Tag Archives: Tornado

  • Tornadoes in Tennesse

    Tornadoes in Tennessee

    In the West we’re no strangers to summer storms. But we prefer the kind that pelt us with cool rain on a hot afternoon, and then peter out when it’s time to light the barbecue. Not the kind that knock houses down. That’s what Tennessee had to deal with recently. Fortunately, no one was injured, but emerging from your basement to find a pile of debris where your home once stood is not exactly a pleasant way to pass a summer evening.

    While this particular storm affected several states in the region, one county in Tennessee bore the brunt of the devastation, as high winds ripped up trees and structures. Fox News reports that ten homes and one grocery store were completely destroyed in the community of Speedwell, including the town sheriff’s home.

    NBC News speculated that one of the numerous reported tornadoes associated with a storm system raging across areas of New England and into the South could have been responsible for the destruction in Tennessee. Elsewhere, flights were canceled, cities lost power, and New York saw some flooding. Between the heavy rain, whipping winds, tornadoes, and lightning, this storm was a force to be reckoned with.

    As a reminder, we posted this little article (“Staying Safe as Severe Storms Head for the Midwest”) in June, which serves as a helpful reminder regarding preparation for storms of all kinds and also contains some great links to other articles and resources. We’ve also found some useful tips for road safety during summer storms at weather.com; and our friendly northern neighbors at Environment Canada have a fantastically comprehensive list of safety instructions, categorized by the threat (e.g., lightning, tornadoes, hail, etc.).

    If the weather in your area is cooperating nicely, however, enjoy your summer and use the downtime to educate yourself.



    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: Tornado, tornadoes

  • Deadly Twisters in New York

    Tornados are in the news again. This time it’s the Northeast that’s getting the worst of it. Just this month, four people were killed in upstate New York as a twister whipped through the small town of Smithfield. NBC news is calling it the “state’s second deadliest” tornado since the 1950s—truly off the charts for a state that typically sees smaller category tornados and rarely sustains this kind of damage from them.

    According to the AP, Smithfield’s tornados were actually part of a larger storm system battering the region and  leaving more than 350,000 homes without power. You can see a slideshow of the damage to New York and even some parts of Pennsylvania here.

    Apparently, storm and tornado season varies from region to region, with twisters showing up most frequently in the spring down South, and moving up to the Midwest and Northeast through the summer. I’ll let the smart people at weather.com explain why. The same smart people also have a super cool map of tornado risk by month and region, in case you want to check on your area or nail down vacation plans.

    Anyhow, we’re keeping a weather eye on the storms with NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center, reading back up on “Preparing for a Tornado,” and hoping everyone’s staying safe!



    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: Tornado, tornadoes, natural disasters

  • Even if tornadoes don't pass through, high winds can be just as damaging

    If you call anywhere along the Midwest home, now is a great time to prepare yourself for some bad weather. According to the Weather Channel, severe storms are building across the Midwest putting “35 million Americans in the risk zone” June 3 and 4th.

    Although only a portion of those at risk will see tornadoes, many will still face the damaging results of high speed winds reaching 58 mph with possible gusts bursting between 70-80 mph. That’s enough power to flip a motor home or uproot trees.

    For details about the approaching storm, and to find out whether you’re at risk, check out the Weather Channel’s article, “Severe Weather Forecast: Tornadoes, Derecho Possible Tuesday and Wednesday”.

    But before the storm hits, learn what you can do to prepare:


    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: natural disaster, Tornado, Midwest Tornados, midwest

  • Why Missouri's Destructive Tornado Left Everyone Unharmed

    A single tornado touched down near Kansas City, Missouri on Saturday, May 10, 2014. According to the Huffington Post, the violent and destructive tornado destroyed or damaged 200 to 300 homes, flattened other buildings, tossed campers and cars around, and ripped trees from the ground—but, surprisingly, no one was harmed.

    When police recognized the signs of a tornado, they immediately sounded the siren, giving “people time to seek shelter,” said Collin Stosberg, public information officer for the Missouri State Highway Patrol. The early warning allowed people time to act quickly and luckily no one was harmed.

    To read the rest of this remarkable story, check out the Huffington Post’s article.

    If you aren’t ready to face such a tornado, check out some of these articles to help you prepare:

    Have you ever had a close call with a tornado? How did you stay safe?


    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: Tornado, natural disater

  • Powerful Tornadoes Rumble through the Midwest

    Record-breaking tornadoes rumbled across the Midwestern and Southern United States on Sunday, April 27th, 2014. The storms began in Vilonia, Ark., creating a powerful, half-mile-wide tornado. According to Fox News, this tornado reduced buildings to rubble, stripped trees of branches, and even tore through cars and 18-wheelers, leaving destruction in its path.

    One Associated Press article quotes National Weather Service meteorologist Jeff Hood as saying, “The tornado that hit Vilonia and nearby Mayflower would likely be rated as the nation’s strongest to date this year, as it has the potential to be at least an EF3 (Enhanced Fujita scale—measures strength of tornadoes in the US on a scale of 0 to 5) storm, which has winds greater than 136 mph.”

    After hitting Arkansas, the tornado moved to portions of Oklahoma, Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska, and Missouri. As of early Monday morning, a total of 18 deaths were reported across these states.

    Shortly after, Arkansas governor, Mike Beebe, issued a statement suggesting, “it will take days to estimate the total amount of damage, but as of now, the primary focus is on search and rescue efforts” to make sure that all are safe and accounted for.

    As the states impacted by these powerful storms continue to recover, consider adding to or enhancing your preparedness supplies. Weatherchannel.com believes that the storm on Sunday will not be the last this area of the country sees this month. In fact,  they issued a forecast predicting weather patterns in this part of the country for the rest of the week. They believe that the severe storms and tornadoes that began over the weekend may last into midweek.

    To learn more about the tornadoes that swept through the Midwest and South, check out these articles:

    Emergency crews searching for survivors after tornadoes kill at least 16 in central US” [Fox]

    Powerful Storms, Tornadoes Kill 16 in 3 States” [Associated Press]

    "Severe Storms Slam Midwest as First 2014 Death Confirmed" [CBS]

    Also, check out the Weather Channel’s predicted forecast and videos showing the damage of this powerful storm:

    Severe Weather Forecast: Outbreak of Severe Storms and Tornadoes Continues into Midweek” [Weather.com]

    And while you’re at it… learn what to do during a tornado by reading our Insight article, “Preparing for a Tornado.”


    What preparations have you made to survive possible tornadoes in your area?

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: Survival, natural disaster, Tornado, midwest

  • Throughout National Severe Weather Preparedness Week, we want to help spread the word about how you can prepare for natural disasters in your area. Last year one natural disaster occurred over and over again, wreaking havoc across many states in our nation—tornadoes.

    Prepare yourself to face any type of severe weather storm, even a tornado

    In November of 2013, the Midwest faced dozens of record breaking tornadoes that flattened neighborhoods, damaged homes, and sent many people into panic. Oklahoma faced the largest tornado on recordfor their area. Tornadoes even happened in Denver, CO where twisters are uncommon.

    The unexpected tornado in Denver shows that it's important to know how to prepare for a tornado even if they are uncommon to your area. So think about how you would prepare for a tornado. What would you do? Where would you go?

    Check out our Insight Articles “What to do During a Tornado” and “Tornado Preparedness” for tips on what you can do to keep you and your family safe. Also, learn from FEMA the importance of Developing an Emergency Response Plan for Tornadoes.

    The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has also prepared the following videos to help you prepare for a tornado.

    What to do Before a Tornado

    What to do During a Tornado

    What to do After a Tornado

    In honor of National Severe Weather Preparedness Week, consider making today your tornado preparedness day—make a plan to keep you and your family safe if a tornado passes through your town.

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: skills, FEMA, NOAA, disaster, Weather, emergency preparedness, natural disaster, Tornado, National Severe Weather Preparedness Week, tornadoes, Tornado preparation

  • Tornado Warning in the Midwest saves countless lives

    At any time, a natural disaster can strike without any warning. Preparation for any type of emergency, but especially for a natural disaster, can and will pay off in the event one comes to your town.

    Mother Nature reached out with her fickle hand once again in November, spreading tornadoes across the Midwest.

    Dozens of tornadoes traversed through seven of the states—and Illinois was hit the hardest. Although most of the destruction happened in Washington, IL, only one fatality resulted in the area. And why is that?  Preparation.

    For days, various weather service centers watched the weather and charted the rising storm, allowing them to predict when the tornado would arrive in Washington. On the day of the storm, local weather service centers broadcasted a warning 16 minutes before the tornado hit. This warning was broadcasted three minutes earlier than any other tornado warning Illinois has had in the past. Those three extra minutes saved countless lives as people fled to safety.

    “You are in a life-threatening situation,” said the last warning. “Complete destruction possible. Flying debris will be deadly.”

    To learn more about the Midwest tornadoes and Washington’s victory over fatalities, check out CBS News

    You may never face a tornado (and we hope that’s the case!), but check out this article to prep yourself in case one ever does cross your path.

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: Survival, emergency preparedness, natural disaster, Tornado, Midwest Tornados

  • Midwest Tornados

    According to CBS News, several late-season tornadoes hit the Midwestern United States on Sunday, November 17th, 2013. The biggest impact of the storm was felt in Illinois, where at least six people have been confirmed dead and hundreds of homes were flattened. The Chicago Tribune states, “Since 1986, there have been 194 tornado warnings issued in the month of November in Illinois: More than half of them, 101, were issued Sunday, according to the Chicago Weather Center.”

    After interviewing National Weather Service Meteorologist Tom Skilling, the Chicago Tribune quoted him as saying, "It appears the storm may have produced the most powerful Illinois November tornado on record outside of St. Louis (and possibly elsewhere) and may be one of the four most intense Great Lakes storms of the past five decades." But Illinois was not the only state affected by this massive storm.

    The storm traveled through parts of Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Kentucky on Sunday night. These tornadoes were accompanied by hail and damaging winds, knocking out the power in several communities across these states. At least 75,000 people lost power in the Chicago area and many are still without it.

    To learn more about the Midwest tornadoes, check out these links.




    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: storm, Survival, natural disaster, Tornado

  • Tornado in Denver

    DIA Tornado

    Yes, it's true. There was a tornado in Denver today. You'd think that because of the mountains, tornadoes wouldn't occur in Denver -- and generally, that's true. Residents report that even when there are tornado watches, tornadoes usually don't form.

    But today, a tornado touched down near the Denver airport. Here's an article from The Houston Chronicle with startling pictures.

    Tornadoes can touch down just about anywhere warm air collides with cold air. That generally produces a supercell where the colliding air streams begin to twist around each other. Here's a great video explanation.

    If you don't know what to do when a tornado watch or warning is issued, you'll probably want to read this article.

    (Photo courtesy of @wolverine2573)


    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: Tornado, Denver, Colorado

  • El Reno, Okalahoma Tornado

    Last Friday, the second deadly EF5 tornado in a two week period hit Oklahoma, this time near the city of El Reno. The tornado was a record-breaking 2.6 miles wide, with winds up to 295 miles per hour. Fortunately, the storm didn't affect most of the developed areas of El Reno.


    El Reno Mayor Matt White said that while his city of 18,000 residents suffered significant damage — including its vocational-technical center and a cattle stockyard that was reduced to a pile of twisted metal — he said it could have been much worse had the violent twister tracked to the north.
    "If it was two more miles this way, it would have wiped out all of downtown, almost every one of our subdivisions and almost all of our businesses," White said. "It would have taken out everything."
    Click here to continue reading this story.


    Everyone is grateful that the majority of the town was spared. Still, 18 people died from the tornado and the flooding it caused. Our condolences and heartfelt prayers go out to all those who lost loved ones or who were affected in other ways.

    Photo credit: AP Photo/Alonzo Adams, File

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: Weather, emergency preparedness, natural disaster, Tornado

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