US Study: Most Victims Knew Twisters Were Coming

Friday, 27 Apr 2012 06:53 AM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

Most of the victims of last year's epic tornado outbreak in the U.S. state of Alabama had at least one thing in common: They knew the storm was coming.

A year after the onslaught of dozens of twisters killed at least 250 people in Alabama and more elsewhere in the South, federal researchers are completing a study of who died and where they were when it happened. Among the conclusions so far: Nearly half of the people who died had been advised to take shelter. Indeed, most of them did.

But many of the tornadoes were so fierce that few structures were able to withstand them.

"These were catastrophic winds that could destroy pretty much anything in its path," Cindy Chiu, an epidemic intelligence service officer, said in reporting preliminary findings this month at a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conference in Atlanta.

Unlike in other tornado outbreaks, the largest group of people who died were in single-family houses — not mobile homes — the CDC analysis found.

The April 27, 2011, outbreak involved 62 tornadoes that stretched along ground-hugging tracks that covered more than 1,000 miles. Fatalities were reported from central Alabama to far north Alabama.

While many who heard the warnings sought shelter, others took their chances and lost.

The American Red Cross shares disaster data with the CDC, including what was gathered in extensive interviews with families of the deceased.

Relatives of an 80-year-old woman from Lawrence County "notified her of impending storm — asked her to go to storm shelter next door. She refused, said if her time to go, she would."

The wife of a 35-year-old man from Franklin County heard the warning on TV, according to another vignette provided by Chiu. "She and sons went to basement of neighbors. He stayed in the home," the vignette states. "Tornado struck (at) 330pm and he was found 30 mins later near a tree. He was badly injured and died in the hospital."

The CDC has been examining reports of 255 deaths, including a few for which no Alabama death certificate has been found yet. It's possible a few people were injured in Alabama but died in hospitals in nearby states, Chiu said.

For 120 of those 255, the CDC determined whether the victims knew of the coming tornadoes ahead of time. And 105 were warned.

Of those, 70 took some kind of protective action, like covering themselves or going to what they thought was a safer location or room — including 45 who sought proper shelter, like a basement or interior room on the lowest floor possible. Nineteen were in bathrooms, 10 in basements, 10 in bedrooms and 10 in hallways and smaller numbers in other rooms.

The average age of those who died was 50, and a third of the deaths were people 65 and older, the CDC found.

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Retype Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

What? Hello Kitty Not a Cat, Has Never Been Says Company

Thursday, 28 Aug 2014 06:36 AM

Hello Kitty is not a cat, the company behind Japan's global icon of cute insisted Thursday, despite an uproar from Inter . . .

Imam to Hannity: Sharia Law Is 'Coming to a Place Near You'

Wednesday, 27 Aug 2014 23:11 PM

Controversial London Imam Anjem Choudary had a heated argument with Fox News Channel's Sean Hannity on the latter's show . . .

Missouri Governor Names New Public Safety Director

Wednesday, 27 Aug 2014 22:35 PM

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon on Wednesday appointed a new state public safety director, giving his administration its only bl . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved