Earlier this week, parts of the Midwest and the south were ravaged by deadly storms and tornadoes. The severe weather resulted in major damage to the area and a number of injuries and deaths in the region. The LA Times reports, “At least 13 deaths, hundreds of injuries, and millions of dollars of damage were reported this week.”
The first of the violent storms hit early on Wednesday morning and caused damage to homes and businesses in the Midwest and the South. In some states, the storm had passed by midday but winds were still strong and reached 170 mph while people tried to sort through the piles of debris left behind. In Branson, Missouri, a town not too far from Joplin, MO, hotels, historical theaters, and museums sustained significant damage. The Huffington post reported that “intense winds sucked furniture away” at the downtown Hilton and that “it could be almost two months” for popular shows could be performed again at the Branson Variety Theater. In Harrisburg, IL, walls collapsed at the Harrisburg Medical Center just as staff was trying to discharge patients who could go home and new injured patients were coming in.
The south was hit with similar weather as well as severe storms “that dropped pingpong ball-sized hail in some areas that collapsed homes and down power lines.” Areas in Tennessee, Kentucky, Kansas, Arkansas, and Oklahoma were hit hard by the storms. Wind speeds in some areas reached 120 to 130 mph, destroying towns and leaving debris and rubble behind.
The two areas may not have been hit with such severe weather on Thursday, but forecasts predicted another round of strong storms for Friday. Ryan Jewell, a meteorologist in Oklahoma said that “both the Midwest and South would be “right in the bull’s eye.” His statement proved to be correct when tornadoes touched down in Alabama on Friday morning. The Huntsville region was hit the hardest where “more than 1,000 feet of fence was down” around the Limestone Correctional Facility according to Madison County Commissioner Dale Strong.
While states start to cleanup the debris, the National Weather Service predicts that tornadoes and severe thunderstorms will likely hit the already affected areas throughout Friday and into the night. We hope that our readers in the affected areas stay safe. In an effort to help with crisis communication in the affected areas, Send Word Now would like to donate our on-demand communication and incident management services to any businesses, organizations, and agencies impacted by the storms. If you organization would like to request a temporary Send Word Now account to help in your disaster recovery efforts, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will reach out to you immediately.