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Deadly Storms Still Hammering U.S.

Aired November 11, 2002 - 06:16   ET


CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Obviously deadly storms overnight. Now the number is somewhere around 22 for fatalities. That number will obviously, you know it could possibly go up and down, but that's the range that we have right now.
We have some brand new pictures in from Pickens County in Georgia where obviously a tornado went through this area. We have heard on the radio overnight and on some of the ham radio frequencies there's a 17-mile path of damage here in Pickens County. Not sure if that's a solid path, is that an up and down kind of tornado path, possibly still straight line winds but this sure looks like tornado damage to me.

You can't tell whether it's tornado damage or straight line wind damage in the middle of the night and so we're not going to try to split hairs here. Tornado damage happens when things are thrown in different directions. The weather service walks out there, they fly out there, they take a helicopter over it and they see whether trees, limbs, rooftops are blown in different directions. And if they are, that -- they know that the tornado was actually circulating around, the winds were spinning. If all the trees are all knocked down in one direction, then therefore they say that is what's called a micro burst or just a big strong area of wind that goes in one direction.

These are pictures of tornado damage because we had the pictures of the tornado. This is from Van Wert County in Ohio yesterday where I think we lost four people up here in Ohio. The numbers are obviously still coming in.

We always tell you get out of the car if you see a tornado coming. Did you see that car in the picture? That's why we tell you to get out of the car because when a tornado is done with a car, there is no place for you inside of it. Obviously, you need to get below ground.

And this looks like a very large tornado, possibly F3, F4 damage, just from looking at the limbs being stripped from trees. I've seen so many tornadoes when I worked in Oklahoma City that obviously the damage there.

Now we're back into night side video from Tennessee. But the tornado damage that you saw there, clearly with limbs being ripped from branches and also from the trunks of trees, that's an F3 or F4 tornado looking at wind speeds of 180 to possibly 220 miles per hour. We still don't know about this yet from Tennessee. Obviously the power lines are down, houses are destroyed. Obviously here a tree into this house, but still going to get out later on this afternoon and take a look at what damage occurred, how it occurred and did it occur in a straight line or did it occur in a random path.

Here are the lines of storms now, five tornado watch boxes, including the city of Washington, D.C. A tornado warning for D.C., Alexandria and all the way down even into Manassas and Manassas Park. A very large line of thunderstorms headed to Washington, D.C.

I'll zoom in a little bit farther to the north. There's that new watch box that just pops up at the very last minute. And here now are the cells that are moving across from Dulles and into the western side here of the beltway and then finally up through Gaithersburg and Rockville, and for that matter, even on up toward Columbia and Baltimore because that's the direction they're moving to the northeast at 50 miles per hour.

Here you're seeing now on the very last screen here a new tornado watch box for upstate in South Carolina, almost getting to the down state area, the low country of South Carolina. Also including Augusta, Georgia, down to the south and southeast of Macon as this line that did move through Atlanta about an hour and a half ago is moving to the east rather quickly. And we still have these rogue storms, these what we call super cell rotating storms out ahead of the line.

We're not so concerned about the line. When you see a line coming to your home or coming at you, yes, there's going to be some damage, maybe some wind damage, but it's the storms here, the ones that are out ahead. See the ones that aren't attached to the line, those are the rotators. Those are the ones that have all the moisture to work with. They're not fighting with other storms in the line. And when they don't fight, they get all the moisture they want, they start to rotate and those are the ones with the tornado warnings on them right now.

Heidi, back to you.

HEIDI COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: And they just keep coming. Unbelievable.

MYERS: Yes, at this time of the morning, this time of year, not expected really. We do get a fall time severe weather peak, we're in it now. But simply 6:00 in the morning, typically not a time for severe weather whether spring or fall because the sun's been set now for 12 hours.


MYERS: You know it's not warm outside, it's a little bit muggy, but not hot. But boy, this storm has a lot of energy in the upper atmosphere and it's still going now.

COLLINS: All right, unfortunately.


COLLINS: Chad Myers, we'll check in a little later.

MYERS: All right.

COLLINS: Thanks.

MYERS: I'll be here.


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