صور مرعبة وعدد القتلى يتصاعد في اعاصير الغرب الاوسط الاميركي

رئيس التحرير
2019.08.24 00:30


ارتفعت حصيلة قتلى الاعصار الذي ضرب اوكلاهوما وولايات الغرب الاوسط الاميركي المجاورة لها الى 14 قتيلاً، بينهم طفلان، وذلك بعد اقل من اسبوعين على إعصار مدمر مشابه ضرب مدينة مور الواقعة في المنطقة عينها وادى الى مقتل 24 شخصا بحسب السلطات.
والولايات الاكثر تضررا هي اوكلاهوما مع سقوط 11 قتيلا يضاف اليهم ثلاثة قتلى في ولاية ميسوري المجاورة بسبب الفيضانات.
وتفقد حاكم ميسوري جاي نيكسون الاماكن التي ضربها الاعصار للاطلاع على حجم الاضرار، ودعا السكان الى تجنب السير او القيادة في المناطق التي غمرتها المياه.
وقال في بيان له "ان ميسوري تعرضت لسلسلة عواصف كبيرة خلال السنوات الاخيرة واحوال الطقس الخطرة الليلة الفائتة تأتي بعد ايام من الامطار الغزيرة".
واضاف أنه "وبسبب فيضان الكثير من مجاري المياه والانهر علينا ان نبقى متيقظين لمراقبة الفيضانات ومواجهتها في آن في كل الولاية"، مؤكدا "ان الوضع لا يزال خطرا".
والغت دائرة الاحوال الجوية حالة الانذار من الاعاصير في اوكلاهوما، الا انها ابقتها ازاء الفيضانات والعواصف.
وافادت السلطات في هذه الولاية بأنّ العديد من الاشخاص اصيبوا في حوادث سير، كما سقط 87 جريحا نتيجة الرياح العاتية بحسب ما نقلت صحيفة "ذي اوكلاهومان" مشيرة الى اضرار جسيمة.
وذكرت وسائل الاعلام المحلية ان خمسة اعاصير ضربت منطقة اوكلاهوما سيتي وبلغت سرعة الرياح 145 كيلومتراً في الساعة مصحوبة بتساقط كثيف للبرد.
كما تسببت هذه الاعاصير بفيضان مفاجىء لمجاري المياه واخلاء مطار اوكلاهوما سيتي وانقطاعات في الكهرباء.
وبحسب شركة الكهرباء "او جي اند اي" فان 74093 منزلا حرمت من التيار منتصف نهار أمس.
وخلال ذلك، ألحق اعصار اخر اضراراً بنحو خمسين مبنى في ايلينوي بينها مدرسة في جيلسباي التي تطاير سقفها بفعل الرياح التي بلغت سرعتها 185 كيلومتراً في الساعة.
وقال احد مسؤولي الاغاثة في ايلينوي جيمس بيتشفورد "ان هناك منازل انتزعت من اساساتها واخرى تطايرت اسقفها".
يذكر أنّ الولايات المتحدة تشهد نحو 1200 اعصار سنويا لتكون البلد الذي يتعرض لاكبر عدد من الاعاصير في العالم، ويقع القسم الاكبر من هذه الاعاصير في ولايات الوسط الاميركي حيث السهول الشاسعة وحيث تتصادم كتل هوائية متضادة.
وبالأمس، بدأ "رسميا" موسم الاعاصير في المحيط الاطلسي، وهو خطر على الساحل الشرقي الاميركي وخليج المكسيك ومنطقة الكاريبي، ويتوقع خبراء الارصاد الجوية الاميركية ان يكون ناشطا الى حد كبير هذه السنة

Four-year-old found dead after her family was swept away as they desperately tried to seek shelter from flash flooding following Oklahomas latest tornadoes Police have recovered the body of a four-year-old girl swept away by floodwaters following the multiple tornadoes that hit Oklahoma City on Friday evening Five-month-old baby found in Oklahoma River is in critical condition after being pulled out alive
Death-toll currently stands at nine, plus at least 100 injured Authorities say many people ignored advice to sit tight and attempted to leave the area - probably as a reaction to the twister than killed 24 people less than two week ago
Rest of Midwest also impacted with Missouri and Illinois hit by 12 tornadoes 210,000 people left without power in the impacted areas Fears on Saturday of life-threatening flash floods due to the heavy rains which accompanied the storms

The tornadoes may have gone for now, but the death toll is expected to keep rising as rescue workers continue their search for residents swept away in flash floods.

Flooding victims may make up nearly half of the list of fatalities, according to Oklahoma City Police Department.

But police cannot yet provide a figure for the number of people believed to have been pulled from their cars or the arms of their families, as the flooding hit on Friday night and early Saturday.o

Rescue: Riley Webb passes her seven-month-old baby Bryce to Oklahoma County Commissioner Willa Johnson after being rescued from her flooded home

Flooded out: Rescue workers bring residents to dry land. After surviving the tornadoes the region faced flash flooding, with up to 8in of rain falling in 24 hours

Search: Rescuers look for survivors along the Oklahoma River after a family was washed away as they tried to shelter from the storm

It’s not a reach to say at this point that the greatest threat was flooding, not tornadoes, Lieutenant Jay Barnett of Oklahoma police told NBC News.

Emergency officials assessing the damage after violent storms swept through Oklahoma City on Friday have revealed that the body of a four-year-old girl has been recovered after she was swept away by the rising flood waters in the wake of tornadoes.

The young girl and her family had sought shelter from the punishing tornadoes in a ditch just three miles south of downtown Oklahoma City.

Firefighters are searching the Oklahoma River for other family members who remain unaccounted for, including a 21-year-old adult male and children aged four and three. Lieutenant Barnett said a five-month-old baby who is in critical condition, and a woman were pulled out of the river.

They were seeking shelter from the storm and got caught up in it somehow, Oklahoma City Police Department spokesman Lieutenant Barnett told ABC News.

The Oklahoma Medical Examiners Office has so far reported nine deaths, including two children, as a result of Fridays storms, but Lieutenant Barnett could not confirm whether the young boys death was included in that list.

Until we actually recover additional bodies and are able to speak with available witnesses, we can say for certain what happened, Barnett said. We can also hold out some hope that not all of them were swept away, that not all perished.

The medical examiner has identified four of those victims and is asking for the publics help in identifying the five others.

Waterway: A man uses a jetski to travel between his home and Osage City, after Missouri was affected by severe flooding

Storm damage: Navy veterans inspect the washed out road where they pulled a woman and her daughter to safety after their car flooded

A family in El Reno, Oklahoma inspect what is left of their home after Friday nights tornadoes battered the local area

Rain: Parts of Oklahoma City experience extreme flooding after multiple tornadoes passed through Central Okla

A series of violent storms and tornadoes have killed nine people as they swept through Oklahoma City and its suburbs on Friday

People survey the damage at the Canadian Valley Technology Centers El Reno Campus after it was hit by a powerful tornado on Friday

An airplane from the Aviation Technology department lies upside down on the lawn at Canadian Valley Technology Center in El Reno

Flash flooding accounted for some of the deaths, such as that of a 65-year-old man who died on Saturday when his car drove off a damaged bridge  in eastern Oklahoma County.

Oklahoma County sheriffs office has identified the victim as James Talbert, according to NewsOk.

In Missouri three people died in three counties after rivers rose to dangerous levels, and in Arkansas a sheriff was killed by flooding in Scott County on Friday.

Sheriff Cody Carpenter and a wildlife officer had been checking on houses that were in danger of being flooded. His body was found but the wildlife officer is still listed as missing.

Five tornadoes battered the Oklahoma City area on Friday, while another tornado hit the Tulsa area early Saturday.

 
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Missouri and Illinois around St. Louis were also hit by 12 tornadoes, at least 100 people are injured and umerous homes have been damaged. More than 200,000 were left without power in the impacted areas.

Though the tornadoes were not as strong as the EF-5 twister that killed 24 on May 20, fear drove many people to attempt to flee the area in their cars only to get caught up in heavy rains and flash flooding.

‘I’m wondering if the tornadoes from a couple of weeks ago didn’t frighten people so badly that this time they were taking no chances and trying to evade it by car,’ said Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett.

‘That’s a very unwise thing to do because its the absolute worst place you can be during a tornado.’

After the devastation of the Moore tornado, many residents who had experiences the storms before decided to ignore advice to stay home and tried to seek shelter elsewhere.

People search a field for guns near a destroyed RV at a state shooting tournament that was destroyed in El Reno

Shotguns recovered from a field lay against a overturned trailor at a state shooting tournament that was destroyed in El Reno

When the storm passed between El Reno and Yukon, it barreled right down Interstate 40 for more than two miles, ripping billboards down to twisted metal frames

Flash floods: Two pickup trucks are pictured stuck in high water along NW 23rd Street in El Reno

Amy Williamson, who lives just off I-40 in the western Oklahoma City suburb of Yukon, said when she heard the tornado was heading towards her home, she put her children, baby sitter and cats in her car and drove away.

Im a seasoned tornado watcher ... but I just could not see staying and waiting for it to hit, she said.

The family sheltered from the storm in a hospital parking garage.

A 51-year-old teachers assistant who also tried to run from the storm said she quickly regretted her decision, after becoming stuck in traffic in the path of the tornado.

It was chaos ... Everybody was running for their lives, Terri Black, who lives in Moore, said.

My car was actually lifted off the road and then set back down, Ms Black said. The trees were leaning literally to the ground. The rain was coming down horizontally in front of my car. Big blue trash cans were being tossed around like a piece of paper in the wind. Ill never do it again.

Though the states transportation authorities strongly advised citizens not to drive, some interstate highways in Oklahoma were jammed with stalled traffic, as heavy rains drenched roadways and flooded low-lying areas.

Officials described parts of Interstates 35 and 40 near Oklahoma City as a parking lot.

When the storm passed between El Reno and Yukon, it barreled right down Interstate 40 for more than two miles, ripping billboards down to twisted metal frames. Debris was tangled in the medians crossover barriers, including huge pieces of sheet metal, tree limbs, metal pipes, a giant oil drum and a stretch of chain-link fence.

Drivers were encouraged to stay off the roads on Saturday, as emergency crews started to repair the flood-damaged roads and bridges, and began clearing trees and other debris from roadways to make it easier for first responders to get to the areas hit by the tornadoes.

A chef at Gilmores Kitchen at the OKC-West Stockyards, is framed by the kitchen pass-through window on the only kitchen wall still remaining as he checks tornado damage in El Reno

The devastation caused by Fridays storms included a wind turbine blade crashing into a daycare center, fortunately no children were inside

A man looks for items in what is left of a house in El Reno, Oklahoma on Saturday

A family inspect the office of what is left of the livestock auction business near El Reno, Oklahoma

A woman helps salvage clothing from her neighbors destroyed house on Saturday morning after overnight storms in St. Charles, Mo.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health reported Saturday that Oklahoma City-area hospitals treated 104 people. More than half of those were people who had been cut or pierced.

Violent weather also moved through the St. Louis area. Early aerial images of the storms damage showed groups of homes with porches ripped away, roofs torn off and piles of splintered wood scattered across the ground for blocks. Officials in St. Charles County also reported that local schools suffered some damage.

More than 210,000 customers have lost electricity in the areas affected by the storm. With the severe weather knocking out power to nearly 120,000 customers in Oklahoma, according to electricity provider OG&E.

The worry now turns to flash flooding, floodwaters topped four feet in Oklahoma City on Saturday morning. According to meteorologists about six to eight inches of rain fell in a 12 hour period between 7 p.m. Friday and 7 a.m. Saturday.

The National Weather Service said the severe weather threat would shift into neighboring Illinois and Missouri, where Governor Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency on Friday.

The morning after: Wilburn Shaw looks for personal items in the remains of his kitchen the morning after Friday nights storm that passed through St. Charles, Mo

Tornado-damaged power lines hang separated from its pole after tornadoes that swept through central Oklahoma on Friday

Shattered dreams: A couple in St. Charles embrace as they look over their destroyed home after a violent burst of thunderstorms and tornadoes swept across the Midwest overnight

A mother holds her three children after fans at the Barons game were evacuated to the parking garage under the Cox Convention Center due to severe storms in Oklahoma City on Friday

Television images showed downed power lines and tossed cars as the storm systems dumped at least three inches of rain, stranding motorists in flood water.

Meteorologists had warned about particularly nasty weather Friday but said the storms fury didn match that of the tornado that struck Moore. The Friday storm, however, brought with it much more severe flooding. It dumped around 8 inches of rain on Oklahoma City in the span of a few hours and made the tornado difficult to spot for motorists trying to beat it home.

Some tornadoes are wrapped in rain, so its basically impossible to see, which is extremely dangerous, said Bruce Thoren, a meteorologist with National Weather Service in Norman. Somebody driving along really not familiar with whats going on can basically drive into it.

Emergency officials reported that numerous injuries occurred in the area along I-40, and said the storms victims were mostly in cars. Standing water was several feet deep, and in some places it looked more like a hurricane had passed through than a tornado.

The dead include a mother and her baby who were sucked out of their car during the tornadoes.

The mother and baby were killed while traveling on the Interstate near El Reno when their vehicle was picked up by the storm, said Betsy Randolph, spokeswoman for the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

We know that the storm picked them up and swept them away, Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Betsy Randolph told ABC News. When the troopers found them, they were both deceased.

They were just miles from the city of Moore, which was devastated by a massive tornado that killed 24 people on May 20.

A woman finds personal photos for a neighbor from the remains of her home destroyed by violent thunderstorms across the Midwest

People walk near cars and trees damaged by a tornado at the Canadian Valley Technology Center in El Reno, Oklahoma on Saturday morning

A mans body was found about 1 p.m. on Saturday in a creek just east of Dobbs Road in Harrah, said Mark Myers, a spokesman with the Oklahoma County Sherriffs office.

Myers said the man left for work early Saturday and his vehicle was found empty near East Hefner Road and Dobbs Road just after 6 a.m.

His vehicle was found washed off the road, Myers said. He was either washed off the road or tried to get out of his car. I don think people realized how deep and strong the water was.

The interstate was shut down due to the storm, with multiple crashes and injuries. Two other victims were found in a car in Union City, another was found on a road in El Reno.

At Will Rogers World Airport, 2,000 people spent the night sheltering in underground tunnels, reports News 9.

Fifty people took shelter in the freezer at a Sinclair gas station in south Oklahoma City. In the freezer some people were freaking out and crying, while some comforted others and few told jokes, revealed Beverly Allam, 57.

When she emerged from the freezer her car windshield had been shattered by the hail. On her way home after the worst had passed he roads were like rivers, she said.

Brandi Vanalphen, 30, was among the hundreds of drivers trapped on traffic-snarled roads as she attempted to flee the tornado system menacing the suburb of Norman.

What got me scared was being stuck in traffic with sirens going off, she said.

I started seeing power flashes to the north, and I said "screw this." I started driving on the shoulder. People started driving over the grass.

People who tried to get away in their cars faced potential dangers from flash flood waters as well as tornado-force winds.

Tornado debris hangs from a destroyed billboard sign along Interstate-40 Westbound after violent thunderstorms spawned tornadoes that menaced Oklahoma City and its already hard-hit suburb of Moore on Friday

At Will Rogers World Airport, 2,000 people spent the night sheltering in underground tunnels

Authorities say people ignored advice to sit tight and attempted to leave the area - perhaps as a reaction to the previous tornado almost two weeks ago

A storm chaser in Cushing stopped to take photos of the dramatic moment two lightning strikes hit the ground

Tragic: Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers found the bodies of a woman and an infant near their vehicle. Police believe the woman was driving an SUV near El Reno when the powerful twister flipped the vehicle over

More cars on the roads also meant more trouble for Highway Patrol officers responding to automobile accidents during the storm, Randolph said. The officers had to contend with hail and strong winds as they worked to help motorists.

For reasons that are not clear to me, more people took to the roads, more than we expected.

Everyone acted differently in this storm, and as a result, it created an extremely dangerous situation, said Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett.

I think we are still a little shaken by what happened in Moore. We are still burying children and victims, so our emotions are still strong, he added.

Among the injured was a meteorologist from The Weather Channel.

Meteorologist Mike Bette is nursing minor injuries after his ornado hunt car was thrown some 200 yards by the storm.

The network said though Betts was hurt, he and the cars two other occupants were wearing safety belts and were able to walk away from the banged-up vehicle.

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin told CNN that motorists faced great danger when stuck on any freeway in the path of a twister.

What we saw from the tornadoes that came through Moore and the other ones last week was that people who were in cars on the Interstate were killed, Fallin told CNN.

Large, long-lasting thunderstorms known as supercells are responsible for producing the strongest tornadoes, along with large hail and other dangerous winds.

This aerial photo shows damage in the Rolling Meadow Estates neighborhood on Friday in Broken Arrow, Okla. after a tornado had passed the area

Danger: Forecasters warned of a particularly dangerous situation, with ominous language about strong tornadoes and hail the size of grapefruits 4 inches in diameter. Photographed with a wide angle lens, the mile-wide tornado, is seen near El Reno

Injuries: A meteorologist from The Weather Channel was injured after his car (seen here) was thrown 200 yards by the storm

Jack-knifed: Traffic slowly moves around a semi tractor-trailer that was blown off the highway by the tornado on Oklahoma Interstate-40

Stranded: Vehicles trapped by flash flooding sit underneath on the road in Oklahoma City after severe thunderstorms brought tornadoes, high winds, heavy rain and hail to the area

Though the tornado alert expired, the powerful rain continued to hit the area and floodwaters were collecting in the streets.

Flood waters up to 4ft deep hampered rescue attempts and frequent lightning roiled the skies well after the main threat had passed to the east.

Emergency officials reported numerous injuries in the area along I-40, and Randolph said there were toppled and wrecked cars littering the area.

Troopers requested a number of ambulances at I-40 near Yukon, west of Oklahoma City.

Hail and heavy rain pelted the metro area to the point that emergency workers had trouble responding to widespread reports of injuries.

We e scrambling around, said Lara OLeary, a spokeswoman for the local ambulance agency.

There is very low visibility with the heavy rain ... so we e having trouble getting around.

The damage is very, very widespread.

Standing water was several feet deep, and downtown Oklahoma City looked more like a hurricane had gone through than a tornado.

Tornado warnings were also posted Friday night near Tulsa and near St. Louis.

At least six semis on their side at a weight station on I-40 near Oklahoma City, photographer Jim Beckel reported.

Numerous vehicles were damaged in the storm and that many motorists were left stranded.

Storm: The tornado that wreaked havoc near Oklahoma City was reported to be a mile wide with winds reaching up to 80mph

Damage: An Oklahoma home destroyed, its roof partially torn off after the tornado rips through

Salvaging: Residents retrieve belongings from a home destroyed by the tornados that tore through central Oklahoma

More than 86,000 people were without power in the Oklahoma City area, with that number expected to grow, according to ABC News.

Will Rogers World Airport was evacuated as Oklahoma City braced for the tornado, that was moving at 40mph.

Local news reported an estimated 1,200 people were at the airport.

NBC News reported that the passengers were herded to the basement and told to put their hands on their heads as they waited out the storm.

Storm chasers with cameras in their car transmitted video showing a number of funnels dropping from the supercell thunderstorm as it passed south of El Reno and toward downtown Oklahoma City.

Police urged motorists to leave the crosstown Interstate 40 and seek a safe place.

The storm was headed toward Oklahoma City, which has more than a million people in the metro area.

If you live in downtown Oklahoma City, please go below ground. Do it right now, local news forecasters told viewers.

Television cameras showed debris falling from the sky west of Oklahoma City and power transformers being knocked out by high winds across a wider area.

The scene was eerily like that from last week, when blackened skies generated a top-of-the-scale EF5 storm with 210 mph winds.

Rick Smith, the warning coordination meteorologist for the National Weather Service at Norman, said that while the storm packed a powerful punch, it wasn as strong as the Moore tornado.

Waiting: Oklahoma Citys Will Rogers World Airport was evacuated. Local news reported an estimated 1,200 people were at the airport and were herded to the basement to wait out the storm

Approaching: A mile-wide tornado has touched down west of Oklahoma City where it has done damage and it is headed toward Oklahoma City

 

The region was fortunate because the storm touched down mostly in rural areas and missed central Oklahoma City.

Its not even close to anything like what we had last week, Smith said. We were very concerned this would move into downtown. It would have been a major problem. It made all the difference that it was out in the country.

Well before Oklahomas first thunderstorms fired up at late afternoon, the Storm Prediction Center in Norman was already forecasting a violent evening.

From the Texas border to near Joplin, Mo., residents were told to keep an eye to the sky and an ear out for sirens.

This springs tornado season got a late start, with unusually cool weather keeping funnel clouds at bay until mid-May.

The season usually starts in March and then ramps up for the next couple of months.

Most tornadoes in the United States are relatively small. Of the 60 EF5 tornadoes to hit since 1950, Oklahoma and Alabama have been hit the most - seven times each.

A woman hugs a Red Cross worker after surveying damage to her home in Broken Arrow, Okla. on Friday morning after a tornado passed the area

 

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