Fierce Stormwave Spreads Vast Damage Across 14-States; 295 Dead
April 29, 2011 • 9:02AM

A 14-state storm-wave over the last 2 days wreaked terrible damage from dozens of tornadoes, pelting rain and winds, with 194 dead in Alabama alone, out of an incomplete total death toll of 295. The storm, concentrated in seven southern states, is only now dissipating, with tornado watches still in eastern Georgia and North Carolina, and heavy rains extending northward to Long Island and New England this afternoon.

Obama announced Thursday that he will visit Alabama on Friday. This pretense of concern does not hide the fact that he is giving the U.S. the Haiti treatment, by deliberate destruction of the economy, including especially disaster preparedness and response.

The storm is the most extensive and intensive since 1974, the last peak episode for multiple tornadoes, whose death toll was 310 in April that year. The total number of tornadoes in the current storm-wave is still being confirmed, but are estimated at 160. The numbers of giant, or super-cell tornadoes, such as the mile-wide twister which devastated Tuscaloosa (83,000 residents), may be unprecedented.

The scale of this storm system bore out the warning and scientific discussion given on the LPAC-TV Weekly Report by LPAC Basment Team member Sky Shields, on the reality that reductionist notions are no good, when they try to explain the occurrence of tornadoes as resulting from "seasons," or "simple temperature changes," etc. People must proceed from the standpoint of conceptualizing larger galactic processes, as with apparent phenomena of earthquakes and volcanoes.

Alabama bore the brunt of the severe weather. State officials are giving updates every four hours on the number of dead, missing and injured, as rescue efforts continue.

The incomplete counts in the other southern states include: 34 deaths in Tennessee; 33 in Mississippi; 11 in Arkansas; 14 in Georgia; 8 in Virginia; 2 in Louisiana.

The monster twisters reduced Alabama neighborhoods to rubble. Three nuclear reactors were shut down in precaution. In the range of one million people are without electricity. Gov. Bentley has deployed 1,400 National Guardsmen to aid the overstretched local police, firemen, and volunteers.

The devastation to agriculture is huge, with livestock losses, and sown fields ruined. In Alabama alone, 4 million chickens were killed in one area.

- Mississippi/Ohio Basin Storms and Flooding -

In the Mississippi/Ohio River Basins on Thursday, storms tapered off into light rains; and the flooding disaster is proceeding relentlessly. Many local levees, such as those on streams running off the Ozark highlands, e.g., on the Black River in Missouri and Arkansas, are failing under the deluge. There are hundreds of these structures—under various local authorities, in each of the states, and commonly they have not been maintained, for lack of resources. They are at "systemic" risk, in the words of an Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) spokesman earlier this week.

The Governors of Missouri, Arkansas, Illinois, and other states called out the National Guard earlier this week to help with rescue and clean-up operations, especially due to the depletion of local fire, police, and rescue responders—who are fighting valiantly, and giving leadership to volunteers, but can't cope.

States of emergency have been declared in Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee, and Oklahoma. Also Illionis Gov. Quinn Monday night proclaimed the southern counties disaster areas. There are hundreds of evacuees from multiple flood danger zones.

Rising water is expected to top levels set in 1937 below St. Louis and also in the lower Ohio River.

A critical flood point is where the Ohio joins the Mississippi, at Cairo, Illinois, just across from New Madrid, Missouri. The flood wall protecting Cairo (population 2800) is holding, and the pumps are working fulltime, but there is danger.

The USACE has moved into place necessary explosive equipment to intentionally breach the local levee at Birds Point in Missouri, to redirect some of the Mississippi high water flow, into the Birds Point/New Madrid Floodway. This water diversion was last used in 1937. This USACE recourse is backed by leaders in Illinois, Tennessee, and others.

USACE public information spokesman Jim Pogue stressed yesterday, that this contingency may be used, because it will allow a controlled release of high water, instead of damaging, uncontrolled overflows at various points. It will benefit the entire flood-control system, gradually lowering the river water level.

Missouri state officials are trying to stop it in Federal court, citing objections that 130,000 acres of farmland would be flooded. In response, Cairo Mayor Judson denounced Missouri, for wanting to turn his town into the "9th Ward" of the flood.

Such a fracas is baseless, but inevitable, as long as the Obama/GOP anti-government regime continues in Washington, D.C. Under a real Federal disaster-response, there would be no question about utilizing flood-control means, such as diversion channel areas. It would be well known that flooded lands would and could be rebuilt afterward, better than they ever were before, with Federal government backing and credit. Reconstituting 130,000 fine crop acres would become still more beautiful Missouri farmland.