28 killed as storms ravage US

 

Powerful storms stretching from the US Gulf Coast to the Great Lakes in the north wrecked two small towns and killed at least 28 people as the system tore roofs off schools and homes and damaged a maximum-security prison. It was the second deadly tornado outbreak this week.

At least 28 people were killed, including 14 in Indiana and 12 in Kentucky, authorities said. In Indiana, Marysville was leveled and nearby Henryville also suffered extreme damage. Each is home to about 2,000 people.

"Marysville is completely gone," said Clark County Sheriff's Department Major Chuck Adams.

Aerial footage from a TV news helicopter flying over Henryville showed numerous wrecked houses, some with their roofs torn off and many surrounded by debris. The video shot by WLKY in Louisville, Kentucky, also shows a mangled school bus protruding from the side of a one-storey building and dozens of overturned semi-trailers strewn around the smashed remains of a truck stop.

Reports from Henryville said the high school was destroyed and the second floor had been ripped off the middle school next door. Classroom chairs were scattered on the ground outside, trees were uprooted and cars had huge dents from baseball-sized hail. Authorities said school was in session when the tornado hit, but there were only minor injuries there.

Afterwards, volunteers pushed shopping trolleys full of water and food up the street and handed it out to people. The rural town about is the home of Indiana's oldest state forest and the birthplace of Kentucky Fried Chicken founder Colonel Harland Sanders.

Ernie Hall, 68, weathered the tornado inside his tiny home near the high school. Mr Hall says he saw the twister coming down the road toward his house, whipping up debris in its path.

He and his wife ran into an interior room and used a mattress to block the door as the tornado struck. It destroyed his car and blew out the picture window overlooking his porch.

"There was no mistaking what it was," he said.

The powerful storm system was also causing problems in states far to the south, including Alabama and Tennessee where dozens of houses were also damaged. The threat of tornadoes was expected to last until late yesterday. The outbreak comes two days after an earlier round of storms killed 13 people in the Midwest and South.

At least 20 homes were badly damaged and six people were taken to hospital in the Chattanooga, Tennessee, area after strong winds and hail lashed the area. In Cleveland, another Tennessee town, Blaine Lawson and his wife Billie were watching the weather when the power went out. Just as they began to seek shelter, strong winds ripped the roof off their home. Neither were hurt.

"It just hit all at once," said Mr Lawson, 76. "Didn't have no warning really. The roof, insulation and everything started coming down on us. It just happened so fast that I didn't know what to do. I was going to head to the closet but there was just no way. It just got us."

Thousands of school children in several states were sent home as a precaution, and several Kentucky universities were closed. The Huntsville, Alabama, mayor said students in area schools sheltered in hallways as severe weather passed in the morning.

An apparent tornado also damaged a state maximum-security prison about 10 miles from Huntsville, but none of the facility's approximately 2,100 inmates escaped. Alabama Department of Corrections spokesman Brian Corbett said there were no reports of injuries, but the roof was damaged on two large prison dormitories that each hold about 250 men.

In California, a late winter storm that dumped at least six feet of snow in parts of the Sierra Nevada mountains created ripe conditions yesterday for snow sports enthusiasts but also posed avalanche dangers, as one man died while skiing in back country.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
peopleMathematician John Nash inspired the film Beautiful Mind
News
Richard Blair is concerned the trenches are falling into disrepair
newsGeorge Orwell's son wants to save war site that inspired book
Life and Style
Audrey Hepburn with Hubert De Givenchy, whose well-cut black tuxedo is a 'timeless look'
fashionIt may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
Arts and Entertainment
The pair in their heyday in 1967
music
Life and Style
fashionFrom bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine