Oklahoma, Texas and Arkansas are some of the states that have been recently struck by tornadoes. These devastating forces of nature rallied through schools, parks and homes like they were made of cardboard.
To make matters worse, this line of tornadoes affected the lives of 5 people, two of whom were the young parents of a one year old. Whilst being inside their trailer, the lifting force of the tornado caused the trailer to flip over and exploded when it hit the ground. Michael and Melissa Mooneyhan gave their lives to protect their daughter. Fortunately, the young girl is alright and has already been released into the custody of the close family members.
The families of the deceased ones are deeply affected by their loss. One of Melissa’s cousins, Polly McCammack declared the following:
“The family has been hit hard. They’re strong, but it’s almost like to the point you’re afraid to breathe. […] That baby was definitely their life. They considered her their greatest blessing. You couldn’t find two parents who loved a child more. She’s going to grow up knowing family and knowing love.”
The tornado that hit Nashville, Arkansas was ranked as an EF2 type (Enhanced-Fujita scale), with winds reaching over 125m/hour.
Each tornado is dangerous in its own way, but even more so when one cannot easily avert it, especially if the authorities do not disseminate the relevant information to the public. While the first tornado was signaled through the continuous use of the siren, the same siren could not be used to signal the second upcoming tornado, since the battery drained out.
Travelling from Arkansas to Texas, the tornadoes increased in intensity, and by the time it reached Texas, it had become an EF3 tornado, with the speed of the wind surpassing 140 mph. The authorities confirmed two deaths and numerous buildings were put to the ground (including over 120 homes).
In total, over 40 people were injured by the collapsing structures, four of which were said to have been critical.
In Van, Texas, plenty of people were trapped inside their mobile homes. However, Thelma and James Crawford were lucky, considering the fact that they have been in the same situation as the Mooneyhan couple, who tragically found their end. Their trailer was lifted from the ground, but it did not explode on impact.
In some areas, the gale force winds were accompanied by at least 27 cm (11 inches) of rainfall, which flooded some parts of Texas. Due to the heavy rain, one man found his end 100 km away from Van, as the car he was in was swallowed by the waters.
Specialists at the Storm Prediction center estimate that dozens of tornadoes formed on Sunday in South Dakota, which later descended to the southern part of the USA (Iowa, Texas, Colorado and Oklahoma, among others).
Have you ever experienced the fury of a tornado? Share your experience in the comments section below.
Jason, just a little info for you.
#1 – Colorado is not in the South
#2 – Tornadoes do not travel in the direction you indicated. There were probably tornadoes in South Dakota (I haven’t heard; my attention was focused on Texas and Arkansas, as we were looking for them to possibly come through where we live. (We were blessed; the system fell apart before reaching us.)) So, the tornadoes did not develop in South Dakota and touch down in Texas and Arkansas. They were independent.
#3 – Again, the tornado would not have traveled from Arkansas to Texas, but from Texas to Arkansas. Again, wrong direction.
No reflection on your story; you did a good job. I don’t know where you live, but it is evident you are not familiar with the States so thought I would let you know for any future articles.
My prayers go out to all who have been hit by these tornadoes and also praying that the Good Lord will send as much help as needed to all these victims.
It’s a sad, tragic reminder that location is an important and potentially critical item when considering a place to live and work!
How many who have lost their homes and family members will relocate away and why once they have lost everything don’t they?
Why also do they bother to rebuild? Such questions I have asked myself many times when reading of these horrific events!
I’ve been in several tornadoes including an EF4/5. I have since educated myself and am a member of SkyWarn, the National Weather Services’ citizen alert group.
Many times the sirens can’t even be heard due to the high levels of noise a tornado makes. Your best bet is to always be aware of weather and the signs of change. Also keep a weather radio handy with extra batteries so you have your own personal alarm system. Even with the technology we have now, the average warning time is only 45 seconds for a tornado warning.
Be aware, have a plan in place and always expect the unexpected.