Thursday, April 28, 2011

Our prayers are with the victims of what may be the largest tornado Outbreak in history

May HaShem protect and comfort the survivors of the recent storms as they pick up the pieces and go forward.
As far as I have ascertained thus far, all of my family and friends in the South are safe. May God be with them all and with everyone else in the affected areas. If you have been effected by these storms I invite your comments, observations, concerns and so on. If you need someone to talk with I invited you contact me.

Here's a couple of related news stories:

Tornado Outbreak Could Be Largest In History 4/28/11


Greg Morgan
April 28, 2011

Yesterday's outbreak of tornadoes is on track to make history! Affecting multiple states, the large storm system has produced widespread death and destruction over the eastern half of the Nation, that could soon rival the largest outbreak in recorded history!

The most extensive tornado outbreak on record, in almost every category, was the Super Outbreak, which affected a large area of the central United States and extreme southern Canada on April 3 and April 4, 1974. Not only did this outbreak feature an incredible 148 tornadoes in only 18 hours, but an unprecedented number of them were violent; 7 were of F5 intensity, and 23 F4. This outbreak had a staggering 16 tornadoes on the ground at the same time at the peak of the outbreak. More than 300 people, possibly as many as 330, were killed by tornadoes during this outbreak

Yesterday's storm reports show 169 tornadoes and the fatality count is near 250 as of this writing. The number of injuries is not yet known. The Tuscaloosa, AL. tornado has been rated an EF4 by the National Weather Service!

The current La Nina pattern affecting the United States suggests a continued active severe weather season for the Ozarks, the Mid-West and the Deep South. The Southwestern United States including our part of West Texas will continue to see an overall dry pattern for the next few months! It has been 213 days since the Permian Basin has seen any significant rainfall. Areas just to the east of us near Brownwood recieved 4-6" of rain last week.



April 28, 2011
Tornadoes damage reactors in U.S.; Backups work
Amid questions about nuclear safety following Japanese disaster, destruction from Southern storms provides an early test.

(CBS/AP) Alabama and other southern states are reeling from a series of tornadoes that killed more than 200 people. But there's no nuclear disaster to go with the natural disaster -- a promising sign amid concerns that the U.S. could someday face a nuclear crisis like the one that has followed the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

The savage storms in that passed through parts of Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee and Virginia on Wednesday knocked out power to the Browns Ferry nuclear power plant, about 30 miles west of Huntsville, Ala.

The Tennessee Valley Authority-owned plant had to use seven diesel generators to power the plant's three units. The safety systems operated as needed and the emergency event was classified as the lowest of four levels, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission said.

All three units at TVA's 3,274-megawatt plant shut down around 5:30 p.m. Wednesday. External power was restored quickly to the plant but diesel generators remained running Wednesday evening, Reuters reports, citing a Nuclear Regulatory Commission spokeswoman.

"The Browns Ferry units are among 23 U.S. reactors that are similar in design to the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan where backup generators were swept away in the tsunami that followed the massive earthquake on March 11," Reuters reported.

Severe though the natural disaster was, it hardly matched the destruction -- in property and lives -- of the March 11 quake and tsunami in northern Japan, which is thought to have killed more than 20,000 people and caused at least partial meltdowns at several of the Fukushima reactors.

That event brought renewed attention to nuclear safety in the U.S., where many plants rely on the same model of reactors found at the Fukushima plant. Experts say that lax regulation and the possibility of earthquakes and other natural disasters put U.S. plants at risk.

Much of the attention has focused not on the earthquake-prone West Coast, but major nuclear plants in the East, including the Indian Point plant north of New York City, which the NRC found most at risk for catastrophic damage from an earthquake.

Nuclear reactor nightmare: Could it happen in the U.S.?
U.S. nuclear plants pose same risks as Japan's
What's the most at-risk U.S. nuclear power plant?

Browns Ferry output had been reduced earlier in Wednesday due to transmission line damage from the storms, Reuters reports. It does not appear that the plant suffered a direct hit.

Crews were working to make repairs, but the severe weather was forecast to continue, the Tennessee Valley Authority said in a release.

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