tornado above the ocean

Severe Storms and Tornadoes Kill 20 Over the Weekend

This winter has been a tough one for severe storms and tornadoes. Every month seems to have at least one or the other that causes massive damage. In Adel, Georgia a storm typical of this winter but atypical for the area tore through and caused severe damage. It happened this past Sunday, and sadly 14 people were killed. The location that was damaged the most was a mobile home park along the southern part of the state. The weather was violent and severe enough that the Governor of Georgia declared a state of emergency. The total affected area in Georgia is estimated to be contained within a seven county region. However, the same storm also blew through Mississippi were it killed four people. In cook county, seven people were killed, two more in Brooks and Berrien, and three in Dougherty county. All these counties are geographically close, and Homeland Security Agency is releasing information on the full assessment of injuries, property damage, and deaths.

The area in Adel is home to over 5,000, and they were awoken at 3 a.m. to the tornado warning. Some residents in the area spoke at length to the horrific incidents that became their reality that Sunday morning. A 26 year old Alan Miley was using the restroom when the storm hit. He said he screamed and woke his family to the front door being blown open and debris from shattered windows and the area outside were ripped through the home. “He shot out of the room, and as soon as he started out the roof caves in.” Miley was referring to his cousin who ran to another room in the home to take cover. They huddled together until the winds finally stopped and they went outside to assist their neighbors and friends. “When it let up, I went outside and it was complete chaos. People were screaming and crying for help.” Other residents were not so fortunate, as their homes were completely removed from the ground by the strong winds. A co-owner of the property said that “20 mobile homes were ripped off their foundations and totally blown away.” The co-owner said he was also recieving reports of the damage only thirty minutes after the storm tore through. “It was total chaos, devastation everywhere you looked. We’ve always said that the most devastating thing that could happen there would be a tornado, and that’s what happened today.”

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The Aftermath and Clean-up

Officials and aide programs are working hard to deal with the aftermath spread throughout the area. A local air force base was the first to respond, where Nathaniel Fixberry made his way to the scene. He was sent from Moody Air Force Base, the closest base in the area being only 20 miles away. The event was called by officials a “mass casualty event” and firefighters have reported pulling out survivors including children from rubble throughout the day. Bodies have been uncovered as well. Fixberry commented on the aftermath during his clean-up overseeing, “I would say there was upwards of 10 to 12 homes that were hit, it was hard to tell [because] nothing was left.” He also reported seeing bits of home and mattresses blown half a mile away from the property as he was making his way in yesterday. Initially eleven people were killed by the tornado Sunday morning, that evening another killed three more people in Dougherty County.

The governor of Georgia, Nathan Deal has made several statements after the storms. After declaring a state of emergency he also said that it might be needed to expand the declaration and is seeking federal emergency aid. “These storms have devastated communities and homes in South Central Georgia, and the state is making all resources available to the impacted areas. These storms have resulted in loss of life, numerous injuries and extensive property damage, and our thoughts and prayers are with Georgians suffering from the storm’s impact.”

The request for federal aid was addressed by President trump who commented on the storms and the need for assistance. He “expressed our sincere condolences,” and also said “We’ll be helping out the state of Georgia.” The storm was large enough that nearby states were also affected, Florida, and Alabama. Mississippi was not mentioned, although it was impacted Saturday and spanned across a 15 mile area. The governor of Mississippi Phil Bryant has also declared a state of emergency. In Mississippi alone the damage is estimated to total around $200 million dollars.Trump said “They all got hit hard, the tornadoes were vicious and powerful and strong.”

Officials at the National Weather service warned other areas in the southeast about severe weather. There were weather systems taht were spread across the state of Georgia. They were quotes “several tornadoes and a few intense tornadoes [were likely],” and “widespread hail and a few very large hail events.” Tornado watches cover the area in several states, including all the way to Orlando in Florida. The situation in the southeast is frightening, because of the possibility that it may not be over even after so many lives have been permanently damaged. FEMA is rushing to help every area that was affected, and federal funding is assumed to be on the way.

How to Protect Yourself With a Safe Room

Elephant safe room with dimensions 6 x 18

It’s extremely unfortunate what happened in Georgia this weekend, and our thoughts and compassion extend to the residents of all the states that were affected. The families affected by this storm will have their lives changed forever. It’s never hopeful the days after the storm, but when watching the country and officials working together to help all the residents one begins to see the glue that binds this country together. We’ve written before about the nature of tornadoes in the United States, and the statistics show they are present throughout the country. We highly recommend investing in a tornado shelter or underground bunker no matter where you live in the country.

We offer three different types of structures at Elephant Safe Rooms offers. The first being the safe room that can be installed in your home or outside, as an above ground structure. These safe rooms can also be shipped to you as a self-installation kit that is panelized and easy to install. This is the second option. The third and most safe structure that we offer is the underground bunker. The bunkers come in a variety of dimensions, and have the strongest deterrent available; they’re underground. If you have any questions about specifications or general information feel free to check out our website or call in for a free consultation!

UPDATE: 1/23/2017 12:00 P.M.

The death toll has risen to over 20, and maybe more. Reports will be added on as news comes in.

UPDATE: 1/23/2017 4:16 P.M.

It’s estimated that in total 29 tornadoes have torn through the south in 48 hours.