The tornado that killed 116 people in Joplin, Missouri, was the deadliest single U.S. twister since 1953, with winds that may have reached 198 miles per hour (319 kph), according to Jack Hayes, director of the National Weather Service.
Violent thunderstorms with hail and deadly tornadoes are sweeping across the U.S., killing at least six people in Oklahoma and Kansas about 48 hours after the deadliest U.S. twister on record leveled homes and businesses in Joplin, Missouri.
The Atlantic hurricane season spawned 19 storms, including Irene, which struck the East Coast in August leaving destruction from North Carolina to Vermont, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration statement said.
Almost half the U.S., including crop-growing regions of the Midwest and areas around New York City and northern New Jersey, has a higher-than-average risk of flooding through April, according to government forecasters.
Violent thunderstorms with hail and tornadoes swept across the Plains, killing more than a dozen people, 48 hours after the deadliest U.S. twister on record leveled homes and businesses in Joplin, Missouri.
President Barack Obama said he was “heartbroken” by images of destruction in Joplin, Missouri, after one of the deadliest tornadoes on record and said he plans to go there May 29 to inspect the damage and offer condolences.