The Worse Floods in Living Memory along the Mississippi and the largest and strongest tornados create havoc in the United States heartland - "Is anyone doubting significant climate change is taking place'? Posted May 26, 2011
The Floods: Mississippi River Flooding Photos: Images Of 2011 Historic Floods First Posted: 05-12-11 03:04 PM | Updated: 05-17-11 10:29 AM
As a massive surge of water continues to make its way down the Mississippi River from intense rainfall and snowmelt, the southern U.S. is being inundated with historic floods, the likes of which haven't been seen since 1937 in some areas.
While massive cleanup operations are underway in some areas -- like Memphis, Tennessee -- residents further south along the river are bracing for the worst. Full Article.
……………………………. Mississippi River Now 10th Worst Weather-Related Flooding Disaster Since 1980 By Paul Kedrosky | May 12, 2011 9:42 AM ET
The Mississippi River flood of 2011 is now the 10th costliest U.S. flooding disaster since 1980. Here is the list:
1) $30.2 billion, Summer 1993 Upper Mississippi and Midwest flooding
2) $15.0 billion, June 2008 Midwest flooding
3) $7.5 billion, May 1995 TX/OK/LA/MS flooding
4) $4.8 billion, 1997 North Dakota Red River flood
5) $4.1 billion, Winter 1995 California flooding
6) $4.0 billion, January 1996 Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, blizzard rain and snow melt flooding
7) $3.9 billion, Winter 1996 – 1997 West Coast flooding
8) $2.3 billion, Winter 1982 – 1983 El Niño-related West Coast flooding
………………………….. The Worst Mississippi River Flood Ever? May 19, 2011
Worst foods since 1927: Mississippi River Floods 2011: Hundreds Of Thousands Of Acres In Louisiana At Risk. Full Story ……………………
Army engineers have opened the gates of an emergency spillway along the rising Mississippi River to divert floodwaters, a move that's expected to inundate homes and farms in Louisiana's Cajun country. Powered by www.newslook.com Producer : CBC
Half the town of Joplin, MO is shredded by huge Tornado - chaos leaves over 100 dead and hundreds missing. Happened May 23, 2011
By Elliott Blackburn
JOPLIN, Mo | Thu May 26, 2011 7:53pm EDT
JOPLIN, Mo (Reuters) - On the wall of the Red Cross shelter in Joplin was taped a poster with a picture of Emma Marie Hamp-Haines, on which someone had scrawled "FOUND."
Hamp-Haines was reunited with her daughter at the center on Wednesday, three days after a huge tornado carved a path of destruction through the city of 50,000 people known as a waystation on historic "Route 66."
"That made it worth it, to see a family brought together," said Amie Houston, a Missouri State University student, who watched the reunion.
The meeting of mother and daughter was a welcome happy ending in a town where too many other stories have ended in shock and tears.
By Thursday, nearly 100 hours after the deadliest tornado in the United States in 64 years, officials were still trying to find 232 people unaccounted for.
"On that list there are individuals that we are working directly with their family members to identify and notify their loved ones that ... are deceased," Andrea Spillars, Deputy Director of the Missouri Department of Public Safety, told a news conference.
She appealed to the public to help authorities whittle down the list.
The slow flow of information was somewhat understandable after the devastation the storm wreaked. Traffic was snarled on the few main roads as residents were joined by volunteers, gawkers and media trying to move around the scarred city. Cell phone service was spotty and electric power was out for some.
In the days after the tornado, local radio was filled with callers hunting for friends and family. A Safe and Well list maintained by the Red Cross had more than 1,800 names registered and more than 79,000 searches by Thursday morning, spokesman Jim Rettew said.
"One of the first questions we're asking is 'Have you notified your family? Do they know you're safe?" Rettew said.
MISSING NUMBER PROBLEMS
For two days after the massive tornado on Sunday, officials provided a figure of some 1,500 people missing, which seemed an extraordinarily high number for such a small city. As briefings continued for the media, the number of missing did not decline. Then on Wednesday, officials abruptly stopped giving out a figure at all.
They acknowledged that the missing figure probably included double counting and other aberrations. Their reticence also reflected growing frustration in Joplin that families could not find out what had happened to their loved ones.
Debbie Cummins, great-grandmother of 16-month-old Skyular Logdson, who was finally identified in a morgue on Wednesday, said she and others have tried for two days to verify with coroners' representatives that he has been located, as relatives of the boy's father have said.
"I want to know when there's going to be that next press conference because I want to ask 'where are our loved ones?'" Cummins said on Thursday. "I want to know this and not just for myself and our family. We can't get any answers."
Responding to the criticism, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon commandeered 60 officials and put them to work around the clock over the last 24 hours to pare down the list to the 232 released to the public.
The official death toll from the tornado had risen by one to 126 on Thursday, with the addition of Skyular. More than 900 were injured, according to government officials in Joplin. It was the eighth deadliest tornado in U.S. history.
Houston, the Red Cross shelter worker, was one of the lucky ones. She spent hours after the storm making phone calls and slowly locating her friends from school. Some of them managed a reunion at the shelter.
There wasn't a lot of talking," Houston said. "We didn't even need to say anything. It was the fact that we were all together."
(Writing by Greg McCune; Editing by Jerry Norton) - Full Story. …………………………… At least 4 killed in Oklahoma City tornadoes Series of tornadoes roll through Oklahoma City area, critically injuring at least three children May 24, 2011
OKLAHOMA CITY — A series of tornadoes rolled through Oklahoma City and its suburbs at rush hour Tuesday, killing at least four people and critically injuring at least three children, authorities said.
Canadian County emergency director Jerry Smith said two people died when the storm hit El Reno and Piedmont in his county just west of Oklahoma City. He did not have any immediate details about the deaths.
Three children suffered major injuries in Piedmont, according to Lara O'Leary, a spokeswoman for the region's Emergency Medical Service Authority. She said emergency workers also were dispatched to a natural gas facility near El Reno after reports of an explosion.
A spokesman for a gas plant in the area owned by Devon Energy Corp. said there was no explosion at that facility. Chip Minty said workers activated an emergency shutdown before the storm hit, cutting the flow of gas into the plant. The gas already in the plant was allowed to dissipate, he said. Full Story.
…………………………….. The Science Behind This Terrible Tornado Season. May 26, 2011
Andrea Mustain, LiveScience.com Andrea Mustain, Wed May 25, 3:40 pm ET
So far, 2011 has proved a year destined for the tornado record books.
Nearly 1,200 tornadoes have swarmed the United States this year, according to preliminary numbers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Four of these storms have been rated at the highest tornado strength, an EF-5. The death toll from these tornadoes has likely topped 500, a number not seen since 1953.
But why has this year seen so many and such devastating twisters?