Storms Leave a Trail of Death and Damages
April 28, 2011—The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) has been in contact throughout the night and this morning with bishops and disaster response personnel in annual conferences hit by last night’s storms and tornadoes to assess damages and next steps to assist communities in need.
According to news reports, at least 178 people died in the storms that raced across five southern states, destroying homes and businesses and wiping out electrical power. Casualties are expected to climb.
Alabama’s fifth largest city, Tuscaloosa, was among the hardest hit, as the National Weather Service tracked 137 tornadoes across the region. The storm system is climbing northward, and there are flash flood alerts for New Jersey and New York.
At the start of the 2011 spring storms season, an unprecedented number of severe storms, including tornadoes, hail, and high winds, has raced across the United States, provoking widespread damage and flooding in the South and Central regions.
The month of April alone has seen more than 7,000 such storms, which produced nearly 600 tornadoes. Rivers, including the Mississippi, are at record 100-year-flood levels. The cleanup and recovery from this series of events will take years.