Entries in Storm (52)


Body of Girl, 4, Recovered After Being 'Swept Away' by Storm

ABC News(OKLAHOMA CITY) -- The body of a 4-year-old girl was recovered after she was swept away by the rising floodwaters in the wake of tornadoes that ravaged the Oklahoma City area, but what happened to the rest of her family is unknown, police said today.

The young girl and her family took shelter from the barrage of tornadoes that touched down Friday night in a ditch three miles south of downtown Oklahoma City, Oklahoma City Police Department spokesman Lt. Jay Barnett told ABC News.

"They were seeking shelter from the storm and got caught up in it somehow," Barnett said. "She was trapped by the fast-rising waters associated with the storm and got swept away."

Barnett said it is believed she hid out with family members who may have included a 21-year-old adult male, as well as her 4-year-old, 3-year-old, and 5-month-old relatives.

Barnett could not confirm whether the girl was included in the nine deaths listed by the Oklahoma Medical Examiner's Office.

The whereabouts of the child's family are still unclear, Barnett said.

"Until we actually recover additional bodies and are able to speak with available witnesses, we can't say for certain what happened," Barnett said. "We can also hold out some hope that not all of them were swept away, that not all perished."

Barnett could not comment on where the girl's body was found, saying it was part of an ongoing investigation.

A mother and her baby were also killed after they were sucked out of their car during the tornadoes.

The storm, which included an estimated five twisters, left others huddled and crying in walk-in freezers, smashed and flipped cars and trucks, and turned roads into rivers.

The woman and her infant were in a vehicle on Interstate 40 when the storm struck during rush hour. They were just miles from the city of Moore, Okla., which was devastated by a massive tornado that killed 24 people on May 20, said Betsy Randolph, spokeswoman for the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

"A mother and baby lost their lives out here tonight," Randolph said. "They were swept up in the storm... (They were) traveling on the interstate and their car was sucked up into the tornado and they were sucked out of their vehicle and thrown from their vehicle.

"We know that the storm picked them up and swept them away. When the troopers found them, they were both deceased," the officer added.

They were not immediately identified.

Randolph described a nightmarish situation on the interstate.

"The sky was black, there was debris flying through the air," she told ABC News. She said there was heavy rain and hail the size of "softballs" that was hitting people as they escaped from cars that were colliding and being sent airborne by the storm.

"It was absolute chaos with all the crashes and vehicles flying through the air," she said.

Randolph compared the damage along Highway 40 to a parking lot strewn with wrecked cars and said there were not enough troopers to respond to each accident.

Hail, flood waters and downed power lines made it difficult for police and emergency crews to access the area, Randolph said.

"I cannot stress to you just how important it is that if people don't have to be out, that they stay inside and seek shelter," she said.

Beverly Allam, 57, was trying to leave her home and head south to outrun the storm, but got trapped in what she called "a mass exodus" as other motorists also tried to flee.

She was at Highway 9, 10 miles from I-40, but the winds were strong enough to push her van into a different lane and make her fear that the van would tip over. She was with her daughter Helema, 16, and son Mohamed, 33. They fled for shelter into a Sinclair gas station and took shelter with 50 other strangers in the station freezer.

In the freezer there were a few people freaking out crying with their pets, she said. There were some comforting others, and a few just trying to keep things light with jokes.

This storm particularly scared her and she has lived in Oklahoma her whole life. She describes the sky as pitch black and said she was able to see power surges and flashes in the sky.

"You just try to make a run for it and get away," Allam said.

She was particularly scared because she has never been without a shelter in storm situations, "the only way to survive theses storms," she said.

When they emerged from the freezer, Allam saw that her car windshield had been shattered by the hail and the lot was littered with glass and huge balls of hail. On her way home after the worst had passed "the roads were like rivers," Allam said.

Addie Pendarvis was working at a Sonic, a drive-in diner, when the tornado emergency went into effect.

"When my bosses called me, I had to get everyone and put them in the walk-ins until I got the call to get everybody out that it had passed us," she said.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Authorities Predict Active Hurricane Season, Release List of Storm Names

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Don’t be surprised if this year’s list of Atlantic hurricane names sounds familiar. Except for three replacements, many of the same names blew through during 2007 in one of the most severe seasons ever when measured by property damage.

Noel, Felix and Dean have been retired after producing a combined total of nearly 350 storm-related deaths six years ago, mostly in the Caribbean. They were replaced by Fernand, Nestor and Dorian, joining 18 others on the list.

The World Meteorological Organization rotates six lists of hurricane names in succession, retiring and replacing the names of the deadliest and most destructive storms (called cyclones and typhoons in other parts of the world).

Whether the organization gets through its full list depends on which way the wind blows, as will the naming of storms if the list of 21 is exhausted. That’s a rare year when the group turns to the Greek alphabet, starting with Alpha. That hasn’t happened since 2005, also the year of the costliest U.S. natural disaster, Hurricane Katrina.

Authorities have already predicted an active 2013 season but, for now, from Andrea to Wendy,  here are the names of the hurricanes-to-be for Saturday through Nov. 30.






















Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Winter Blast Could Impact States Across the Country

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Winter storm warnings are in effect for states across the country, with the latest storm bringing heavy snow to the north and sleet to the south. Weather advisories are warning affected states of possible snow, thunderstorms and tornados.

See the ABC News report from World News with Diane Sawyer:


Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Nor’easter May Be Next for New England

Hemera/Thinkstock(SILVER SPRING, Md.) -- As steps toward recovery slowly progress in the wake of Sandy, another storm may soon be hitting the East Coast in time for Election Day.

The National Weather Service’s Prediction Center issued a warning for a possible nor’easter, which may hit the Mid-Atlantic and New England regions as early as next Tuesday.

While the storm is not anticipated to be as destructive as Sandy, the prediction center anticipated the storm will “cause light to moderate precipitation around that region of the country” and “produce impacts much less extreme.”

The Washington Post reports that the European Centre Medium Range Forecast (EURO) model, which tracked Sandy over a week before it hit, shows a simulation of the storm that will bring moderate rains and gusty winds in many of the same areas ravaged by the superstorm.

The impending storm may possibly delay the recuperation efforts of both New York and New Jersey.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Tropical Storm Isaac: Hurricane Warnings Issued for Gulf Coast

NOAA-NASA GOES Project(NEW YORK) -- As Tropical Storm Isaac grazed the Florida Keys with less force than was feared, hurricane warnings have been issued for the Gulf Coast from Central Louisiana to the Florida panhandle with Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana declaring state of emergencies ahead of the storm's landfall.

Isaac is expected to strengthen to a weak Category 2 or Category 1 hurricane before making landfall along the Gulf Coast by Tuesday night/Wednesday morning, according to the National Hurricane Center.  Hurricane warnings were issued from east of Morgan City, La. -- which includes New Orleans -- to Destin, Fla.

If it hits the Gulf Coast Wednesday morning, as forecasters said is possible, it would come on the seventh anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, which killed hundreds of people and flooded 80 percent of New Orleans.  

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu admitted anxiety levels are high.

"The timing of this storm coming on, as fate would have it, the anniversary of Katrina, has everybody in a state and sense of alertness and that is a good thing," he said Sunday.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal declared a state of emergency and said he's "strongly advising" people in low lying areas of coastal Louisiana to evacuate ahead of the storm.

"There is a 70 to 80 percent chance we'll have tropical storm winds in southeast Louisiana and again as it moves west you'll see more of our state could potentially be covered, by those wind warnings," Jindal said on Sunday.

As of 11 p.m. EST Sunday, Isaac's winds were whipping at 65 mph and expected to strengthen as it moves over the eastern part of the Gulf of Mexico.  The center of the storm is about 110 miles west, southwest of the Florida Keys, according to the National Hurricane Center.  To be considered a Category 1 hurricane, winds have to be 74 mph or higher.

"With winds of that strength, one of the greatest concerns is storm surge, where the water will be moving ashore, blown in by the winds," said Ed Rappaport, forecaster with the National Hurricane Center.

Since the storm is apparently moving further west, the Tampa Bay area is not expected to be affected as much as was previously thought.  Fears that Isaac would pound Tampa, Fla., on Monday led GOP officials to decide to postpone the start of the Republican National Convention, which was scheduled to begin on Monday.

A tropical storm warning is still in effect for Tampa Bay and Miami.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


US Capitol Weathers DC’s Devastating Storm

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- While Washington cleans up Monday morning after last weekend's severe weather, one of the oldest and most historic buildings in the nation’s capital appears to have escaped relatively unscathed: the U.S. Capitol.

A spokeswoman for the Architect of the Capitol tells ABC News that there were no reports of damage to the Capitol or any other buildings throughout the 274-acre Capitol campus, which also includes the Supreme Court of the United States. Most of the storm’s wrath was suffered by trees, although none of the damaged ones were memorial trees.

“We had some minor tree damage, a few suffered from broken limbs, but our folks had things cleaned up by Sunday morning,” Eva Malecki, communications officer for the AOC, wrote in an email. “No other damages reported.”

According to the AOC, about 4,200 trees adorn the grounds of the Capitol. About 150 trees are memorial trees, planted by a member of Congress.

The storm packed 60-80 mph winds and ripped through the sweltering Washington region late Friday night, killing at least six people in Virginia, two in Maryland and one in D.C.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Seattle Ice Storm Leaves 1 Dead, 180,000-Plus Without Power

Comstock/Thinkstock(SEATTLE) -- Just as Seattle was beginning to recover from the freak snowstorm that hit Wednesday, a treacherous ice storm swept the Pacific Northwest Thursday, coating the already snow-covered area with a layer of ice and contributing to at least one death.

After western Washington was hit hard Wednesday, Seattle almost beat its yearly average of 5.9 inches of snow in one day, with a little more than 5 inches of snow in total.

Other areas experienced even more snow. The state capital of Olympia got more than 12 inches while the Cascades saw several feet of snow.

While digging out, the state was hit a day later with a layer of ice between one-quarter and one-inch thick, according to Accuweather meteorologist Alex Sosnowski.

“It takes a shallow layer of cold air sitting around the ground to set up a situation for freezing rain,”  Sosnowski said. “On Wednesday, the cold air wasn’t thick enough so you weren’t getting that ice. But then the layer of cold air shallowed and created freezing rain.”

The layer of ice encrusted power lines and trees, causing major outages and downed trees.

Puget Sound Energy reported more than 180,000 homes without power because of the weight of the ice on top of the snow and falling trees.

Seattle-Tacoma Airport was forced to close early Thursday morning because of a sheet of ice that covered the runway. One of the three runways reopened later Thursday but many flights were delayed or canceled.

Washington Gov. Chris Gregorie declared a winter storm emergency, which authorizes the use of the National Guard and, if needed, coordination of state agencies to help local jurisdictions during the storm.

Other areas in the Pacific Northwest also saw severe weather. Oregon is experiencing heavy rain and gusty wind. There have been multiple reports of road washouts and landslides.

The area can expect to continue to see severe weather over the weekend. Several storms are headed for the area but with warmer air, they can expect to see mostly rain.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Seattle Prepares for Worst Snowstorm in a Decade

Comstock/Thinkstock(SEATTLE) -- On average, Seattle sees about 5.9 inches of snow in a year, but over the next 24 hours the Emerald City, nicknamed for its lush green landscapes, will be stuck in a snow globe, with parts of the city expected to receive eight to 12 inches of snow.

It could be the worst snowstorm the city has seen since 9.8 inches fell in 1974, and there is widespread concern that the accumulation might topple trees and power lines, shutting down the city entirely.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Flash Floods Wreak Havoc on Houston

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(HOUSTON) -- Strong winds and flash floods plagued southeast Texas Monday after an unusually dry winter, with rainfall exceeding the monthly average in a few hours.

City roads were flooded and thousands of Houston residents were without electricity after strong thunderstorms hit the area.

The torrential downpour came as a shock to many Texans, after 2011 finished as the driest year on record for that area, according to the National Weather Service.

Houston endured a total of 4.05 inches of rain by 4 p.m. Monday, according to the National Weather Service. The monthly rainfall average for that area is 3.79 inches.

A funnel cloud was sighted southwest of Houston and roads flooded across downtown Houston. Flooding shut down exit ramps and lanes on several major highways, wreaking havoc on the Houston area.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Storm to Bring Snow, Rain, Strong Winds to Parts of East

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- An intensifying storm system will move out of the Ohio Valley and into the eastern Great Lakes and the northeast Tuesday, spreading rain over major cities from Washington, D.C., to Boston during the afternoon.  Most areas will see approximately an inch of rain, while flash flooding is possible in some low-lying areas.

Some severe weather is possible from Richmond, Va., to Jacksonville, Fla., with gusting winds near 70 mph. A few isolated tornadoes could develop in some of the strongest storms.  There is also a chance for some minor flash flooding in parts of the southeast on Tuesday.

As the system moves across Pennsylvania and New York, surface winds will increase to 40-to-50 mph with higher gusts along the coast.  Wind advisories have already been issued from Delaware to Maine.

Light snow is expected on the back side of the storm, but not much for this time of the year.  Areas around Detroit, Cleveland and Pittsburgh could see 1-2 inches of snow, while those near Erie, Pa., to Buffalo, N.Y., and into the Adirondacks could see 4-6 inches of snow. The highest elevations in the Adirondacks could get up to 8 inches.

The quick-moving system will be out of the northeast by mid-Wednesday morning, only to be followed by colder temps and gusting winds Wednesday afternoon.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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