Deadly Tornadoes Strike South

F5 tornado, photo by Justin Hobson

At least 18 people are reported dead after a series of tornadoes touched down across multiple states in the American south. Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina have confirmed fatalities, with further damage being assessed in all of those states as well as Texas, Tennessee, North Carolina and Louisiana. The storm system has now shifted north, putting Virginia and Washington D.C. in danger of strikes.

While the fatalities properly dominate the news, there are other significant losses from the storms. In addition to the known deaths, more than a million people are without power. Many homes and businesses have been destroyed. Injuries both minor and severe have been reported but have not been fully tallied. Storm-related flooding has caused lesser damage and hindered rescue operations.

In an unfamiliar addition to the damage assessment, the covid-19 threat must be considered. In areas of the country prone to tornado activity, there are many public shelter sites designed to provide a measure of protection through unusually strong construction. During storms, residents are instructed to take shelter in those areas but disease does not abate because of incipient threats. The crowded, sometimes cramped conditions in shelters are likely to have caused some contagion of the novel coronavirus, at a time when local medical facilities are likely to be temporarily without power or even physically damaged.

The relative threat assessments were addressed by Kay Ivey, the Governor of Alabama, in which she temporarily rescinded part of her stay-at-home order:

Two of the known casualties occurred when trees fell on homes, one in the Atlanta, GA area and another in Jefferson County, AR. Five fatalities have been counted from a trailer park on the Tennessee/Georgia border. Details on the other deaths have not, as yet, been provided to the general public.

Monroe, Louisiana suffered extensive damage from the storm system, with a local airport ravaged and at least one neighborhood destroyed. As yet, there are no confirmed deaths from the area.

Chattanooga, Tennessee was another area which saw significant damage:

When a tornado strikes a rural area, the destruction can be just as dramatic, even if it doesn’t earn the attention that city strikes receive. From Georgia, an example:

The Red Cross and other disaster relief organizations are mobilizing to address some of the needs of the displaced.

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About AlienMotives 1991 Articles
Ex-Navy Reactor Operator turned bookseller. Father of an amazing girl and husband to an amazing wife. Tired of willful political blindness, but never tired of politics. Hopeful for the future.