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Friday, March 2, 2012
Homeland Security Threat Level: YELLOW (ELEVATED)
Midwest Severe Storms (Feb. 28-29, 2012)
Severe weather began in the Midwest on Tuesday, Feb. 28 and expanded across the Mississippi, Ohio, and Tennessee Valleys to the Carolinas through this morning. The National Weather Service confirmed seven EF-1 tornadoes in Missouri (5), Indiana (1), and Kentucky (1); eight EF-2 tornadoes in Harveyville, Kan., (1), Missouri (3), Tennessee (1), and Kentucky (3); and one EF-4 tornado in Harrisburg, Ill. Additional assessments continue.Significant National Weather:
FEMA Region VII
The National Weather Service confirmed an EF-2 tornado struck Harveyville, KS on the Feb. 28, remained on the ground for about four minutes and covered approximately 5 miles. Damage was reported in 13 counties; approximately six homes and one business were destroyed and over 100 structures were damaged. State officials have confirmed one fatality and 18 injuries. Power has been restored to the City of Pittsburg‚s (Crawford County) two sewage lift stations, and the Fredonia (Wilson County) water and waste water treatment plants, however, the facilities remain off-line and on generator power. Power outages were minimal statewide as of 2:00 a.m. EST March 2 (down from a peak of 8,230). No shelters were reported overnight. The State Emergency Operation Center is partially activated and is expected to remain activated through Sunday. There are no requests for FEMA assistance.
The National Weather Service confirmed three EF-2 tornados and five EF-1 tornado touchdowns on Tuesday and Wednesday, Feb. 28 and 29, 2012. The City of Branson and 18 counties were affected. Local damage assessments thus far indicate more than 70 homes destroyed and approximately 500 homes and businesses damaged across the state. Three confirmed fatalities and over 80 injuries have been reported statewide. One shelter was open with 24 occupants. Power outages have been generally localized, as of 2:00 a.m. EST this morning power had been restored to most areas (down from a peak of 11,200). The Governor activated 50 National Guardsman to deploy to Branson. The Missouri State EOC is activated at Level 1 (Control Room Activation Only). There are no requests for FEMA assistance.
FEMA Region V
The Governor declared a State of Emergency for the bottom third of the state, with specific counties to be named. An EF-4 tornado touched down in Harrisburg (Saline County), IL on Feb. 29, 2012, and 14 counties were impacted by the severe weather. The Saline County Coroner confirmed 6 fatalities attributed to the severe weather with an unknown number of injuries. An estimated 500 homes and 63 businesses were reported in nine separate counties. Harrisburg Medical Center power has been restored. Two Hospitals are operating on generator power. One shelter is open with 12 occupants. As of early this morning power had been restored to most affected areas (down from a peak of 1,500). The State requested Preliminary Damage Assessments for both Individual Assistance and Public Assistance for eight counties. Other counties may be added as additional local assessments are completed. The State EOC is partially activated. There are no requests for FEMA assistance.
An EF-1 tornado touch downed in Newburgh (Warrick County) on Feb. 29. Approximately 50 homes and six businesses were reported damaged. No fatalities or injuries were reported. No shelters are open and there are no power outages reported. The State EOC is not activated. There are no requests for FEMA assistance.
FEMA Region IV
The National Weather Service confirmed EF-2 tornadoes struck Elizabethtown and Horntown; an EF-2 and an EF-1 tornado struck LaRue County. Nine counties were affected. Numerous reports of downed trees and power lines and homes/business damaged or destroyed. Damage to a truck plant south of Elizabethtown, Ky., was reported. A major power distribution line in McCracken County was reported down; repair ongoing. There are no reported fatalities; however; numerous injuries, one serious, was reported. One shelter is open in Larue County with no occupants. Approximately 2,200 (down from a peak of 3,800) customers remain without power statewide. The Commonwealth Emergency Operations Center remains at Level I (EOC Standard with Hot Standby Mode (Normal Operations.) There are no requests for FEMA assistance.
Severe storms began on Wednesday, Feb. 29, 2012, and continuing. Eight counties have been affected to date. The National Weather Service confirmed an EF1 tornado in DeKalb County and an EF2 tornado in Cumberland County. The State confirmed three fatalities and six injuries. Most structural damage took place in DeKalb and Cumberland Counties; a total of nine homes are reported destroyed and more than 150 homes damaged or affected. Downed trees and debris closed roads in several counties; however all roads are now open. Peak power outages of 2,000 were reported early Thursday morning, March 1. As of 6:00 p.m. on Thursday power outages were minimal and all power was expected to be restored by the end of Thursday. The State EOC escalated activation to Level III (Emergency/Minor Disaster). The Tennessee State EOC is partially activated at Level 3 (Emergency/Minor Disaster). The State requested four FEMA PDA Teams be placed on standby in the event that they are needed after today‚s severe weather event.
A Pacific storm system will continue to bring snowfall to much of the Rockies. Mountain snow showers will continue across northern California and Oregon, spreading into the Northern and Central Rockies. Strong winds of 25-35 mph with gusts to 55 mph are also expected in the mountains and deserts of California through this evening.
Heavy snow is possible over portions of the Great Lakes. Severe showers and thunderstorms producing strong winds and large hail are possible today from the Upper Mississippi Valley to the Ohio Valley. There is a slight risk of severe weather from near Lake Erie southward to the central Gulf Coast states. Embedded in the slight risk area is an area of moderate risk for severe weather from the Ohio Valley to the Interior central Gulf Coast. The main threats will be tornadoes, widespread, damaging wind, large hail and flash flooding. Some tornadoes will have the potential to produce long damage paths as well as wind in excess of 100 mph.
Heavy rain is possible over portions of the Southeast. Critical Fire Weather is forecast for far southeast New Mexico and West Texas. Red Flag Warnings are in effect through this evening in these areas.
A low pressure system moving northeast through the Great Lakes Region will spread mixed precipitation across the region today. Precipitation will start as snow before mixing with sleet and or freezing rain. (NOAA, National Weather Service and media sources)
No space weather storms were observed for the past 24 hours, and no space weather storms are predicted for the next 24 hours.(SWPC)¬*
Tropical Weather Outlook
No new activity (FEMA HQ)
No new activity (FEMA HQ)
Preliminary Damage Assessments
Joint Preliminary Damage Assessments are underway in the following states: Illinois and Missouri.
Disaster Declaration Activity
The following amendments, effective February 29, 2012, appoint Albert Lewis of FEMA as the Federal Coordinating Officer vice Stephen M. DeBlasio Sr.:¬*
Amendment #2 to FEMA-3342-EM-CT
Amendment #4 to FEMA-3331-EM-CT
Amendment #5 to FEMA-4023-DR-CT
Amendment #1 to FEMA-4046-DR-CT(FEMA HQ)