media reported.

As many as 70 homes in Elk City, a town of about 12,000 people around 110 miles (180 km) west of Oklahoma City, were damaged or destroyed by the storm, CBS affiliate KWTV reported, citing officials.

One person in a car was killed, the station reported, citing an emergency response official. It was unclear how many people were injured, KWTV said.

The majority of damage occurred on the south side of the city, the Elk City Police Department said in a statement. The department told residents to stay home because power lines were down across the city. The department’s phone lines were also down, it added.

Elk City Public Schools were canceled for Wednesday, the school system said in a statement.

“My thoughts and prayers are with those affected by the tornado in Elk City tonight,” Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin said on Twitter.

(Reporting by Timothy Mclaughlin in Chicago; Editing by Nick Macfie)

Powerful storm front that killed 16 threatens eastern United States

Homeowners clean up debris after a tornado hit the town of Emory, Texas.

By Ian Simpson

(Reuters) – A powerful storm system bore down on the eastern United States on Monday after spawning tornadoes and torrential rains that killed at least 16 people and shut down hundreds of roads over the weekend, forecasters said.

The storm that tore through the central United States from Texas to Illinois could spawn damaging winds, hail and  tornadoes as it heads into parts of the Middle Atlantic and Northeast, the National Weather Service said.

The front, described as a “powerhouse of an upper level system,” could pack downpours of more than an inch (2.5 cm) an hour as it hammers Pennsylvania and New York state, the weather agency said.

Flooding that could be record breaking in eastern Oklahoma, northern Arkansas, Missouri and Illinois was expected to take several days to recede, it said.

 

Water overtaking a Bridge located on Table Rock lake Picture by Austin Metcalf

Water overtaking a Bridge located on Table Rock lake Picture by Austin Metcalf

High water in Missouri on Monday forced about 330 roads to close, including a stretch of Interstate 44 near Rolla, the state transportation department said on its website. More than 100 highways also were shut in neighboring Arkansas, state officials said.

In North Carolina, Governor Roy Cooper urged residents to remain on their guard, especially in areas already hit by flooding. Almost 30 roads were closed from high water and washouts, his office said in a statement.

Tornadoes from the storm system killed four people on Saturday in Canton, Texas, about 60 miles (95 km) east of Dallas. The National Weather Service said Canton was hit by four tornadoes, with two packing winds of 136 miles to 165 miles (219 km to 265 km) per hour.

Five people died in Arkansas, with two still missing, said state emergency management spokeswoman Melody Daniels. She could not confirm news reports that the missing were children who were in a car swept off a bridge.

A business damaged by tornadoes is seen in Canton, Texas.

A business damaged by tornadoes is seen in Canton, Texas. REUTERS/Brandon Wade

In Mississippi, one man was killed when a tree fell on his home, and a 7-year-old boy was electrocuted when he unplugged an electric golf cart in standing water, said Greg Flynn, a spokesman for the state’s emergency agency.

Two people were killed in Tennessee in storm-related incidents, authorities said. They included a Florence, Alabama, woman struck by a falling tree on Sunday, the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement.

In Missouri, a 72-year-old Billings woman was swept away by high waters on Saturday, and two men ages 18 and 77 drowned in  separate incidents on Sunday, emergency management spokesman Mike O’Connell said.

(Reporting by Ian Simpson in Washington; Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Andrew Hay)