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The National Weather Service recorded that at least 178 tornadoes ravaged the Midwest and Southeast United States in two days (April 27-28), making it the largest number recorded during a single tornado outbreak in United States history. The storms fragmented homes, buildings and facilities, knocked down thousands of trees, destroyed power and telephone lines, and obliterated businesses as they swept the region.
CNN reported: “With the official state death toll now at 337, the…tornado outbreak is the second-deadliest single day for tornadoes since recordkeeping began, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said.”
“In Tuscaloosa, news footage showed paramedics lifting a child out of a flattened home, with many neighbouring buildings reduced to rubble” The Associated Press stated. “A hospital said its emergency room had admitted about 100 people, but had treated 400.”
Following the storms, up to one million residents were without electric power in that state alone.
“People think of Oklahoma as tornado alley, but the Southeast has a history of more powerful tornadoes that stay on the ground longer,” FEMA Director Craig Fugate said in The Wall Street Journal.
In St. Louis, Missouri, security cameras captured powerful winds of what is thought to be the worst tornado to hit the city since 1967. The security video footage, aired by the BBC, shows travelers and airport security running for their lives as the storm pokes giant holes through the terminal’s roof.
Along with an estimated 600 violent twisters that slammed the South in April, some regions were also hit by 12 hours of nonstop rain and flash flooding.