David Shepherd: News Blog

Journalist's Notebook

Tornadoes & Hurricane Force Winds Rip Through The Midwest

By: David Shepherd [dshepherd@wtwo.com] – Tuesday, October 26, 2010

NBC NEWS PHOTO: Storms cause damage to a home near Chicago Tuesday morning.

A powerful storm system is moving through the nation’s mid-section.  A low pressure system is sweeping an intense cold front through the Midwest, with blizzard conditions in the extreme north, destructive winds in the Great Lakes region, and tornadoes from Texas to Kentucky.

In Chicago, forecasters predict the storm could be the most powerful to hit Illinois in over 70 years.

As of Tuesday morning, tornado reports have come in from several states.  In Indiana, tornadoes were reported in Kokomo and Wanatah. 

A roof was ripped off of a home in Peotone, Illinois.  The people were injured there.  Forecasters have not confirmed tornadoes yet, however they will be out soon to survey the area and determine what caused the damage.

More than 62,000 customers were without power in Chicago.  More than 40,000 reportedly lost power in Indiana.

Hurricane-force winds are being reported this afternoon in northern Illinois and Indiana and through the Dakotas.  The eastern Great Lakes are expecting waves to reach 25 feet with fears of beach erosion. 

NBC News is reporting 300 flights were canceled at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport.

The National Weather Service said the storm is one of the strongest to hit the region in decades.

“We’re expecting sustained winds on the order of 35 to 40 mph with gusts up to 60 mph throughout the afternoon,” Edward Fenelon, a weather service meteorologist in Romeoville, Ill, told NBC News.  He said the storm’s central pressure is equivalent to a Category 3 hurricane.

“This is a very different type of event,” Fenelon said. “But that does give an indication of the magnitude of the winds. This isn’t something you see even every year.”

Weather Service Meteorologist Jim Allsopp tells NBC that the storm could be among the worst to hit Illinois in more than 70 years.

October 26, 2010 Posted by | News & Current Events | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Three Killed In Minnesota Tornadoes This Week

By: David Shepherd [dshepherd@wtwo.com]Sunday, June 20, 2010

 At least 3 people were killed in Minnesota when a line of intense storms plowed through Thursday evening.

Angie Woodside told The Weather Channel about taking cover in the basement as the tornado approached.  Angie says her mother-in-law, Kathy, 66, refused to go underground despite the warnings.

“She told me she would not go down in one,” Angie Woodside said Friday, the day after Kathy was killed when the tornado picked her up and threw her 200 feet into a field near her home.

In northwestern Minnesota,79-year-old Margie Schulke was killed when the intense twisters destroyed her home with her inside.  58

Courtesy: The Weather Channel, Iwitness Carl Becker

 year old Wes Michaels was also killed when the gas station he owned was leveled by the violent storm.

 In all, 3 people were killed in Minnesota and dozens more were injured in Thursday’s storms. 

Officials report hundreds of homes were damaged by the extreme weather.  The National Weather Service reports 36 tornado sightings Thursday.

Severe storms have wrecked havoc on several mid-west states for several days in a row this week with some states expecting even more this weekend.

Sunday’s Severe Weather Outlook For The Midwest

David Shepherd – Storm Chaser [dshepherd@wtwo.com]

*Note:  The information on the weather blog is not updated regularly.  The forecast is based on data collected early in the day.  For the most up-to-date information on severe weather, consult your local media outlets.

Father’s Day thunderstorms are in the forecast Sunday for the Dakotas, Nebraska, Indiana and northern Kentucky, according to meteorologists. 

Some storms will likely turn severe as they enter a very hot, humid, and unstable air mass. 

Severe storms are expected to pack damaging winds, lightning, hail and isolated tornadoes.  Rainfall estimates of 3 inches for parts of the Midwestern states Sunday.


June 20, 2010 Posted by | News & Current Events | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

At Least 5 Killed In Midwest Tornado Outbreak

By: David Shepherd [ dshepherd@wtwo.com ] –  Sunday, June 06, 2010

Severe thunderstorms and tornadoes plow through the Midwest overnight killing at least 5 people and leaving a path of destruction 100 yards wide.

In Millbury, Ohio, rescue workers continue their search for victims in the rubble of shattered homes Sunday.  It’s too soon to tell whether anyone else is missing.

The storms hit around 11 p.m. Saturday night with heavy rain, wind, hail and tornadoes.  The storm swept through a small farm town,

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narrowly missing a heavily populated suburb of Toledo.

The violent storms damaged at least 50 homes and another 50 were severely damaged.  School buses and police cars were tossed in a mile long trail of devastation.

5 people, including 1 child, were killed.  Police say, among those killed, a person standing outside of the police department and a motorist.

In Michigan, it was a terrifying night as violent weather ripped off siding on a nuclear plant.

Nuclear Plant Automatically Shut Down as Storms Blew Through

Enrico Fermi Nuclear Power Plant

Severe storms that blew through Michigan caused damage to the Fermi 2 nuclear plant in the southeastern part of the state.  Per design, the plant shut

down as the high winds ripped off siding from one of the buildings there.

Investigators

were called in to inspect the plant to make sure there was no further damage.  A public information officer for Monroe County tells NBC News the plant was expected to go back into operation soon.

Power was knocked out to about 35,000 people nearby during the storms but it’s not clear if it was directly related to the shutdown of the nuclear power plant.

In Dundee, Michigan, 11 people were taken to a nearby hospital with minor injuries.  Meteorologists with the National Weather Service are looking into reports of a tornado touchdown there.

More than 12 people were hurt in Dwight, Illinois where 10 homes and 40 mobile homes were destroyed.

June 7, 2010 Posted by | Polls, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment