Powerful storm leaves path of power outages and flooding across the Midwest and northeastern United States
Extreme high winds up to 76 mph across the Midwest and northeastern United States led to power outages, property damage, flooding and the delay of the Texans-Browns NFL game in Cleveland on Sunday.
After a new storm formed over the Great Plains on Saturday, AccuWeather meteorologists accurately predicted strong winds would target the Great Lakes and Northeast to end the weekend.
In Dayton, Ohio, the winds were blamed for at least one fatality. According to The Associated Press, a 63-year-old woman was struck and killed by a falling tree. The death remains under investigation by the Montgomery County sheriff’s office, the AP said.
More than 25 million were under a winter weather alert in parts of Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, New York, New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine on Sunday afternoon.
“A deepening area of low pressure over the Great Lakes has resulted in damaging winds across much of the Midwest and Great Lakes region,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Brett Rossio said.
By Sunday afternoon, a broad area of wind gusts ranging between 40 to 76 mph were recorded in Missouri, Indiana and Ohio.
By 1 p.m. EST on Sunday those high winds and winter weather conditions led to more than 126,000 power outages in Ohio, while another 200,000 customers were without electricity in Michigan, Indiana and Kentucky, according to poweroutage.us.
Those outages quickly escalated within a few short hours. By 4:00 p.m. EST outages topped 350,000 in Ohio and nearly 215,000 in Michigan. By 6 p.m. EST, over 800,000 customers in the region were out of power.
The inclement weather with heavy rain, hail and lightning at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio, sparked a 37-minute delay for the Texans-Browns kickoff. The stadium asked the fans present to shelter in place while the players retreated to their locker rooms, USA Today reported. The Cleveland Browns posted images of their players getting ready for the game in the inclement weather and noted “The pre-game weather was wild.”
Across the Great Lakes, winds were strong enough to not only knock down trees but also break large tree limbs, cause property damage and lakeshore flooding.
The National Weather Service (NWS) Detroit issued a high wind warning on Sunday for the Detroit area as well as across much of Michigan.
The Mackinac Bridge in Michigan closed for high-profile vehicles due to the very strong winds affecting the region on Sunday. Drivers were asked to reduce speed to 20 mph while approaching the bridge and prepare to stop.
In Buffalo, New York, tides were pushed up to seven feet above normal on Sunday, causing flooding from Lake Erie. Across the lake, Toledo, Ohio, experienced tides that were six feet lower than usual. This phenomenon is called a seiche, and is similar to a storm surge.
The flooding in Buffalo could continue throughout the night, and places like Michigan City, Indiana, and Benton Harbor, Michigan could expect lake-shore flooding as well through Sunday night. By 7 p.m. EST, lakeshore flooding from Lake Erie had also begun in Presque Isle State Park in Erie County, Pennsylvania.
Airline delays and turbulence could be issues that airline passengers face as the strong winds take aim. In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, thunderstorms were already responsible for delays up to an hour on Sunday evening.
Cold air will be pulled down behind the earlier Sunday rain, allowing for snow showers in parts of Michigan and Wisconsin through Sunday night. Some lake-effect snow squalls are also possible.
In addition to the gusty winds, rain will also be sweeping eastward with this storm through Sunday night.
Gusty winds that arrived Sunday afternoon will persist into Monday. Coastal areas of the mid-Atlantic and New England could experience wind gusts between 40 and 50 mph with local gusts to 60 mph prior to the arrival of rain.
Travel over high bridges in Philadelphia and New York City could be hazardous, especially for high-profile vehicles such as trucks and trailers.
When the rain arrives, it could come in the form of a squall line, containing wind-whipped rain and a burst of even stronger winds.
As the severe weather subsides along the I-95 corridor, precipitation will be changing from rain to snow across the eastern Great Lakes.
Gusty winds will persist, triggering lake-effect snow across the Great Lakes to the central Appalachians spanning Monday night and Tuesday.
The infamous storm that sunk the Edmond Fitzgerald in November 45 years ago was similar in nature to the current wind storm, and is an example of how powerful and dangerous this type of storm can become.
Courtesy of northcentralpa.com
A person has been struck by a tree during wild storms which have brought destructive winds, lightning and heavy rain to south-east Queensland.
Critical care paramedics took the patient to Brisbane’s Princess Alexandra Hospital in a serious but stable condition, the Queensland Ambulance service said.
By Sunday evening, the severe storms had eased but the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) warned they were likely to reform.
“The situation is being closely monitored and further detailed warnings will be issued as necessary,” the BOM said.
As the clean up began, about 25,000 homes across the region were still without power.
Energex said power remained cut to about 4,440 homes in Brisbane, 8,700 homes in Ipswich and 11,075 homes in Redland.
Another 10,000 Ergon customers in regional Queensland were understood to have lost electricity.
At one point during the height of the storm, Energex was reporting about 33,000 homes were without power after 209 powerlines were brought down.
An Energex spokesman said the damage to the network was so bad some customers in Redland Bay, Mt Crosby and the Bay Islands may not have power restored until Monday.
In Chuwar, SES crews were busy helping clean to up trees and debris. The storm flung a trampoline into a power pole with so much force it bent the frame.
About 78,000 lightning strikes were recorded across south-east Queensland during the storms, and hailstones up to 5cm in diameter pummelled Brisbane’s western and southern suburbs.
At Cornubia, in Logan, a tree was destroyed by lightning.
Resident Tori Bradley told the ABC the lightning strike had shaken her entire house.
“My ears are still ringing,” she said.
Earlier on Sunday afternoon, the BOM had issued a severe storm warning for the Ipswich, Logan, Somerset, Scenic Rim, Lockyer Valley, Gold Coast, Redland City and Brisbane City council areas.
BOM meteorologist Michael Gray said Monday would be a drier day, but Tuesday was likely to bring another burst of wet weather anywhere between Townsville and the New South Wales border.
“There’s an upper low developing over New South Wales, which is going to bring more of those over the next few days,” he said.
Courtesy of abc.net.au
Thunder last Saturday evening reportedly struck dead 15 cows at the outskirt of Ikogosi Ekiti community in Ekiti West Local Government Area of Ekiti State.
The incident, according to Asaoye of Ikogosi, Chief Ayo Ademilua, was a natural occurrence, which he said was strange in the town.
Speaking with journalists via telephone conversation yesterday, Ademilua revealed that the incident happened at the Ikogosi warm spring site on Ipole-Ekiti road.
Ikogosi warm spring has been a notable recreational and tourist centre, where warm and cold spring converge.
The chief said the thunder was said to have struck during a torrential downpour that started around 4 p.m. that day.
According to him, “The whole town was shaken when the thunder struck, and later, some commuters coming into town and those returning home from their farms said they saw some Fulani herders who disclosed that it was thunder that killed their cattle.”
Also speaking on the incident , the Onikogosi of Ikogosi Ekiti, Oba Abiodun Olorunnisola, alleged that the herders have been making spirited efforts to sell the cows to the residents, describing this as dangerous to the health of his people.
The monarch said he has reached out to his colleague at Ipole Ekiti, Oba Oladele Babatola, on the need to warn their subjects against consuming such desecrated animal.
“The two of us have alerted our subjects that there was an attempt to commence the sale of the dead cows, and we are making concerted efforts to prevent the intending buyers,” he said.
The monarch, however, called on the government to evacuate the carcasses of the cows to prevent spread of communicable diseases in the two towns.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Sunday Abutu, said the incident has not been reported to the police, “because it was a natural occurrence.
“We have not been told, but if the owner of the cattle later realises that someone is responsible, he will report at the police station and we will surely rise to the occasion.”
Courtesy of allafrica.com
A massive thunderbolt in Nepal’s remote Jumla district on Sunday killed at least 500 sheep grazing in pastures high in the mountains, according to belated reports from the remote mountain region of northwestern Nepal.
The lightning struck during a monsoon storm on 23 August in Masimarema grazing land of Patrasi Rural Municipality and the sheep belonged to Bishnu Buda and Jaya Bahadur Buda of the Bagjalem Community Forest.
Because of the remoteness of the area, villagers have not been able to reach the site yet, said Ward Chair Kali Bahadur Rawat. The high pasture is the traditional grazing ground for the region’s livestock and dairy farmers during the monsoon months.
Jumla’s chief district administrator Tek Bahadur Budathapa said the lightning strike was a major blow to the villagers of Patrasi whose main source of income is their livestock, and the sheep were being readied for sale during the Dasain festival in October.
“The farmers were already hit by the economic crisis caused by the lockdown, and now this has happened, it is going to be difficult for them to survive and the government will do what it can to provide rehabilitation,” Budathapa said.
This is the second worst disaster to hit the district’s animal husbandry in recent years. In 2013, more than 700 sheep were killed in winter blizzards.
With nearly 900 human fatalities in the past ten years, lightning accounts for the highest number of deaths in natural disasters – second only to the 2015 earthquake. Nepal in fact tops the list of countries with the most lightning fatalities per unit area. More people die every year in electric storms in Nepal than in the whole of North America, according to statistics.
Every year, an average of 100 people are killed by thunderbolts, and meteorologists say freak electrical storms are also occurring during unusual times, such as early mornings. Studies have linked the increase in intensity and frequency of thunderstorms to climate change.
Nepal is also the most densely populated mountainous country in the world, and lighting in the mountains are also deadlier because the flashes have to travel less distance. Within Nepal, Makwanpur district south of Kathmandu has the highest death rate from lightning strike with 70 deaths in the past seven years. In the same period, Jumla only had three fatalities from lightning.
Courtesy of nepalitimes.com
A man, a woman and a four-year-old boy have been killed by falling trees in separate incidents, after wild winds swept across parts of Victoria state in eastern Australia.
The deaths came during a night of intense storms that moved in from the southwest over Melbourne and into Victoria from Thursday afternoon into the evening.
The Australia Bureau of Meteorology senior meteorologist, Dean Narromore, told reporters winds of 158 kilometres per hour (98 miles per hour) – equivalent to a Category 2 cyclone – were recorded at Wilsons Promontory, while gusts of 124 km/h (77mph) were recorded at Mount Gellibrand.
The areas hardest hit included Colac, Torquay, and Melbourne’s east including Belgrave, Mooroolbark, Croydon and Montrose, as well as Phillip Island and Warragul.
The State Emergency Service (SES) received nearly 3,000 calls overnight with almost 2,000 in a 15-minute period at around 6pm local time.
Tim Wiebusch, SES’s chief officer, reported more than 300 buildings were severely damaged across the state and more than 120,000 homes lost power.
Almost 40,000 homes remained without power on Friday afternoon.
The Silvan Dam water treatment plant lost power during the storms and hundreds of thousands of households across Melbourne’s north and east have been told to boil their water, as the electrical damage resulted in contamination.
Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews spoke to reporters saying: “Yarra Valley Water’s issued a precautionary boil water notice. That advisory is very, very important, we don’t want people getting sick from potentially consuming water that hasn’t been through that treatment plant properly.”
Recovery efforts have been hindered because of a strict COVID-19 lockdown in the region, and special exemptions to the rules were released for those affected by the storm.
COVID-19 restrictions also meant a majority of Melbourne’s workforce is working from home, where thousands of people were left without power until Friday evening, according to local media.
Courtesy of aljazeera.com
On Sunday, the Royal Meteorological Institute (RMI) issued another orange storm warning for the whole country, from 2:00 PM to 3:00 AM.
Some of the storms could be “violent,” warned the RMI, which had already issued the same warning on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
This Sunday afternoon and early next night, sometimes violent thunderstorms with possible hail could break out in places, with rainfall that could reach 10 to 30 L/m2 in one hour.
In the second half of the night, the weather is expected to become drier from the west of the country.
Courtesy of brusselstimes.com