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As he commands search and rescue efforts in more than a dozen tornado-devastated Alabama counties, Gov. Robert Bentley is pushing back against the suggestion that the state – and its residents – were unprepared for what may become known as the most violent storm in Alabama history.

On Thursday, state officials expected the casualty toll to rise higher than the 131 deaths reported, as daylight allowed a more thorough search for the missing in vast areas of destruction.

Governor Bentley reminded reporters on Thursday that Alabama has a long history of deadly tornadoes. The state saw the greatest number of casualties in the 1974 "Super Tornado Outbreak," which killed 318 people across the US and Canada, with 77 perishing in Alabama. He added that "incessant" TV and radio coverage of the storm system had residents on high alert all day Wednesday. Most Alabama counties are equipped with tornado sirens, which sounded Wednesday.

"We were very prepared,... but it was just the force of the storms," Bentley said. "When a [large tornado] hits a highly populated area like Tuscaloosa, you cannot move thousands of people in five minutes. When an F4 or F5 tornado hits, there's not much you can do to change the outcome of that." As measured by a tornado ranking system, F4 and F5 tornadoes are the most intense, rated by the damage a tornado causes after passing over a manmade structure.

A system that spawned 137 tornadoes before moving toward the East Coast bore down on several Alabama cities Wednesday, including Tuscaloosa, Birmingham, and Huntsville, the state's aerospace capital. It forced the Tennessee Valley Authority to power down three nuclear reactors in Alabama as a precaution, as a plant in northern Alabama lost offsite power. As many as 1 million residents are without power – and hundreds, if not more, are without homes.

President Obama declared the state a national disaster area to leverage FEMA's resources to help Bentley organize search teams and start taking care of survivors, including housing and feeding them. FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate is slated to travel to Alabama Thursday to meet with Bentley and help take stock of the damage.

Though outside the western Plains area called "Tornado Alley," the South has its own "Dixie Alley" that has seen some of the largest long-track tornadoes on record, FEMA's Mr. Fugate said Thursday. In 1936, Mississippi and Georgia both saw death tolls rise above 200 after a tornado outbreak.

Tornado death tolls have continued to drop as forecasting and warning technology has improved. But as was the case two weeks earlier when a tornado outbreak killed 22 people in North Carolina, the strength, width, and mile-long-tracks of Wednesday's tornadoes overwhelmed the ability of the warning systems to safeguard residents.

"This is what hits us, this is what destroys so many homes and kills so many people," Bentley said. "This is not new to Alabama. We understand the force of a tornado."

Tornado checklist: What to do – and what myths to ignore

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/2011/0...now-where-to-go-what-to-bring-and-who-to-tell
 

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o7T7GYl0xvg&feature=player

As he commands search and rescue efforts in more than a dozen tornado-devastated Alabama counties, Gov. Robert Bentley is pushing back against the suggestion that the state – and its residents – were unprepared for what may become known as the most violent storm in Alabama history.

On Thursday, state officials expected the casualty toll to rise higher than the 131 deaths reported, as daylight allowed a more thorough search for the missing in vast areas of destruction.

Governor Bentley reminded reporters on Thursday that Alabama has a long history of deadly tornadoes. The state saw the greatest number of casualties in the 1974 "Super Tornado Outbreak," which killed 318 people across the US and Canada, with 77 perishing in Alabama. He added that "incessant" TV and radio coverage of the storm system had residents on high alert all day Wednesday. Most Alabama counties are equipped with tornado sirens, which sounded Wednesday.

"We were very prepared,... but it was just the force of the storms," Bentley said. "When a [large tornado] hits a highly populated area like Tuscaloosa, you cannot move thousands of people in five minutes. When an F4 or F5 tornado hits, there's not much you can do to change the outcome of that." As measured by a tornado ranking system, F4 and F5 tornadoes are the most intense, rated by the damage a tornado causes after passing over a manmade structure.

A system that spawned 137 tornadoes before moving toward the East Coast bore down on several Alabama cities Wednesday, including Tuscaloosa, Birmingham, and Huntsville, the state's aerospace capital. It forced the Tennessee Valley Authority to power down three nuclear reactors in Alabama as a precaution, as a plant in northern Alabama lost offsite power. As many as 1 million residents are without power – and hundreds, if not more, are without homes.

President Obama declared the state a national disaster area to leverage FEMA's resources to help Bentley organize search teams and start taking care of survivors, including housing and feeding them. FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate is slated to travel to Alabama Thursday to meet with Bentley and help take stock of the damage.

Though outside the western Plains area called "Tornado Alley," the South has its own "Dixie Alley" that has seen some of the largest long-track tornadoes on record, FEMA's Mr. Fugate said Thursday. In 1936, Mississippi and Georgia both saw death tolls rise above 200 after a tornado outbreak.

Tornado death tolls have continued to drop as forecasting and warning technology has improved. But as was the case two weeks earlier when a tornado outbreak killed 22 people in North Carolina, the strength, width, and mile-long-tracks of Wednesday's tornadoes overwhelmed the ability of the warning systems to safeguard residents.

"This is what hits us, this is what destroys so many homes and kills so many people," Bentley said. "This is not new to Alabama. We understand the force of a tornado."

Tornado checklist: What to do – and what myths to ignore

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/2011/0...now-where-to-go-what-to-bring-and-who-to-tell
Why would anybody critisize a governor for deaths resulting from something like this??? A tornado is not a huricane that takes days to arive. Tornados are here one minute then gone the next. This one of course was not gone the next but the strength made it such that even people who took cover were at risk. Nothing anybody could have done prior to this storm could have helped the situation short of a psychic.

Lets just hope for the best for the people affected by this storm and leave the monday morning quarterbacking for monday morning. :crazy:
 

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We caught the remnants last night here in Ga. - Sorry to hear about the deaths. Childeren, animals, and adults. Not a pleasant weather event to go through.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Why would anybody critisize a governor for deaths resulting from something like this???
I'll agree completely. This insatiable need to wage blame and thereby invent an agency to investigate and then attempt a cure for the problem... is ridiculous.
 

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Glad to hear the local DC'ers are safe. :cheers:

Growing up in Denver I saw my fair share of tornadoes and know what they can do.
 

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Just picked up a box out in front of the shop....its got a Dothan address, 300 miles south of here.
 

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Just picked up a box out in front of the shop....its got a Dothan address, 300 miles south of here.
By the time the storms got up here around noon today they were quite a bit weaker. We still had tornado warnings and we got some incredibly strong thunder storms and some flash flooding but nthing like what you guys saw.
 

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Tornado watchers knew after the April 14 outbreak that we were in for another super outbreak.

We are waaaaay ahead of tornados per month this year, and it's still an early season.

This will be an ugly, dangerous year.
 

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By the time the storms got up here around noon today they were quite a bit weaker. We still had tornado warnings and we got some incredibly strong thunder storms and some flash flooding but nthing like what you guys saw.
The one 3 miles from the house was not bad and no one was hurt. Tops of trees gone along with lots laid down. Many roofs but the homes still stood.

For the one I saw form...was really a tornado that started several miles away after I see more of what went on, it also passed about one mile from the front door of the shop. I have only heard of 3 deaths involved. It was large and lots of damage. Complete sub-divisions are gone. Shopping centers look like scrap piles. Its going to be several days before some will have power.
 

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Anyone contact the UN, NATO, AU, EU, OPEC, or G8 for aid?

We could sure use it right about now.
 

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I was in Bham today and when I left I took 65 to old 78 and took it to new 78, soon to be I22. One community just west of 65 and 78 was destroyed. Maybe a hundred cars were parked on the side of the road because their neighhood was gone. People just milling around. Because of the power shutdowns there was no power all the way to Jasper Al. Maybe 30 miles or more. There will be a lot of suffering. The only good news is the weather was beautiful today low 70's and sunny. Hopefully it will keep people from being thirsty and hot.
 
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