Cleanup Begins in Tornado Ravaged South

February 7, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
President Bush is expected to visit Tennessee tomorrow; the state hit the hardest by deadly tornadoes. 55 people are dead and hundreds more are hurt. Today, the clean up begins but for many survivors, nothing is left. The focus shifts to clean-up and recovery today across the tornado ravaged south where homeowners like Barbie McCann are still marveling at how they survived. "...and we could see our house flying over us while we were down in the shelter, so the only thing we could do was pray and lay on top of our boys and after about three minutes it was all over and everything was gone," said McCuan.

At least 55 people were killed, and hundreds more injured when dozens of tornadoes barreled across Mississippi, Arkansas, Alabama, Kentucky and Tennessee Tuesday and Wednesday.

Lafayette Fire Chief Keith Scruggs said, "We don't have recipe for disaster, but yet, mother nature delivered a blow that we just weren't prepared for."

Red Cross volunteers from the country will begin arriving in the devastated region today and F.E.M.A. teams have been deployed as well. The storms shouldn't have come as a surprise.

Government forecasters predicted the outbreak nearly a week beforehand and tornado warnings had been broadcast for hours before the twisters struck. "All the ingredients came together at the exact right time that produced this extremely unusual, out of season tornado outbreak," said Weather Channel Meteorologist Mike Bettes.

Still nothing could prepare students at Union University, in Jackson, Tennessee the disaster. "We just felt the pressure, just all of a sudden this pressure and people's ears were popping and all of a sudden there was all this noise," said Student Misty Farris.

Their dorms were devastated and dozens of students were hurt but somehow, they all survived.


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