Rare Tornadoes Tear Through Calif.; 1 Killed in Colorado, Wyoming Twisters

Friday, May 23, 2008
SOURCE: AP to Foxnews.com

It could be me but it seems like there have been more Tornadoes this year than in the past.  Between earthquakes, fires, floods, tornadoes and hurricanes they all have been more prevelent from year to year with this year beginning to seemingly set a record….flagranny2

SANTA ANA, Calif. —  A wild weather system lashed Southern California on Thursday with fierce thunderstorms that unleashed mudslides in wildfire-scarred canyons, spawned a tornado and dusted mountains and even low-lying communities with snow and hail.

The National Weather Service issued tornado warnings for parts of Riverside County about 55 miles east of Los Angeles and area residents flooded TV stations with pictures and video of funnel clouds and at least one tornado on the ground.

Powerful wind or a funnel cloud toppled a tractor-trailer on a highway and freight cars on nearby railroad tracks, said Riverside County fire spokeswoman Jody Hageman. One person was rescued from the wrecked truck.

Click to view photos.

“It got real windy, the sky got real dark,” said James Smith, a manager at a fitness center at nearby March Air Reserve Base. He was not aware of any damage to the base.

Michael Ritter was scrambling to put away lawn furniture in his backyard in Riverside when he spotted a tornado and grabbed his camera.

“It looked like one of those dirt devils and then it got bigger. I’ve never seen anything remotely as big,” Ritter said. “We could hear the wind from a mile away and see the debris flying up. I thought, that’s the real thing.”

For the full article click [ Here ]

Deadly Tornado Hits Georgia Saturday on Heels of Friday Storm That Ripped Through Downtown Atlanta

Sunday, March 16, 2008

ATLANTA —  Two people in rural northwest Georgia are dead and dozens injured after a series of severe storms moved through the state, producing the first-ever tornado to hit downtown Atlanta.

A woman was killed in Polk County early Saturday afternoon when a storm demolished her home and threw her and her husband into a field, while an elderly man in neighboring Floyd County was killed by flying debris as he sat in his home, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. Officials have not released the victims’ names.

Click here to see photos.

Calls to the Polk and Floyd County sheriff’s departments were not immediately returned.

National Weather Service officials were expected to be in both counties later Sunday to determine whether the damage was caused by a tornado or straight-line winds, meteorologist Vaughn Smith said.

In Atlanta, crews began cleaning up debris and broken glass Saturday from the tornado that struck the city with little warning the previous night. The storm cut a 6-mile path of destruction through the city with winds gusting up to 130 miles per hour, leaving homes crushed by centuries-old trees and numerous windows shattered in high-rise office buildings and hotels.

In neighborhoods just east of downtown — like the historic Cabbagetown where a loft apartment building partially collapsed and homes were destroyed — residents ducked under tables and hid in closets as the twister made its way through the city.

“It was just like everyone says it is — the proverbial freight train,” said Carol Grizzel as she cleaned debris out of her yard.

Some of the cleanup in Atlanta was delayed by a series of strong storms that moved through the state Saturday, bringing torrential rain, high winds and quarter-sized hail.

Residents had about eight minutes of warning before the twister struck downtown Friday night, weather officials said. The tornado, classified as an EF2 tornado on the Enhanced Fujita scale, lasted about 20 minutes.

Catch the full story and pictures [here]

Threat of avalanche delays Mont. search

By MATT GOURAS, Associated Press Writer Tue Jan 15, 12:30 PM ET

Flathead County Sheriff, Mike Meehan, left, speaks with Patrol ...HELENA, Mont. – The threat of another avalanche delayed search-and-rescue efforts Tuesday at the site of a large snow slide that killed two backcountry skiers near the Whitefish Mountain Resort in northwestern Montana.

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Authorities still didn’t know if more skiers were caught in Sunday’s avalanche. Witnesses have said they saw two other people in the area of the slide, although authorities have not received any missing person reports.

A storm moved through the area early Tuesday, bringing high winds and heavy snow that could prompt another slide. Flathead County Sheriff Mike Meehan said the search will resume once authorities can determine the area is safe.

Rescuers have faced difficult terrain, including trees downed by tons of snow crashing down a mountain and miserable weather as they search. Some 100 rescuers on Monday used long poles to probe the snow every few inches to look for possible victims. Search dogs and a helicopter also assisted in the effort. [Full story]

Associated Press writers Len Iwanski and Katie Oyan in Helena contributed to this report.

Arson Suspected as Firefighters Battling California Firefighters Welcome Easing Winds

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

They do have in custody a suspect considered to having started at least one of the fires but can not substantiate any evidence of him being involved with any of the others but to me one is enough as far as I’m concerned.  

I have relatives who have a beach home in Carlsbad.  I called them to see if they were ok and even though they are located about 15 miles south of the fires they are getting the soot and embers that far away.  So not only does the fires destroy the property specific to an area the fires can have an effect on surrounding areas as far as at least 15 miles away. 

As I live in Florida I remember the fires we had in 1998 and the horrible destruction we had and even though we weren’t in the direct path we could smell the smoke and had ashes and soot all around and on some days couldn’t see the house across the street and that day the fires were over 30 miles away but the wind was in our direction.  It looked like night it was so dark.  We were fortunate in the fact that the winds were not as high as those in California and even though our loss was devastating it no way compared to what is happening in California.  So if you can please take a minute and think of those who are facing loss and destruction and keep them in your thoughts.

SAN DIEGO — A new round of evacuations was ordered in San Diego County Wednesday where officials said raging wildfires have caused more than $1 billion in property damage.

Sixteen fires burning for four days across seven counties stretching from Malibu, north of Los Angeles, to the Mexican border, have killed five people, destroyed 1,500 homes, consumed 426,000 acres– or about 665 square miles– and forced between 500,000 to one million people from their homes–the largest evacuation in the state’s history.

San Diego County has been the hardest hit with five separate fires, the largest of which has consumed 196,420 acres — about 300 square miles — from Witch Creek to Rancho Santa Fe, destroying 650 homes.


“Clearly, this is going to be a $1 billion or more disaster,” Ron Lane, San Diego County’s director of emergency services, told reporters during a news conference.

Click here for today’s photos

President Bush declared on Wednesday that a major disaster exists in California and ordered federal aid to supplement the state and local recovery efforts in the area

Firefighters sift through the charred home of a colleague in San Diego.

•But at Qualcom Stadium, where thousands of evacuees have taken refuge, the Schlotte family of Ramona, Calif., spoke to FOX News of a different reality.

 The family did not own property but were renters, with no insurance to cover their losses. Ben Schlotte, a house painter, lost his work truck and equipment in the fire, and said that with so many homes destroyed in the area, his painting business was essentially finished.

“All of our memories are gone,” his wife, Billy, said.

•”I’m ready to go, but at the same time, I don’t want to go up there and be surprised,” said Mary Busch, 41, who did not know whether her home in Ramona was still standing. She has lived at the evacuation center at Qualcom Stadium since Monday, sleeping in her SUV with her 11- and 8-year-old sons.

•”I called my home and my answering machine still works, so that’s how I know we’re OK,” said Rancho Bernardo resident Fuli Du, who packed his belongings Wednesday preparing to leave Qualcom.

These are just a couple of personal stories for the full report and links to others regarding the fires please click here.

More Rain Forecast for Texas, Oklahoma After Days of Flooding

Friday, June 29, 2007 

FORT WORTH, Texas —  Flood-weary residents of Texas and Oklahoma had no reprieve Friday as more rain fell in a region where two weeks of storms have swollen rivers and lakes beyond their limits. Thousands of people have been forced from their homes, though some residents were holding out, saying conditions are no worse than floods they’ve weathered before.A state of emergency was in place for all of Oklahoma on Friday, and flood watches and warnings were posted for river communities. A flood watch was in effect for 28 counties in Texas, where the storms have been blamed for at least 11 deaths.The chance of more rain Friday in the affected areas of Texas was more than 60 percent, said Jesse Moore, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Fort Worth.“The storms are very efficient rain producers, and if you happen to be under one of them you can pick up 1 1/2 or 2 inches an hour,” Moore said. “Right now with the ground being saturated, it’s all run-off and that causes the flash flooding we’ve been seeing.

For the complete story continue reading Fox News

At Least 220 Homes Destroyed as High Winds Stoke Lake Tahoe Wildfire

Monday, June 25, 2007-At Least 220 Homes Destroyed as High Winds Stoke Lake Tahoe Wildfire

MEYERS, Calif. — Firefighters launched an aggressive attack Monday to corral a raging forest fire near the popular resort of Lake Tahoe that has destroyed at least 220 homes and forced about 1,000 people to flee neighborhoods along the Lake’s southern edge.

When I initially heard about this at 6am today 165 homes  reported destroyed.  In this short period of time fire has engulfed anoter 55 more homes.

The fire, believed to be caused by human activity, was approaching 2,500 acres — nearly 4 square miles — and was less than 10 percent contained, said Lt. Kevin House of the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department. No injuries were reported.

“This is far and above the biggest disaster that has happened in this community, I don’t know, probably in forever,” House told reporters in an early morning briefing.

For the complete story click here

Greensburg, Kansas – After the storm

The tornado that stuck this small farming town in Kansas was a Category EF-5, 1.7-miles wide with winds estimated around 205 mph.

(Tornadoes are usually categorized by wind speed based on the Fujita Tornado Intensity Scale, with F-5 referring to the most powerful storms. The “EF,” or “Enhanced Fujita” scale, measures the severity of a tornado based on damage rather than wind speed.)

I don’t think there is anything to say but to just let the pictures speak for themself.

Greensburg, Kansas

Information source: The Wichita Eagle
Click on photo to view all in gallery from above


Click on this photo to view all in this gallery

Greensburg, Kansas from the ground
Information source: CBS.com