Updated: Winter Storms in the South

Updated February 19, 2021

There have been at least 58 deaths now that have been linked to the brutal winter storm that ripped through the US this week. The White House also stated that the storm has delayed over 6 million vaccine doses. Over 60 million people were under winter storm warnings this morning, Friday, Feb 19 while 30 million were under a hard freeze warning

As of now, the majority of our region is no longer under a storm warning. According to the National Weather Service, some areas in the Carolinas, Georgia, and Virginia have a few flood warnings and West Virginia has some hazardous weather statements. They also expect the South to slowly start warming up this weekend, but temperatures will still be colder than normal.

More details on the North Carolina Tornado

The tornado was on the ground for 22 miles and was 275 yards wide, according to the National Weather Service. Gerard Jebaily, NewsNation Meteorologist, explained that the tornado was moving nearly 1 mile per minute, leaving very little time for people to seek shelter.

It touched down around midnight on Monday and began creating devasting damage across Brunswick County. Homes were ripped apart, vehicles were flipped, and trees were uprooted.

“It’s something like I have never seen before. A lot of destruction. It’s going to be a long recovery process,” Brunswick County Sheriff John Ingram said at a press conference early Tuesday.

Both the Regional Response Team and Search and Rescue Team were requested and deployed by State Emergency Management, according to the Wilmington Fire Department. The county is now banning together to clean up and rebuild the community with the help of members of the sheriff’s office and a big donation from Lowe’s Home Improvement that included tarps, shovels, buckets, trash bags, water, storage containers, and more.

Posted Feb 18, 2021

Winter Storms in the South: Power Outages, Tornados, Record Temps, and More to Come

A winter weather pattern has been relentlessly moving through the U.S., causing subzero temperatures, power outages, icy roads, and even tornados. Places like Texas are seeing record cold temperatures and snow while other parts of the South have experienced tornados. As the storm continues, millions remain without power as the death toll climbs to 23 people in the nation.

Earlier this week, a massive tornado touched down in Brunswick County in North Carolina, killing 3 people and injuring 10. Over 50 homes were also badly damaged by the tornado that the National Weather Service rated as a high-end EF3, with winds up to 160 mph. 

Other deaths have been caused by the intense cold, power outages, and car accidents from dangerous road conditions. Two fatalities were also reported in Tennessee. 

According to PowerOutage.US, close to 3 million homes and businesses are still without power in Texas, along with over 65,000 in West Virginia and over 30,000 in Virginia.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm and flood warning showing that over 100 million Americans are in the path of the next batch of severe weather moving across the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic. They also say that ice accumulations of a quarter to three-quarters of an inch could occur.  

“In the areas that contend with these devastating ice accumulations, residents can expect dangerous travel conditions, numerous power outages, and extensive tree damage,” the weather service stated.

The storm is expected to continue through states of our region the next few days, including Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. According to AccuWeather, the northeastern areas should expect snow and freezing rain/sleet. Places nearing Georgia and the Carolinas are more at risk of severe thunderstorms and tornados through Thursday, according to the Storm Prediction Center. 

President Joe Biden’s administration announced that the extreme weather has potentially stunted the COVID-19 vaccination rollout, saying that delays in vaccine shipments were likely. Meteorologists with AccuWeather predict the harsh weather should let up in the central and eastern parts of the country during the final week of February. 

Photos from Getty Images

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