The powerful storm system on Friday spawned ferocious tornadoes, resulting in the loss of many lives and extensive property damage.
So far, 32 deaths have been reported in Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Mississippi and Tennessee. These states suffered damage and fatalities, with some towns and communities completely destroyed by the powerful winds and rain.
Dozens of tornadoes have destroyed homes and trees in at least eight states, affecting the lives of people in large areas. Residents were left without power and essential services, due to the damage caused by the storms. PowerOutage.us, a platform that consolidates data from various utilities nationwide, reported that over 400,000 customers in five states remained without power as of Saturday afternoon.
In Belvidere, Illinois, about 260 people were attending a heavy metal concert at the Apollo Theatre, when a section of the roof collapsed, resulting in the death of a 50-year-old man and injuring 40 others, including two individuals with injuries that are considered to be life-threatening, according to officials.
At least seven people have died in McNairy County, according to David Leckner, the mayor of Adamsville. The death toll may rise as rescue teams continue to search through the rubble.
“The majority of the damage has been done to homes and residential areas,” Leckner said.
A week ago, there was a school shooting in the Green Hills neighborhood of Nashville that left six people dead. The extreme weather made the situation of this state even worse. Nevertheless, residents are trying to rebuild and come to terms with these tragedies. On Saturday, Governor Bill Lee visited the county to assess the damage caused by the disaster and provide support and comfort to the affected residents.
“It’s terrible what has happened in this community, this county, this state,” Lee said. “But it looks like your community has done what Tennessean communities do, and that is rally and respond.”
Rolling Fork, a city in Mississippi, was hit by a tornado on March 24 that killed 21 people. The tornadoes again destroyed some of the town's homes and infrastructure on Friday, just a few hours after President Joe Biden's visit.
Although the tornado that struck Rolling Fork last week was considered a "single event," and not related to climate change, researchers believe that the warming climate will lead to an increase in extreme weather such as tornadoes, according to a study in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. As the nation grapples with the effects of climate change, it is more important than ever to prepare for the increasing frequency and intensity of these disasters.
The storm system also caused havoc in different parts of the country, bringing wildfires to the southern Plains and blizzard conditions in the Upper Midwest. Meanwhile, tornadoes and hail continue to pose a threat in the Northeast, specifically in parts of Pennsylvania and New York.
According to the National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center, another round of storms are coming this week. Northeastern Texas, Arkansas, southern Missouri, northern Missouri, southeastern Iowa, and much of Illinois are areas of particular concern.
Edited By: Kyenila Taylor
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