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Tornadoes Slam Alabama

Filed under: Breaking News,Disasters,National,Weather — Tags: , , , , , — Positronic Dave @ 1:22 pm April 28, 2011

Thunderstorms and a series of tornadoes rode down hard on Alabama yesterday,  killing at least 175 people, across Alabama and at least 4 other states, including Georgia, Mississippi, and Tennessee. The brutal weather took out most of its fury on Alabama where the greater portion of the deaths occurred, where the death toll has been set at 128 so far. The City of Tuscaloosa, by itself, accounted for over 30 of the deaths. In one heart-breaking story from Mississippi, an off-duty police officer was killed when he used his body to protect his little girl from a tree that had been knocked over during the storm.

Infrastructure is gone.  The heart of the city has been leveled. They have lost the trucks and equipment needed even to start digging themselves out of this mess. There is no way to move the rubble and clear the wreckage. Meanwhile, citizens may be trapped and/or in need of medical care that is being frustrated by the number of roads that are completely impassable.

Check out this video of the tornado, estimated to be one-and-a-half miles wide:

President Obama has declared the region under a State of Emergency and the National Guard has been dispatched to the most critical areas in the northern part of the state. Shelters are being opened all over the area to accommodate those left homeless by the storms.

Our thoughts and prayers go out tonight to those affected by the storm, their families and friends. And also, to the Police, Fire & Emergency personnel and National Guardsmen and other rescue/relief workers, placing themselves in harm’s way in order to help. Against that power, tornadoes cannot win.

 

 

Yes, Virginia, It’s Snowing

Filed under: Holidays,Travel,Weather — Tags: , , , , , , — Positronic Dave @ 1:25 am December 27, 2010

The one thing that everyone on the east coast of the United States, from Virginia at least, north, is that it’s snowing. Yup. Snow and lots of it, right during one of the heaviest travel holidays. Airports everywhere are closed down for flights in or out, which in turn, causes thousands of flight cancellations far away where snow never touches down. Same for buses and trains. Driving in some areas is not an option due to bizzard conditions. Families are incomplete, trips are postponed and/or given up on, non-custodial parents are cheated out of their time, and they can’t blame their ex’s any more than usual. Snowstorms come with their own aftershocks, just like earthquakes. The crap gist that keeps on giving…

On the other hand, were there no snow, everyone would complain of a bare Christmas, lacking in white. To paraphrase Twain, we all dark about the weather. Who amonst us does anything about it. Certainly not the National Weather Service. Have you ever called those people and actually asked for some service? Don’t bother. They won;t do anything except say things like “We’re not that kind of service, Mr. McIntyre” and “We don’t cause the news t happen, Mr.McIntyre, we just report it, haw haw haw!” or “Stop calling for the love of God, Mr. McIntyre!” Like I said, not much in the way of actual service.

The storm is expected to dump nearly 2 feet of snow from Philadelphia, PA, all the way up to Boston, MA. So, while it’s hardly a snowpocalypse, it has hit at a critical holiday/travel/visitation with one’s kids juncture, making it a perfect storm of suck. Thank God this didn’t happen yesterday, when all of cable was playing the same five movies in 24 hour marathon repetition. If I never see so much as a snippet of It’s a Wonderful Life I’ll be measurably happier.

So, while it’s obvious from the prose that I’m one of those non-custodial parents who were as eager to see their kids as vice-versa, I certainly wouldn’t have wanted anyone to travel in this mess and will just have to live with seeing them for a shorter period of time than promised. The storm promises to lessen come tomorrow, snowplows and sanders are out in force, and a region that gets snow every year will somehow manage to survive another storm now. It’s snowing, but life goes on.

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