Killer tornadoes not through with U.S. yet
Meteorologists warn that even more lethal weather is on the way
Weather forecasters warn that a large section of the United States could be hit by severe thunderstorms, with an especially high risk of tornadoes in Arkansas, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas and Missouri. According to one expert, the severe weather is not over, "not by a long shot."
Homes crushed like boxes and cars crushed like tin cans are a common sight in tornado-ravaged Joplin, Missouri.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - " A few strong tornadoes, very large hail and damaging winds over parts of the southern and central Plains and Ozarks this afternoon and tonight," the National Weather Service warned.
The Storm Prediction Center says there is a possible large outbreak this week and bad weather potentially reaching the East Coast by Friday. "This is a very serious situation brewing," center director Russell Schneider said.
There is a "moderate risk" of severe weather in central and southeast Kansas and southwestern Missouri, which could include the already battered Joplin. Severe weather is predicted in central Oklahoma, southern Kansas and north Texas.
The center also issued a high-risk warning before the deadly outbreak in the South last month that killed more than 300.
President Barack Obama, still in the United Kingdom said he would travel to Joplin by this weekend. The death toll rose to 117 Tuesday, making it the single deadliest U.S. tornado in more than six decades.
Obama vowed to make all federal resources available for efforts to recover and rebuild.
"The American people are by your side," the president said. "We're going to stay there until every home is repaired, until every neighborhood is rebuilt, until every business is back on its feet."
Some 1,500 people are still reported missing, according to Keith Stammer of Jasper County Emergency Management. Officials reassure that the tally could include many who haven't been able to let relatives know they are fine, authorities said.
Officials fear that the death toll could rise as the full scope of the destruction comes into view. Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon told NBC's TODAY show that Joplin faces a "long, sad and difficult" recovery - and that the number of dead likely "will move up."
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for December 2013
General Intention: Victimized Children. That children who are victims of abandonment or violence may find the love and protection they need.
Missionary Intention: Prepare the Savior's Coming. That Christians, enlightened by the Word incarnate, may prepare humanity for the Savior's coming.
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