Deadly storms hit US states

10:15 • 26.02.18



At least five were confirmed to have died after severe thunderstorms swept through the central US on Saturday, spawning a tornado that flattened homes, gale force winds and widespread flooding from the upper Midwest to Appalachia.

 

The system stretched from Texas to the Canadian maritime provinces and prompted several emergency declarations, the Daily Mail reports.


In south-western Michigan, the body of a man was found floating in floodwaters on Sunday in Kalamazoo, city public safety Lt David Thomas said, adding that the death did not appear suspicious and authorities were trying to determine the man’s identity and cause of death. Kalamazoo has been hard hit by flooding from heavy rain and melting snow.


In Kentucky, authorities said three people died. Two bodies were recovered from submerged vehicles in separate incidents on Saturday. One was recovered from a vehicle in a ditch near Morganfield, the Henderson fire department said. The body was sent to a medical examiner for an autopsy.

 

The body of a male was recovered from a vehicle submerged in a creek near the community of Franklin, the Simpson County sheriff’s office said. The victim’s identify was being withheld pending notification of relatives.


In Adairville, Dallas Jane Combs, 79, died after a suspected tornado hit her home, the Logan County sheriff’s department told TV station WKRN. Officials said Combs was inside when the home collapsed. She was pronounced dead at the scene. Authorities said Combs’ husband was outside the house. He sustained minor injuries.


In Arkansas, an 83-year-old man died when high winds toppled a trailer home. The Clay County sheriff, Terry Miller, told KAIT-TV Albert Foster died on Saturday night after the home was blown into a pond.


The National Weather Service (NWS) said the roof was blown off a hotel in Osceola, about 160 miles north of Memphis, Tennessee. In middle Tennessee, Fox17 in Nashville reported extensive damage to homes and vehicles. Fox17 said at least a dozen homes were damaged in one Montgomery County subdivision.


The NWS confirmed an EF-2 tornado with maximum winds of 120mph hit Clarksville, about 48 miles north-west of Nashville, on Saturday. Montgomery County sheriff spokeswoman Sandra Brandon said at least four homes were destroyed and dozens of others damaged, while 75 cars at a tire plant parking lot had their windows blown out or were tossed onto one other.


“To look at what I’m looking at and know we didn’t lose anybody is just a miracle,” Montgomery County mayor Jim Durrett told the Leaf-Chronicle.


At Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, a teenage girl was hit by debris at a college basketball game after an apparent lightning strike knocked a hole in the arena’s roof. School director of marketing and digital media Kevin Young said the 15-year-old was taken to a hospital as a precaution.


The game between Austin Peay and Murray State was stopped due to the leaky roof. Fans took shelter in hallways and offices during a three-hour delay. Austin Peay President Alisa R White said on Twitter athletics department officials and physical plant workers “did a great job handling a big crowd and the elements in what could have been a much worse situation”.


Missouri governor Eric Greitens signed an executive order earlier on Saturday declaring a state of emergency ahead of anticipated storms and flooding. The order activated the resources of the state national guard and ensured state resources were available in the event of weather damage.


Other leaders issued similar orders: Indiana governor Eric Holcomb declared a disaster emergency for 11 counties and Illinois governor Bruce Rauner issued a state disaster proclamation for three counties hit by flooding.


A levee breach along the Kankakee river in north-western Indiana had local officials urging about 30 homeowners to evacuate. The NWS said record flooding was occurring along the Kankakee following several days of heavy rains and snowmelt that sent streams out of their banks from the Ohio river to Michigan and Wisconsin.


The NWS said moderate flooding was expected along the Ohio in Kentucky and Ohio, including in Cincinnati, where the river was 8ft above flood stage on Sunday. Transportation officials said parts of Interstate 64 in Louisville, Kentucky, were closed in both directions due to high water.


Flood watches and warnings spanned multiple states on Sunday morning, from Missouri to central Pennsylvania, while a wind advisory remained in effect for nearly all of lower Michigan.

 

 





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