Showing posts with label tornadoes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label tornadoes. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Team Rubicon Veterans help disaster survivors, themselves

Veterans help disaster survivors, themselves
By Judy Keen, USA TODAY

When Kasey Sands and her family returned home last month a few days after a tornado flattened much of Joplin, Mo., a dozen strangers were removing trees toppled in their yard.

"I asked them who they were, and they said they were veterans," says Sands, 27. "They said they like to help with peace and not just with war."

They were Team Rubicon, a non-profit group of veterans formed after the 2010 Haiti earthquake to help in the immediate aftermaths of disasters. They also raced in after tornadoes struck Alabama in April and following earlier crises in Chile, Burma, Pakistan and Sudan. More than 500 people have volunteered; 25 were in Joplin for a week.

The name refers to the Rubicon, a river separating ancient Gaul and the Roman Empire. Julius Caesar's crossing of it led to its modern meaning: passing a point of no return.
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Veterans help disaster survivors, themselves

Thursday, June 2, 2011

1,000 National Guardsmen sent to help with Massachusetts tornado emergency

Until I moved to Florida I lived in Massachusetts all my life. We're pretty strong and used to bad weather. Hot summers, brutal winters that never seem to end but this, everyone is in shock over this. When New Englanders hear about a hurricane, they figure by the time it gets up there, if it does at all, it will be just a lot of wind and nothing to get upset about. When we hear about a tornado, we figure it must be one of the tiny ones taking down a couple of trees. I doubt anyone was really ready when these hit.

New Englanders are also very used to the National Guards showing up whenever mother nature has an issue and thank the Good Lord they do!

Tornadoes kill four; emergency is declared
Storms smash Western, Central Mass.; damage reported in 19 communities

This story was reported by Travis Andersen, Eric Moskowitz, Martin Finucane, Glen Johnson, Bryan Marquard, and David Abel of the Globe staff. It was written by Abel.

SPRINGFIELD — Tornadoes tore through Western and Central Massachusetts yesterday, killing at least four people, injuring an untold number, and reducing schools, churches, and homes to splinters along its destructive path.

Governor Deval Patrick declared a state of emergency throughout Massachusetts and ordered up to 1,000 troops from the National Guard to help with rescue efforts. He said at least 19 communities had reported damage and he asked officials in those towns and cities to close schools and keep nonemergency personnel home today to allow work crews to clear streets.

“We are in an emergency situation,’’ said the governor in a news conference at the state’s emergency management headquarters in Framingham. He said there had been reports of looting in Springfield, and he described the damage from the storm as extensive.
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Tornadoes kill four; emergency is declared

video from CNN

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Help Available for Veterans in Joplin, Mo.

VA Announces Disaster Assistance After Tornado Outbreaks

Help Available for Veterans in Joplin, Mo.

WASHINGTON (May 26, 2011)- The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)
announced today that special disaster assistance may be available to
Veterans with VA-guaranteed home loans who have been affected by recent
tornados in Missouri.

"We will to do everything we can to help Veterans and their families get
through this difficult time," said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K.
Shinseki. "We urge Veterans to use VA resources available to help them
recover from this disaster."

VA strongly encourages mortgage companies not to initiate any new
foreclosures in the disaster areas for a period of 90 days. The agency
also encourages mortgage companies that service VA-guaranteed home loans
to extend every possible forbearance to borrowers who are in distress
through no fault of their own. This includes suspension of reporting to
credit bureaus and waiving late charges for affected borrowers.

Veterans should contact their insurance company as soon as possible to
file claims for losses. At the same time, they need to contact their
mortgage companies to let them know their circumstances.

Veterans should also start the FEMA disaster application process as soon
as possible by calling 1-800-621-3362. Low interest loans, cash grants,
and housing assistance may be available from agencies associated with
the disaster recovery effort.

VA has information available on its web site
( that provides basic guidance on options
veterans should consider following a major disaster. Veterans may also
contact their nearest VA Regional Loan Center at 1-877-827-3702.

For updated information on eligible counties, visit the "Are you a
disaster survivor?" section on the FEMA website at

Team Rubicon making a difference for all

When you take a bunch of veterans, many like Clay Hunt trying to carry on with PTSD eating them alive, put them to work for others, it is the best medicine. Doing for others feeds the gift they were born with. There is not a selfish bone in their body. They have to be unselfish to be willing to serve in the military and be willing to die in the process. Clay's death after combat by suicide was a very hard story to post on because he had done everything experts say needs to be done to heal.

After the shock of his death subsided it occurred to me, and many more, that getting involved with Team Rubicon may have added to his days on earth because he was giving so much back to others. Volunteer work for these veterans is a blessing to them giving them an emotional jolt but it also wears on their souls being exposed to more and more suffering.

When they show up to do this kind of work, there needs to be more emotional support for them just as with other emergency responders. Crisis intervention teams need to be ready and able to help them after especially when they are already carrying the burden of combat inside. Team Rubicon's efforts are spot on considering veterans volunteering are happier than an isolated veteran but there is only so much they can do. If you are trained in Crisis Intervention, please be there for them so more like Clay Hunt will be here tomorrow.

Team Rubicon
Mission Statement
Team Rubicon bridges the critical time gap between large humanitarian disasters and conventional aid response. We provide vanguard medical care by fielding small, self-sustaining, mobile teams of specially skilled first-responders. To deploy rapidly, we rely heavily on a horizontal command structure, social networking technology, and the employment of local nationals.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Over 1,900 Guardsmen Activated for Weather Emergencies

Over 1,900 Guardsmen Activated for Weather Emergencies
May 24, 2011
Stars and Stripes|by Derek Turner
WASHINGTON -- The half-mile-wide tornado that ripped through Joplin, Mo., Monday morning has claimed the lives of 117 people so far, and it's prompted the mobilization of the state's National Guard troops, a common occurrence lately as violent weather has pummeled parts of the South and Midwest this spring.
So far, more than 1,900 guardsmen are responding to disasters in 10 states. In Missouri, 270 had been mobilized as of Tuesday morning and members of the the 117th Engineer Team were sifting through the rubble, carrying out search-and-rescue missions. They're also conducting emergency route clearance, communications support and security efforts, according to a National Guard statement.

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Over 1,900 Guardsmen Activated for Weather Emergencies

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Homeless Veterans displaced by Alabama tornados find refuge in Midlands

Vets displaced by Alabama tornados find refuge in Midlands

By Taylor Kearns - bio | email

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - It has been almost two weeks since the deadly tornado outbreak that ravaged seven different states. More than 300 people died in the storm, and hundreds more are now homeless. Some of the displaced are finding shelter in the Midlands.

The Central Midlands Transitional Retreat has opened its doors to 24 homeless veterans displaced by those tornadoes. "We were blessed to make it out of there alive," said Calvin Gates.

Gates, Donald Crenshaw and James Williams saw a lot during their time in the military, though nothing quite like the devastation they saw in Tuscaloosa. "It looked like when they dropped the bomb on Hiroshima," said Williams.
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Vets displaced by Alabama tornados

Friday, April 29, 2011

300 dead vs. royal wedding

UPDATE 4-30-11
Volunteers rush to help after tornadoes
By Ben Smith, Mariano Castillo and Phil Gast, CNN
April 30, 2011 6:26 p.m. EDT
NEW: Sunday declared a day of prayer in Alabama
Death toll from South's latest tornado outbreak tweaked to 337
Storms caused at least $2 billion in insured losses, catastrophe expert firm says
Alabama death toll adjusted to 249

(CNN) -- As emergency responders continued to count the dead on Saturday, states pulverized by this week's tornado outbreak encouraged volunteers to help -- but in an orderly way.
In Alabama, where at least 249 people died, a call center is receiving 2,000 to 3,000 calls a day.

Officials working with the United Way are urging people to go to or call 2-1-1 statewide to offer their assistance.

After the search and recovery efforts, people will be needed for months to help with specific tasks, said Jon Mason, director of the Governor's Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives.

"We're overwhelmed in a positive way by the willingness to help from within the state and the rest of the United States," he said.
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Volunteers rush to help after tornadoes

This morning, every station was covering the royal wedding. It was almost as if the world had stopped. The people surviving the tornadoes were not interested in William and Kate this morning. They were thinking about their family members no longer here and everything else they lost. The death count went up again. The search for more bodies goes on.

Obama to visit Alabama as South reels in tornado aftermath; 300 killed
By the CNN Wire Staff
April 29, 2011 7:39 a.m. EDT

NEW: 35 emergency response teams deployed across Alabama
NEW: Motorists beware, officials say, gas may be hard to find in northern Alabama
Death toll reaches 300 in six southern states
Nearly 1 million customers are without power

Tuscaloosa, Alabama (CNN) -- President Barack Obama plans to visit Alabama on Friday, the hardest-hit of six states ravaged by a series of storms and tornadoes that killed 300 people and left entire neighborhoods in ruins.

The president's scheduled visit is taking place as emergency responders in Alabama and five other states continue to assess the damage wreaked by one of the worst outbreaks of violent weather in the southeastern United States in decades, experts said.

The severe storms and tornadoes pounded the region between late Tuesday and Wednesday. They leveled entire neighborhoods, rendered major roads impassable and left nearly 1 million customers without power.

Alabama suffered the greatest of loss of life with 213 fatalities in 19 counties. The storms also left 34 people dead in Tennessee, 32 in Mississippi, 15 in Georgia, five in Virginia and one in Arkansas since late Tuesday.
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Obama to visit Alabama

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Louisiana police officer dies protecting daughter and 2,000 guardsmen activated as storm toll climbs

"In Choctaw County, Miss., a Louisiana police officer was killed Wednesday morning when a towering sweetgum tree fell onto his tent as he shielded his young daughter with his body. The girl wasn’t hurt."

2,000 guardsmen activated as storm toll climbs
The Associated Press
Posted : Thursday Apr 28, 2011 7:50:10 EDT
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — About 2,000 Alabama National Guard soldiers were being deployed around the state as dozens of tornadoes wiped out neighborhoods across a wide swath of the South, killing at least 201 people in the deadliest outbreak in nearly 40 years. Officials said Thursday they expected the death toll to rise.

Alabama’s state emergency management agency said it had confirmed 131 deaths, while there were 32 in Mississippi, 16 in Tennessee, 13 in Georgia, eight in Virginia and one in Kentucky.

The National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla., said it received 137 tornado reports around the regions into Wednesday night.

“We were in the bathroom holding on to each other and holding on to dear life,” said Samantha Nail, who lives in a blue-collar subdivision in the Birmingham suburb of Pleasant Grove, where the storm slammed heavy pickup trucks into ditches and obliterated tidy brick houses, leaving behind a mess of mattresses, electronics and children’s toys scattered across a grassy plain where dozens used to live. “If it wasn’t for our concrete walls, our home would be gone like the rest of them.”

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2,000 guardsmen activated as storm toll climbs

173 dead after tornadoes, media spends day on one birth certificate


Southern storms: 'I don't know how anyone survived'
By the CNN Wire Staff
April 28, 2011 5:59 p.m. EDT
NEW: Nearly 1 million customers without power
Death toll nears 200 in Alabama
President Obama calls storms "heartbreaking," will travel to Alabama on Friday
More than 1,100 are people treated at hospitals
Read more about this story from CNN affiliates WBMA-TV and WIAT-TV. Is severe weather affecting you? Share stories, photos and video with iReport.
Tuscaloosa, Alabama (CNN) -- Public and private assistance -- in the form of food, tarps and hugs -- began arriving Thursday in storm-battered Southern communities that lost nearly 300 people and saw once-familiar neighborhoods reduced to piles of debris.
The grim death toll continued to rise across the region, with 284 counted in six states. Nearly 1 million customers were without electricity in seven states.
The vast majority of fatalities occurred in Alabama, where at least 195 people perished, said Gov. Robert Bentley.
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I don't know how anyone survived

Update 3:05
250 die as storms carve up South
More victims are being found after a tornado outbreak that leveled entire neighborhoods and crippled towns in six Southern states. Alabama was hardest hit with 162 dead.


Violent Storms Rip Through 6 Southern States, Kill at Least 200

Storms rip across the South, killing at least 173
By the CNN Wire Staff
April 28, 2011 8:01 a.m. EDT
NEW: Alabama governor: Some University of Alabama students died
The death toll in Alabama skyrockets to 128
Birmingham's mayor says many people are missing and hundreds are injured
"My bathroom is across the street," a resident says

(CNN) -- Daylight illuminated a scene of utter devastation across many areas of the South Thursday, following storms of near-epic proportions that killed as many as 173 people in five states.

The vast majority of fatalities occurred in Alabama, where at least 128 people perished, Jennifer Ardis, a spokeswoman for Gov. Robert Bentley, told CNN Thursday. A breakdown provided by Ardis showed that violent weather claimed lives in 16 Alabama counties. The hardest hit was DeKalb County, where 30 people perished.

Before dawn Thursday, Mississippi emergency management officials also added 14 previously unreported fatalities to the count, increasing the death toll in that state to 32, officials said. At least one person died in both Arkansas and Tennessee and 11 died in Georgia.

Entire neighborhoods were leveled and hundreds of thousands of people were without power.

"This could be one of the most devastating tornado outbreaks in the nation's history by the time it's over," CNN Meteorologist Sean Morris said.
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Storms rip across the South, killing at least 173

It is silly season after all when the media has been following around Donald Trump and giving the "birth issue" coverage instead of covering a massive story like this. As Jon Stewart pointed out last night, Trump was taking credit for Obama releasing the "long form" birth certificate and felt as if he had done "something really important" by causing the release when if Trump really cared about this country, he'd take that helicopter to some of these areas hit by tornadoes and actually do something to be proud of since it is because of him no one is giving these states the attention they deserve. These are real lives but Trump turned a non-story into every cable station covering it. They even had to waste time talking about if the coverage is over or not!

Wednesday April 27, 2011

Believe It or Believe It
Obama Releases Long-Form Birth Certificate
Barack Obama expresses his sad disappointment in Americans, and Donald Trump proudly takes credit. (07:18)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Mother remembers night tornado struck, injured son at Camp Lejeune

Mother remembers night tornado struck, injured son
April 24, 2011 11:38 AM
One moment, Kelsey Salerno had reached into the crib of her 23-month old son Evan to comfort him against a coming storm. The next, she had been hurled away from the crib and buried under sheetrock, and the baby had disappeared.

That is how Salerno, 21, remembers experiencing the April 16 tornado that tore through sections of Camp Lejeune housing, leaving the Salernos’ house a pile of rubble in its wake.

“I was just barely touching (Evan) when it sounded like a freight train,” she said. “I look over and the window is busted. I see the curtain is blowing and there’s glass everywhere, and all of a sudden I get thrown to a corner of the bedroom. I’m tumbling, all of a sudden I’m rolling and rolling and all I see is gray; that’s all that I can see.”

Salerno’s husband, Seaman Jesse Salerno, a corpsman with 1st Battalion, 9th Marines, had returned from his first deployment in August and was now training for a May deployment in California. High school sweethearts from Charleston, S.C., the Salernos had known that life as a military family would not be easy, but they had never realized one of their greatest trials would come in the form of a Carolina tornado.

“You know, I’ve lived on the coast my whole life,” Kelsey Salerno said. “I know more about hurricanes than anything else. But I never thought I’d have to deal with a tornado.”

But when she was ripped away from her son, instinct was more powerful than experience.
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Mother remembers night tornado struck, injured son

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Military had better be ready after tornadoes for mental healthcare

700 from Fort Bragg are getting ready to deploy into Afghanistan.

Bragg deals with aftermath of tumultuous storms
Staff report
Posted : Sunday Apr 17, 2011 18:16:38 EDT
FORT BRAGG, N.C. — Fort Bragg officials announced on Facebook that the base will operate on a two-hour delay on Monday except for adverse weather personnel, who are to report at normal duty hours or as directed. Civilian employees and schools will also operate on a two-hour delayed schedule.

The base remained closed Sunday except for key and essential personnel after severe weather damaged buildings and cut off power to the installation Saturday.

There are no reports of loss of life or significant injuries on post, according to a statement posted to Fort Bragg’s Facebook page Saturday night. Power was restored to the majority of the base late Sunday morning, officials said in a statement. Progress Energy utility crews were working to restore power to the Linden Oaks community and Simmons Army Airfield.
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Bragg deals with aftermath of tumultuous storms
Imagine packing to leave your family after the tornadoes. Then imagine you will spend a year worrying about them on top of your own life.

Camp Lejeune homes destroyed and damaged by tornado
Onslow County tornado damage, Camp Lejeune homes destroyed

Published: April 16, 2011

CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. - Base officials say 10 to 12 homes were destroyed, 40 to 60 homes were significantly damaged and 40 to 60 more homes have suffered minor damage including broken windows, siding, gutters and trees in the yard. A 23-month old child was flown to Pitt Memorial Hospital Saturday night and is still listed in critical condition with multiple trauma related injuries.
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Camp Lejeune homes destroyed and damaged by tornado

How many are still deployed with this going on back home?

When you remember the shootings at Fort Hood, what you may not have noticed was the increase in mental healthcare demands. Their safety was taken away from them. The tornadoes brought one more kind of trauma beyond combat and the military had better be ready for what will follow from military families in crisis and needing help.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Camp Lejeune homes destroyed and damaged by tornado

Onslow County tornado damage, Camp Lejeune homes destroyed

Published: April 16, 2011

CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. - Base officials say 10 to 12 homes were destroyed, 40 to 60 homes were significantly damaged and 40 to 60 more homes have suffered minor damage including broken windows, siding, gutters and trees in the yard. A 23-month old child was flown to Pitt Memorial Hospital Saturday night and is still listed in critical condition with multiple trauma related injuries.
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Onslow County tornado damage

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Tornado survivors PTSD needs to be studied by military

While I refuse to call anyone a victim of a traumatic event instead of survivor, this study needs to be read over and over again by the military.

The rate for developing PTSD is “well over 50 percent for the victims,” Casey said. “For the workers, it will be somewhere between 10 and 30 percent.”

A tornado may only hit a town once but after that, the fear of another one coming can cause them to live in fear for the rest of their lives. For responders, they were not in there when the tornado hit but came after the damage was already done. Yet for them, the damage penetrates their minds as well.

Responders are trained to help survivors and other responders. Chaplains (like me) go through all kinds of different programs to be able to train ourselves to think beyond "self" so that we can take are of other people. It's just what we do. The problem comes when we've just seen too much to be able to just move onto the next crisis. While I believe our training helps us to recover a bit better than others, this does not stop us from experiencing what every other human does.

Two things stand out in this report. One traumatic event like a tornado can change lives forever, yet with the military, more often than not, they face one traumatic event after another and another. That fear of death, wounding or losing someone else they care about hangs on them. The other factor is that civilians have someone showing up after one event to help them put their lives back together but for the military, there is little done to help them recover from all they experience.

You'd think with all the exposures to combat situations, they would have developed a way to have someone there to debrief them all the time, but due to a shortage of mental health professionals and Chaplains, this isn't happening enough to get ahead of any of what we're seeing coming out of repeated deployments into Iraq and Afghansitan.

More than half of tornado victims may have PTSD
Two groups of people are likely to develop symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder from the June 17 tornado: directly affected Wadena area residents and the indirectly affected volunteers and workers helping them, according to Jim Kraemer of the Neighborhood Counseling Center and Dr. Dan Casey of Green Cross Academy of Traumatology.
By: Rachelle Klemme , Wadena (Minn.) Pioneer Journal
WADENA, Minn. — Two groups of people are likely to develop symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder from the June 17 tornado: directly affected Wadena area residents and the indirectly affected volunteers and workers helping them, according to Jim Kraemer of the Neighborhood Counseling Center and Dr. Dan Casey of Green Cross Academy of Traumatology.

“(PTSD) can be caused by anything that would be traumatic in a person’s life,” said Kraemer.

Casey and Kraemer said symptoms of PTSD include difficulty sleeping, changes in appetite (hardly eating, not eating at all or overeating), anxiety and flashbacks replaying the traumatic event in one’s mind.

The multiple July storms have not helped.

Casey also said people living with or without PTSD may overreact to severe weather — for example, taking shelter in the basement without an actual tornado warning.

Acute Distress Response occurs immediately after an event. After 30 days, it can be diagnosed as PTSD, Casey said.

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More than half of tornado victims may have PTSD

Saturday, April 24, 2010

At least 7 dead in Mississippi tornado

At least 7 dead in Mississippi tornado
By the CNN Wire Staff
April 24, 2010 7:03 p.m. EDT

NEW: At least 7 killed in massive tornado; 2 of the dead are children
NEW: Governor calls the storm "devastating," says people have been trapped in wreckage
NEW: Worst damage is in Yazoo City and Eagle Lake, near Louisiana border
Forecaster says spotters reported the twister's path as up to a mile wide

(CNN) -- At least seven people are dead, including two children, after a tornado almost a mile wide tore through Mississippi on Saturday, the state emergency management agency said.

The tornado raked cities on the central western border with Louisiana northeastward to Alabama, the National Weather Service reported.

At least two people were killed and 15 injured in Yazoo City, one of the hardest-hit areas, where the massive twister flattened homes and downed trees.

Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, who was in Yazoo City where his home is located, called the twister "enormous" and "devastating," adding that some residents were trapped in badly damaged homes.

"They're working to get to the people and rescue as many as they can," said Dan Turner, a spokesman for the governor, reporting "significant injuries" in at least three counties.
read more here
At least 7 dead in Mississippi tornado

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Tornado caught on tape in Volusia County Florida

Volusia tornado cleanup begins as residents recall frightening moments

Ludmilla Lelis

Sentinel Staff Writer

PORT ORANGE - PORT ORANGE -- In the mobile-home communities struck Friday night by a quick tornado blast, residents on Saturday were cleaning up the debris, installing tarps on their roofs and counting their blessings.

Officials confirmed that 63 homes sustained major damage or were destroyed by the storm that touched down around 6:15 p.m. in the Laurelwood Estates and Lighthouse Pointe communities. Another 91 homes sustained minor damage, including single-family homes in the Brandy Hills neighborhood.

Yet only one person suffered a minor injury, a woman cut by flying glass who didn't want to be transported to the hospital, said Port Orange Fire-Rescue spokeswoman Tonya Gilardi.

Saturday, officials from the National Weather Service toured the damage to confirm it was a tornado that struck. State emergency-management officials, city building officials and the county property appraiser's office also surveyed the damage. Port Orange Fire-Rescue crews conducted door-to-door searches and helped some residents install blue tarps on their damaged roofs.
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Volusia tornado cleanup begins as residents recall frightening moments

Tornado damages homes, injures 1, in Volusia

Susan Jacobson

Sentinel Staff Writer

12:05 AM EDT, July 25, 2009

PORT ORANGE - A tornado touched down in Port Orange on Friday night, destroying seven mobile homes and damaging dozens more, the National Weather Service in Melbourne said.

Residents reported seeing funnel clouds and at least one tornado on the ground about 6:25 p.m., a weather-service meteorologist said.

Five minutes later, the seven homes were gone, eight more were heavily damaged, 26 were moderately damaged and 122 sustained light damage.

One person received minor injuries from flying glass, the weather service said.

The touchdown was near Madeline Avenue and Nova Road in the Lighthouse Pointe, Laurelwood Estates and Brandy Hills communities.
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Tornado damages homes, injures 1, in Volusia

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

N.H. tornado victims still struggle

N.H. tornado victims still struggle (Boston Globe)
Displaced families fighting to rebuild
Associated Press / October 29, 2008

CONCORD, N.H. - Three months after a tornado ripped a 50-mile swath through central New Hampshire, some residents are still caught in a swirl of red tape as they fight to rebuild their damaged or destroyed homes and get on with their lives.

Arlene and Bill Moffitt are living in a trailer where their house once stood next to Northwood Lake.

Arlene, 71, and Bill, 64, say that since late July, they have done nothing but tangle with their insurance company, mortgage company, town officials, and the bank as they try to rebuild. They had to speak with 37 agents at the mortgage company, Bill Moffitt said, before checks were issued and ground was finally broken last week. They hope to be in the house by Christmas.

"The storm was one thing, and we coped," he told the Concord Monitor. "This stress we're going through now is worse than the storm itself."

There is no official tally of displaced families, but the Community Action Program of Belknap-Merrimack Counties has 24 cases open, said disaster assistance director Andy LaBrie. They include insured homeowners. Most are in Deerfield, Epsom, Northwood, and Barnstead.
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Saturday, September 20, 2008

Eustis FL tornado 1 year ago left emotional scars but eventually more durable homes

Eustis tornado 1 year ago left emotional scars but eventually more durable homes
A tornado one year ago left emotional scars but eventually stronger homes
Martin E. Comas | Sentinel Staff Writer
September 20, 2008
1 2 next EUSTIS - One year after a tornado blew apart their home, Charles and Gladys Sharp still get terrified when they hear a storm is coming.

Gladys will grab a candle and cigarettes and lock herself inside her bathroom, huddling on the floor with her two dogs.

"I get scared out of my freaking mind," the 72-year-old woman said Wednesday. "It's something that I still can't get over."

Her husband, Charles, 72, will shut off the television news when he sees images of tornado or hurricane destruction.

One year ago today a powerful F1 tornado tore through Eustis at 10:55 p.m., shaving roofs off homes, shattering windows and tossing trees in a single square-mile area southeast of downtown.

"I will never forget that night," Charles Sharp said.

Although no one was killed and police reported only a few minor injuries, county and city officials said 161 houses incurred some damage -- from those with a few shingles missing to seven homes being destroyed. The total loss was calculated at more than $6.73 million. Some battered homes were more than 100 years old.
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Saturday, August 23, 2008

Is New Orleans in danger of flooding again with Fay?

Tropical Storm Fay came with so much rain that it was being measured by feet instead of inches. Today, it's still raining in Central Florida, just outside of Orlando. We lost count how many times we drained the pool because it was flooding onto the deck and between the wind and rain, we just had to replace our garage door. We were lucky here but on the coast, streets are flooded and so are homes. They had alligators, snakes and fish swimming down streets. Over 50 homes were damaged by tornadoes spawned off Fay. Two women drowned at beaches, a worker died from electrocution, a man died from fumes of a generator and there were several other deaths. This thing is a monster! It made landfall 4 times in Florida alone.

The problem is, she is heading to New Orleans. Are they ready? Are the levees going to be a bigger problem when the rain dumps feet into New Orleans? After reading this, I doubt they are ready for much at all.

New Orleans repeating deadly levee mistakes
Associated Press
Published: Saturday August 23, 2008

NEW ORLEANS - Signs are emerging that history is repeating itself in the Big Easy, still healing from Katrina: People have forgotten a lesson from four decades ago and believe once again that the federal government is constructing a levee system they can prosper behind.

In a yearlong review of levee work here, The Associated Press has tracked a pattern of public misperception, political jockeying and legal fighting, along with economic and engineering miscalculations since Katrina, that threaten to make New Orleans the scene of another devastating flood.

Dozens of interviews with engineers, historians, policymakers and flood zone residents confirmed many have not learned from public policy mistakes made after Hurricane Betsy in 1965, which set the stage for Katrina; many mistakes are being repeated.

"People forget, but they cannot afford to forget," said Windell Curole, a Louisiana hurricane and levee expert. "If you believe you can't flood, that's when you increase the risk of flooding. In New Orleans, I don't think they talk about the risk."
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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Florida man caught in tornado: "You name it, it was flying"

Man caught in tornado: 'You name it and it was flying'
Aug 20, 2008

generateDate('Aug 20, 2008', '');

John Spielman was sweeping water off his patio when a gust of wind pushed his gas grill against him -- sending both him and the grill flying.
Tropical Storm Fay drifts over Cape Canaveral, causes flooding
Aug 20, 2008 08:55 -0400
generateDate('Aug 20, 2008 08:55 -0400', '8:55 AM');

Updated: 39 minutes ago
At theme parks, tourists play despite Fay
Aug 20, 2008
generateDate('Aug 20, 2008', '');

Possible tornado from Tropical Storm Fay damages 51 homes in Brevard; 3 arrested on looting charges

Fay may 'boomerang' and hit Florida again

Fay may 'boomerang' and hit Florida again
Tropical Storm Fay moved off the east coast of Florida early today after spawning at least seven tornadoes, the National Hurricane Center reported. The storm is expected to get stronger and make a hard left back into the northeastern part of the state. "Looks like it could be a boomerang storm," said Florida Gov. Charlie Crist. full story