Disaster Strikes Tornadoes Cause Death and Destruction Across Multiple States

Disaster Strikes: Tornadoes Cause Death and Destruction Across Multiple States

COLUMBIA, Tenn. – Forecasters warned that a wave of deadly storms in the United States might sweep through portions of the South early Thursday, following storms that unleashed catastrophic tornadoes and large hail the day before, killing two in Tennessee and one in North Carolina.

The storms continue an epidemic of torrential rain and tornadoes that have swept over the country this week, from the Plains to the Midwest and now the southeastern United States. At least four people have been killed in storms since Monday.

During Wednesday’s storms, the National Weather Service issued tornado warnings that extended until midnight across North Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, Missouri, and Kentucky. Tornado watches were also issued for parts of Arkansas and Mississippi in the early morning hours.

A storm that rumbled throughout northeastern Tennessee on Wednesday brought severe winds that downed power lines and trees. According to Bob Brooks, the sheriff of Claiborne County, roughly an hour north of Knoxville, a 22-year-old male was driving when he was struck by one of the trees and killed.

Live Updates: 2 Deaths Reported, Rescue Underway in Severe Weather Conditions

A second person was killed in Columbia, Maury County, where the National Weather Service said a tornado had touched down. Columbia lies directly south of Nashville.

Lynn Thompson, assistant director of Maury County 911, reported that homes were damaged and people were hurt. Thompson told The Associated Press that he could not provide any additional information: “We’re getting overloaded right now.”

Maury Regional Health spokesperson Rita Thompson said that the hospital has received five patients, one of whom died. Another was in serious condition, and three had non-life-threatening injuries, she said.

The storms also prompted the Federal Aviation Administration to issue a temporary ground stop at Nashville International Airport, and the National Weather Service to issue a tornado emergency — the highest alert level — for other nearby areas south of the state capital, including Chapel Hill and Eagleville. Meanwhile, strong rain and thunderstorms resulted in water rescues northeast of Nashville.

“Do not attempt to travel unless you are fleeing an area subject to flooding or under an evacuation order,” the National Weather Service advised when it declared a flash flood emergency.

A state of emergency was proclaimed Wednesday night in Gaston County, west of Charlotte, following a huge storm that collapsed power lines and cut trees, one of which landed on a car. One person in the automobile was killed, while another was brought to the hospital, according to officials.

The storms arrived Wednesday after torrential rain, strong winds, hail, and tornadoes pounded sections of the central United States on Monday, including a devastating twister that swept through an Oklahoma town and killed one person. On Tuesday, the Midwest bore the worst of the terrible weather.

On Tuesday, tornadoes touched down in regions of Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana, according to the National Weather Service.

Tornadoes swept through southern Michigan, including Kalamazoo County, according to the National Weather Service. Governor Gretchen Whitmer proclaimed a state of emergency in four counties. A FedEx plant in Kalamazoo County’s Portage area was severely damaged, trapping approximately 50 people inside due to downed power lines.

Travis Wycoff went outside Tuesday night after noticing on radar that a tornado had touched down in the Portage region. He claimed he rescued an elderly couple out of their partially collapsed home and liberated a service dog from another property.

“There were a lot of people running through the streets trying to find people and their pets,” Wycoff stated. “It was just a lot of chaos.”

More than a dozen homes were damaged at a mobile home park in neighboring Pavilion Township, and 16 people were injured, according to Kalamazoo County Sheriff Richard Fuller.

Samantha Smith held a box Wednesday afternoon outside her mother’s partially destroyed home in Pavilion Township. The box contained her grandmother’s ashes. Being able to collect the most treasured belongings provided Smith with a rare moment of respite amidst the storm’s devastation. She stated that her parents and brother were hurt during the storm but survived.

“I have thanked God probably a billion times since this happened yesterday,” she stated. “My children are healthy and good. “We just have to make up for what we lost.”

Tornadoes were also verified in Pennsylvania near Pittsburgh, central Arkansas, and northern West Virginia. The West Virginia tornado was at least the 11th this year in a state that averages two tornadoes per year.

Tornadoes wreaked havoc across the Plains and Midwest this spring.

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