Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Massive storm system marches eastward

The eastern third of the United States can expect a second blustery day Wednesday as severe storms stretch from the Deep South to Delaware, the National Weather Service said.
More tornadoes are possible a day after the system spawned at least 24 possible tornadoes. Ten twisters were confirmed.
Residents in Colorado, Kansas, Missouri and Illinois awoke to tornado warnings. Watches stretched from central Mississippi to western South Carolina.
Airlines also were making their plans for another day of wild weather. Delta Airlines Wednesday morning had canceled 95 national and regional flights.
Windy advisories are posted across the Upper Midwest and sections of the Ohio Valley.
Wednesday will be a day of cleanup for communities in North Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee, Indiana, Wisconsin and Illinois.
Wind, rather than rain, ended up being the greatest danger from the system, with gusts exceeding 70 mph in some places. The National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center said there were 268 reports of wind damage at the end of Tuesday.
High winds canceled hundreds of flights Tuesday -- more than 500 at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport alone -- along with dozens more in Minnesota.
Some delays were reported at Chicago Midway Airport. Indianapolis International Airport reported some delays for flights to Detroit, Michigan; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Cleveland, Ohio; and Minneapolis, Minnesota, while Detroit Metro Airport said most flights were on time.
The Minneapolis/St. Paul Airport reduced air traffic from three runways to one runway for landings and takeoffs Tuesday because of high winds.
Extensive damage from the high winds and possible tornadoes was reported from New York and Wisconsin to the Gulf Coast, but was most heavily concentrated in Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky.
Six tornadoes were confirmed in Indiana, three in Ohio and one more in Wisconsin.
In Lincoln County, North Carolina, eight homes were damaged and three of them destroyed by a possible tornado, spokesman Dion Burleson said late Tuesday. Eleven people were hurt; one has life-threatening injuries. Storms brought down trees, which took power lines with them, knocking out electricity for hundreds of residents
Several cars were overturned in North Carolina's Catawba County, according to the National Weather Service. Catawba emergency dispatch reported minor injuries, along with home damage.
In Chattanooga, Tennessee, a possible tornado struck a fence near Chickamauga Dam and threw debris into a roadway, police said. Five people suffered injuries.
Deputies were assessing damage where a tornado may have touched down near the town of Geraldine in DeKalb County, Alabama, and in Marshall County, said Lauree Ashcom, spokeswoman for the Alabama Emergency Management Agency.
Downed trees were making it difficult to reach residents and determine any injuries, said DeKalb County emergency official Michael Leath.
Up to 200,000 residents lost electrical power because of the storm. Indiana and Illinois each had at least 60,000 power outages and 38,000 were reported in Ohio. Other states reported smaller figures.
A tornado smashed into a business in LaPorte County, Indiana.
Dan Hill, general manager of Hoosier Machinery Solutions, heard a weather siren and went to check.
He turned to another employee after spying an odd cloud formation outside the business door. " 'Does that look like a tornado?' I asked. As soon as I said that, it touched down."
The twister tore a roof off a pole barn, damaged some reconditioned recycling equipment and employees' cars. No one was hurt. The 10 employees "all ran for [heavy] equipment and got inside," Hill said.
Storms caused extensive damage to buildings near Racine, Wisconsin, and Peotone, Illinois, Tuesday morning.
In St. Louis, Missouri, two reported partial building collapses were blamed on the extreme weather.

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