Alabama Tornado Damage
May 2, 2011 by USA Post
Alabama Tornado Damage, The search and rescue teams combing through the rubble of the destroyed Monday in a wave of deadly tornadoes in search of more victims in a disaster that has claimed nearly 350 lives in the southern United States.
The grim search continues with more than 400 people missing after last week’s devastation around Tuscaloosa, raising fears that the death toll could mount.
Firefighters aided by sniffer dogs searched the rubble of houses, buildings and looked under fallen trees in an area about two kilometers (1.2 miles) wide, where a tornado wiped out.
“We are tracking the whole area. We went from one sector to another with a group of 20 people and 10 dogs,” said Stuart signs of Alpha K9 search and rescue team has been working with local authorities.
Police have been restricting travel around the towns of Holt and Alberta, on the outskirts of Tuscaloosa, as the search for possible victims and survivors is held.
A team member told AFP that no storm victims were found on Sunday.
Tuscaloosa Mayor Walter Maddox said the high number of missing could be simply a matter of communications were interrupted.
“My hope and prayer is that the number of missing, which seems so great and amazing is that all these are only those that have not been able to connect with each other,” he said, but added that “I have the impression that we to have more deaths. ”
Alabama was worst hit, with 250 dead and 2,219 wounded.
Mississippi has confirmed 35 deaths, and emergency management agency referred to the magnitude of the disaster reporting 993 homes destroyed and 2,527 damaged in the state.
There were 34 deaths in Tennessee, 15 in Georgia, eight in Arkansas and five in Virginia.
The total death toll of 347 is exceeded only by a March 1925 tornado outbreak that left 747 people dead.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said he estimates there were 312 tornadoes during the period from Tuesday to Thursday.
In the area around Tuscaloosa, about 5,000 properties have been damaged or destroyed, affecting an estimated 13,000 people.
In an area dotted with mobile homes and wooden and metal structures on stilts, most structures were obliterated, with the tornado sending heavy equipment such as refrigerators and washing machines that fly in different directions.
“Here is my stepfather’s car,” said resident Justin Boothe, pointing to the remains of a vehicle driven 30 meters (100 feet) and crushed under a tree.
Jerry Johnson left his home before a tornado came and could not believe what he saw on his return. His house and everything blew up inside the street.
Corner station and general store called “Lucky Dollar” also disappeared.
“An hour after the tornado that came here and asked the police:” Where is the Lucky Dollar? And he said: ‘you are on the property. ”
Daphne Hart, a spokesman for the American Red Cross, said the relief efforts could be prolonged.
“This operation will take time,” he told AFP. “The devastation is immense.”
Homeland Security Secretary, Janet Napolitano, committed the federal government will continue to support affected States, helping them to “fight tooth and nail and recover from this really terrible band of tornadoes that struck the south.”
“That makes sense of urgency for us to even more serious when we see the kind of damage we are seeing here today and the spirit of the people,” he told reporters in Smithville, Mississippi, on Sunday.
American Red Cross opened 16 shelters in Alabama, taking in about 900 homeless people recently, the organization announced.
An unstable climate, meanwhile, threatened the region.
The Accuweather forecast service said there is the possibility of a period of three to five inches of rain in the Northeast corridor from Texas to the Ohio Valley until Tuesday, which could lead to flooding.
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