tornadoes

Brian Khorey/AP

Update 4:45 p.m. Governor Greg Abbott today declared a state of disaster in Bosque, Clay, Denton, Eastland, Gaines, Montague and Van Zandt counties, authorizing further mobilization of state resources to assist affected communities. Additional counties may be added to the declaration as the situation develops.

Current state forecasts indicate the continuation of possible severe thunderstorms, large hail, damaging winds, flash flooding, river flooding and tornadoes across the state throughout the week. 

National Weather Service

Update: The National Weather Service will be out in Burnet County today to investigate reports of a possible tornado. There are reports of damage in Briggs – which is off of U.S. 183 between Leander and Lampasas.

Last night’s storms brought high winds, hail and heavy rain in some places. Here are some of the highest 24-hour rain totals:

  • Downtown Austin: 2.54
  • Marble Falls: 2.34
  • Burnet: 1.58
  • Manchaca: 1.52
  • Elgin: 0.98

A devastating EF-5 tornado ripped through Moore, Okla., a year ago Tuesday. Just 11 days later, another twister ravaged the Oklahoma City metro area.

Nine of the 23 people who died as a result of the second storm were members of the local Latino community. Their deaths have sparked efforts to better prepare Hispanic families for storms.

On a windy afternoon in Oklahoma City, American Red Cross volunteer Ivelisse Cruz hands out stickers to families at the Children's Day Festival.

Another Round Of Tornadoes Rakes Through The South

Apr 29, 2014

A day after a line of severe storms spawned tornadoes blamed for the death of at least 15 people in Arkansas and Oklahoma, the South was raked again.

This time, Mississippi and Alabama were hard hit.

CNN reports:

This post was updated at 1:53 p.m. ET

Emergency officials were searching Monday for survivors after tornadoes tore through parts of Arkansas and Oklahoma overnight, killing at least 14 people and leveling entire neighborhoods.

"We don't have a count on injuries or missing. We're trying to get a handle on the missing part," Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe said at a news conference Monday. "Just looking at the damage, this may be one of the strongest we have seen."

StateFarm/Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/statefarm/6914725716/

The Red Cross has a new smartphone app for iPhone and Android users that warns when a tornado may be nearby. 

“There’s actually an audible alarm that tells you there is a tornado warning where you are or for a location that you’re monitoring," says Sara Kennedy with the Red Cross of Central Texas. "Even if the app’s not open, it's in your pocket, it’s next to your bed, it actually will tell you.” 

Photo by flickr.com/alphachimpstudio

MoPac Improvement Plan Makes Move for New Funding

The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority has offered a preliminary proposal to acquire $135 million for the MoPac Improvement Plan.

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) notified Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization board (CAMPO) of an unexpected funding windfall of $135 million. During a CAMPO work session last night, CTRMA requested that they receive the new funding to begin the improvements to MoPac.

Photo Courtesy of National Weather Service

Governor Perry to Tour Tornado Damaged Areas

Governor Rick Perry is scheduled to take an aerial tour of the Dallas-Fort Worth area damaged by tornadoes today. Perry plans to tour Lancaster, one of the hardest hit areas by the storms, according to the Texas Tribune.

The National Weather Service estimates up to a dozen tornadoes touched down in North Texas on Tuesday—one of those tornadoes was rated an E-F-3 with winds of up to 165 miles-per-hour.

Image courtesy facebook.com/US.NationalWeatherService.FortWorth.gov

With reports of as many as 12 tornadoes pummeling Dallas yesterday, officials are applauding the fact no fatalities were recorded.

Now residents are looking to rebuild after the storms, and travelers looking to return to the Metroplex.

The Insurance Council of Texas lists several steps affected parties can take, beginning with assessing the damage and recording photos or videos. Damage can take different forms, as aside being battered by high winds, Dallas, Fort Worth and surrounding areas were also pelted with hail.

Image courtesy NWS

While Austin may be in for some severe thunderstorms, that pales compared to what Dallas is facing.

The National Weather Service has declared a tornado emergency in the Dallas/Forth Worth area. As of this writing, two tornados are affecting the Metroplex.

StateImpact Texas, KUT’s reporting partnership with NPR, has prepared a Storify timeline of the twisters’ effects on the region.

Photo by Tim Marshall, www.srh.noaa.gov

One hundred tornadoes may sound like a lot. But according to the Insurance Council of Texas (ICOT), that’s actually below average.

ICOT says that Texas’s 2011 tornado count – an even 100 – is less than the state’s yearly average of 135. Still, the 2011 number was high enough to rank Texas as having the fourth most tornadoes in the U.S., trailing Alabama with 146 twisters (accompanied by 242 fatalities), Oklahoma with 118 (32 fatalities), and Tennessee with 102 (14 fatalities). ICOT's statement comes in the midst of Severe Weather Week, as decreed by Gov. Rick Perry. 

The Texas twisters created no fatalities, basically proving the exception to the rule in a year of violent weather. In a press release, ICOT quotes Greg Carbon with the Norman, Oklahoma office of the Storm Prediction Center as saying “More than a dozen states recorded tornado fatalities in 2011, including Massachusetts that had three people killed from a rare tornado.”

Photo by Mississippi Emergency Management Agency

Five Central Texas residents left Austin for Jackson, Mississippi this morning to help provide food, first aid and mental health services to people whose communities were devastated by storms that spawned tornadoes. At least 32 people in north and central Mississippi were killed, according to the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA).