Severe storms claim lives of 16 Americans; More wild weather on the way
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
4/28/2014 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
At least 16 people have been killed as a result of wild weather in three American states; Iowa, Arkansas and Oklahoma. Forecasters warn that even more severe weather is on the way, and people should batten down for the coming storms.
In spite of the devastation. many in Arkansas are grateful that the lives of themselves and their loved ones have been spared in the recent storms.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Faulkner County, Arkansas was the hardest hit. Homes were shattered, tractor-trailers were thrown like toys in tornadoes, and 10 people - two of whom included children, were killed. The most affected areas were in the towns of Vilonia and Mayflower.
Darkness hindered overnight efforts to find survivors or bodies in Faulkner County. Rescue crews launched a "deliberate, concentrated search and rescue effort" county spokesman David Hogue told reporters.
It's entirely possible the death toll will rise as emergency crews search the wreckage of destroyed homes. Some of the structures were just recently rebuilt after being flattened three years ago by another tornado.
Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe said the storm was one of the worst to hit the state in recent memory. "It's devastating for the people who have lost property," he said. "It's even more devastating for those who have lost loved ones."
Beebe issued a disaster declaration for Faulkner, Pulaski and White counties, and President Barack Obama offered his condolences and promised storm aid to victims while on a four-nation tour of Asia.
In the meantime, parts of Arkansas and several other states face a renewed threat of severe weather. Numerous school districts in Alabama announced plans to dismiss classes early today.
The most recent weather forecast calls for a widespread severe storm outbreak, including tornadoes and up to baseball-sized hail, in parts of the South. Portions of Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee and Louisiana are at the greatest risk.
Storms are predicted to stretch into the Midwest and Ohio River Valley, with much of Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky at a slight risk of severe weather, forecasters said.
A tornado watch was already in effect Monday morning in parts of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. An earlier watch covering parts of Missouri and Tennessee was canceled.
Arkansas officials say that 14 people had died there in Sunday's storms.
The storms swelled after nearly a week of forecasts calling for severe weather, including a rare "high risk" warning from the National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center.
Many are forced to wait out the worst in darkness. Nearly 18,000 homes and businesses were without power in Arkansas on Monday, more than 10,000 of them in Faulkner County.
Copyright 2017 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK
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