Southern Storm Updates and Ways to Help

Good afternoon, here are some updates on the tornadoes that destroyed towns, neighborhoods and lives. The death toll is now over 350, making this one of the worst storms to hit the US in 80 years.

US tornadoes toll rises over 350, thousands homeless | Reuters

The death toll from the second deadliest U.S. tornado outbreak on record rose above 350 on Saturday as thousands of stunned survivors camped out in the shattered shells of their homes or moved into shelters or with friends.

With some estimates putting the number of homes and buildings destroyed close to 10,000, state and federal authorities in the U.S. South were still coming to terms with the scale of the devastation from the country’s worst natural catastrophe since Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

One disaster risk modeler, EQECAT, is forecasting insured property losses of between $2 billion and $5 billion from the havoc inflicted by the swarm of violent twisters that gouged through seven southern states this week.

The death toll in Alabama, the hardest-hit state, rose to 255 on Saturday, with at least 101 more deaths reported in Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas, Georgia, Virginia and Louisiana.

[…]

The death toll from the week’s tornado outbreak, which is still expected to rise, was the second highest inflicted by this kind of weather phenomenon in U.S. history. In March 1925, 747 people were killed after tornadoes hit the U.S. Midwestern states of Missouri, Illinois and Indiana.

The next two links are local areas that are accepting help and donations for the victims of the tornadoes in Alabama:

Alabama Tornadoes: How you can help victims of Wednesday’s deadly storms (updated) | al.com

Alabama tornadoes: More opportunities to help North & Central Alabama | al.com

This next link is to a press release from the Red Cross. There are personal stories which bring the human tragedy of these storms into focus.

Southern Tornadoes Leave Lives, Emotions in Upheaval

The physical needs created by a disaster—for food and shelter—are relatively straightforward. But as entire communities deal with what nature has wrought, getting back a sense of security and stability may be an even greater battle.

On Friday night, more than 1100 people spent the night in American Red Cross shelters across multiple states, including more than 700 in hard-hit Alabama.

In addition to giving people a safe place to stay, the Red Cross will have more than 115,000 ready-to-eat meals and thousands of relief supply items to distribute in Alabama over the next three days. The Red Cross has 61 emergency response vehicles in the state that will be traveling through neighborhoods to help residents.

Behind these large aggregate numbers are individuals whose world has been turned upside down and who are seeking to put their lives back together again. Here are some of their stories.

To donate funds to the American Red Cross and Salvation Army, please click the links below:

American Red Cross: Donate Funds

The Salvation Army: The Salvation Army Responds to Widespread Tornado Activity

I won’t post pictures of destruction, that is something we all have seen…I will post images of the people…the victims. Click the images to read the articles they are associated with.

Resident Kerri White becomes emotional as she talks about the destruction of her neighborhood in Pleasant Grove, Ala. Thursday April 28, 2011. (The Birmingham News/Hal Yeager)

Angela Gray, of Cullman, Ala., weighs her future as she waits for help on the steps of the Cullman County Courthouse on Thursday. Her home was destroyed by a tornado.

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama comfort people at Holt Elementary School, Alabama. (Photo by Pete Souza courtesy The White House)

Comfort ... Obama hugs a resident


7 Comments on “Southern Storm Updates and Ways to Help”

  1. bostonboomer says:

    Thanks for this update. The damage I’ve seen in pictures and on TV is just devastating.

  2. Fredster says:

    If there is anything “good” concerning this disaster it’s that at least Obama has Fugate in charge of FEMA and not someone like Brownie. Fugate has experience in disasters and I don’t think this will be as bad as Katrina was in the response from the Feds.