If 2011 doesn’t end up being the final year before the apocalypse, then surely it will at least be remembered as the year Mother Nature tried to pimp slap her way back into our consciousness. After destructive earthquakes in New Zealand, Chile, and Japan, after the aflockalypse killed thousands of birds, fish and crabs, now comes a swath of deadly tornadoes in ripping through America.
Across six states, at least 45 people were killed from the giant storm system, which produced more than 240 tornadoes. Crews in Virginia and North Carolina are frantically attempting to restore power to hundreds of thousands of customers, clean up the debris, and assist those displaced from the storms.
Here’s what we know so far: North Carolina was the hardest-hit state, with 22 people reported dead by Saturday’s storms. Some 60 twisters touched down in the southeast region of the state.
The North Carolina storms also produced the best and most varied citizen videos, along with ones from Mississippi which you can watch below.
In Virginia: “At least seven have been killed, three of whom in Gloucester County where a tornado cut a 12-mile swath, uprooting trees, destroying homes and injuring dozens. The tornado ripped the roof off Page Middle School and overturned school buses and cars. Flooding also is a problem in the state. Flash flooding killed two Waynesboro residents and several people were rescued from rising water.”
In Alabama a state of emergency was declared across the entire state after seven people died from the storms. For NASCAR fans at Talladega Superspeedway it was a state of emergency for those camping out in open fields and preparing for a weekend of racing. The first race had to be postponed until Saturday morning because of the storms.
In Arkansas eight deaths occurred, and all but one of them, were the result of falling trees crushing people. A woman and her 8-year-old son died when winds knocked a tree into their Little Rock home. Three of the eight deaths in the state were little children.
Casualties from the storm system started in Oklahoma on Thursday when two older people were killed in the small town of Tushka and dozens were injured. Gov. Mary Fallin declared a state of emergency for 26 counties. At least five tornadoes touched down across the state, four in the southeastern part of the state.
Finally, one person was killed in Mississippi. And the tornado took this guy’s hamburger!