Monday, June 03, 2019

SEVERE STORMS - Indiana, Ohio, and Oklahoma Consequences

"Overnight tornadoes devastate parts of Indiana and Ohio" PBS NewsHour 5/28/2019


SUMMARY:  A string of tornadoes cut a path of destruction across parts of Ohio and Indiana Monday night.  The twisters, some with winds of 140 miles per hour, flattened entire neighborhoods, killing at least one person and wounding dozens more.  Millions are without power as officials scramble to uncover the scope of the damage and encourage residents to check on their neighbors.  Judy Woodruff reports.

"With record rain, Oklahoma’s levee system is under extreme pressure" PBS NewsHour 5/28/2019


SUMMARY:  Severe weather is devastating the American Heartland.  Spring storms have led to at least eight deaths in Oklahoma, which has been hit by tornadoes and record rain.  With more precipitation expected, state officials are closely watching levee systems for signs of a potentially catastrophic failure.  Judy Woodruff speaks by phone with Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt about managing the situation.

"What’s behind the recent rash of violent weather" PBS NewsHour 5/29/2019


SUMMARY:  Violent weather has tormented regions from the Rocky Mountains to the Mid-Atlantic in recent weeks.  In Kansas Tuesday night, strong tornadoes tore houses apart, littered an airport runway with debris and hoisted a car onto a roof -- but widespread flooding may be the biggest and most prolonged threat.  William Brangham talks to atmospheric scientist Victor Gensini about the brutal spring weather.

William Brangham (NewsHour):  My understanding is, there's been some reporting that climate change perhaps might be shifting where certain tornadoes might be hitting, hitting places that are not used to them.

Is that right?

Victor Gensini, Northern Illinois University:  That's exactly right.

We did a study last October that looked at, well, the number of tornadoes across the United States really hasn't changed very much over the last 40 years, but where they're happening has been changing.

So places like Tornado Alley, Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas, we have been seeing a downward trend in some of those locations, and an increasing trend further to east in places like Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, and portions of the Midwest, which is a big deal for population density and vulnerability, of course, the exposure, as we have many more people living east of the Mississippi River.

"The radical approach these communities have taken to flood mitigation" PBS NewsHour 5/28/2019


SUMMARY:  The U.S. has experienced its wettest 12-month period on record.  Scientists warn that climate change is causing more intense storms, resulting in increased flooding risk for millions of Americans living near rivers and along the coasts.  How can vulnerable communities prepare?  Special correspondent Cat Wise reports on a radical approach some are exploring: relocation of the towns themselves.

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