The increase in severe weather that we have experienced over the last few months starting with the tornadoes on Groundhog Day mean that there are increasing concerns that flash flooding and landslides will start to become the norm over in the eastern parts of the country.
A large number of tornado reports have come over in the last few days, and almost all of them have originated from the same supercell thunderstorm over a period of two to three hours over from the northwest of Alabama. At this point, the exact number of tornadoes has not been confirmed, but the sheer number of them have overwhelmed quite a few people who have not seen such drastic weather patterns in a long time. One of the most serious ones occurred in the northern side of McMullen in Alabama, destroying thirteen homes completely and leaving a huge amount of damage and destruction in its wake.
It is thought by some experts that the number of tornadoes within this group of the last few days could even exceed twelve, a huge number for such a small area. There have been so many that some weather experts are calling it a ‘wedge’, which is a specialist meteorologist term for a very wide tornado that can be experienced as several tornadoes by different areas.
A number of reports have started to come in of the damage that those tornadoes have wreaked on the local populations, with many more expected to come in once the flash flooding that is being warned starts to occur. For example, a church and several barns have suffered from structural damage in Collinsville in Mississippi, and the same tornado that caused that damage is also being named as responsible for bringing trees down, damaging homes, and even destroying power poles leaving many without electricity in the local area.
Some areas are already experiencing the flash flooding that many are considering to be inevitable, such as in the southern Appalachians. For example, Asheville in North Carolina have several streets that have had to be closed because they have been flooded too badly, and in some areas some people had to be rescued from their homes because they become completely cut off. The rescue efforts are continuously being hampered by the fact that many roads are being closed or at least partially impassable because of the flash flooding. Many people who have been evacuated from their homes have found it difficult to reach their evacuation safe points due to the flooding.
The Storm Prediction Center has issued warnings for the next few days, leading many people to fear that the worst is not yet over. For those who have already suffered a huge amount, it is a frightening thought that their homes and families may continue to be in danger, and for those who had hoped that they had avoided any damage, they will have to continue waiting to see whether or not they are going to be able to weather the storm. In previous cases like this, Taylor Trogdon, National Weather Service meteorologist, has discovered that after the Storm Prediction Center has issued similar warnings in the past, there have followed a series of tornadoes that either come individually or in swarms.
More warnings of flash floods are being given to the east as the consequences of the last few days worth of weather start to make their way downstream. There are also fears that flash flooding could continue to hamper the rescue efforts of those trying to reach those who are vulnerable in the local area.