On Tuesday, the National Weather Service was urging residents of the Midwest to be prepared for the possibility of severe thunderstorms. The line of severe thunderstorms that’s moving into the region could trigger heavy, flooding rainfall, strong gusting winds and even tornadoes. It also could bring with it large hail that could do extensive damage to homes, businesses and vehicles.
Weather services across the Midwest were telling people that “dangerous” weather was on its way to the region. TV and radio meteorologists were warning that the severe weather was packing large hail and heavy rains which threatened a large swatch of the Midwest. The National Weather Service stated that the highest risk areas were in parts of Nebraska (eastern and northern), in southern Iowa and in the northern reaches of Missouri.
Tornado watches and warnings were already issued Tuesday night in parts of Iowa, Nebraska and Missouri. Hailstones the size of baseballs fell in Nebraska Tuesday, shattering numerous windows in homes and vehicles. The hail stones were so large and powerful that they made 3-inch wide holes in many windshields and large, deep dents in hoods and roofs of cars.
A severe thunderstorm siren was sounded in Omaha, NE mid-afternoon on Tuesday when bad weather moved into that city. Tornado spotters reported a tornado on the ground in central Nebraska. That twister touch down will not be confirmed until Wednesday morning when officials can assess damage.
The NWS said that 35 million people were in the risk zone for severe weather including tornadoes. However, the risk for tornadoes was expected to be lower Wednesday although they were still possible. People in cities such as Chicago and Detroit were being told to prepare for the possibility of tornadoes overnight Tuesday and into Wednesday as the line of severe thunderstorms was heading their way. The severe weather is likely to bring with it high gusting winds that could reach speeds in excess of 70 miles per hour. If that does occur in large Midwestern metropolitan areas Wednesday, millions of people could be without power as winds that strong can take down trees and powerlines.
Flood damage to a property can be devastating, and can be caused by a multitude of different instances such as faulty pipes, a natural disaster, broken appliances or even a leaking roof. No matter the cause, there are steps that need to be taken to ensure the safety of your property and that the water damage is taken care of so no further damages occur. If you have recently experienced water damage to your home or business, these tips will help you get your life back to normal.
1) Preventing Foreseeable Hazards
The first step to take after discovering water in your home is making sure that your property is safe. This would be a good time to have your home professionally inspected to make sure it is safe for you to re-enter. Structural damage is the first thing to look for following water damage, as you want to make sure that your home is stable enough that it won’t collapse. It is also a good idea to have any electrical wiring looked at because sometimes water damage can cause many issues involving your electrical systems. A flood damage assessment should also be done to help you determine how much a home repair will cost. After these vital safety precautions are taken care of, you can go back inside of your home to begin the cleanup process.
2) Gather Proof of Flood Damage for Insurance Purposes
After you have gotten the “O.K” to go back into your home, you should then identify all the areas of your home where any damage has occurred and then document your findings for the sake of homeowner’s insurance. You can then take pictures and keep all documents that will be provided by the professional who inspects your property. Make sure that you note all damaged items and parts of the home to ensure that you are properly compensated for them later.
3) Flood Damage Restoration
The real job begins after you have documented all of the evidence of water damage that is visible to the naked eye. After that has been finished, it is time to begin removing all the water and making sure that your home is dried out. Working quickly is vital, as too much time will lead to the development of funguses and mold. These can lead to structural and health issues if not taken care of in a timely manner. The water can be removed from your property using a pump, and then dehumidifiers will be needed to rid the space of moisture. Fans will also do a good job of removing moisture and drying out your property. It is usually the best option to call a team of water damage experts after sustaining water damage to your property, as they have the proper knowledge and equipment to get the job done quickly and efficiently.
4) Begin Fixing Any Damages Caused by Water
After your home or business has been thoroughly dried out and eradicated of water, any external damages should be addressed. This could be a hefty process if the damage is comprehensive. Your home could have structural issues and may need to undergo re-construction. Also, it is a possibility that you may have to live elsewhere while the repair process is in effect.
It is important to call a certified professional quickly if you have recently undergone water damage to your property. You can save yourself a lot of time, and the hassle, by working with water mitigation experts with experience in the field. Otherwise, you could be dealing with multiple contractors to get the work done.
Last week severe weather completely ravaged parts of the South, and more severe weather is in the forecast for this week. This system is predicted to be located in the Rockies and the Midwest, but will move quickly into the Plains states as well. This looming threat of severe weather will begin on Tuesday and will continue into the evening. If the conditions are right, then the severe weather will more than likely be scattered and small in scope. The severe weather threat will return by Wednesday and will move into Thursday, caused by a downward dip in the jet stream that will quickly pivot into the Plains. Warm, moist, and unstable air will be present into the southern and central plains and western Great Lakes by this time.
Unlike the storm that many witnessed last week, residents can rest easy knowing that this system will not be as destructive as the last. There will be no widespread threat of tornadoes, yet some threats will still be present in the Plains. Meteorologists predict that the storm system will be most intense on Thursday, and will begin to die down on Friday.
Wednesday is when the threat of severe weather will begin for the high plains of Wyoming, Nebraska, upper Midwest, and some parts of the southern Plains. Hail and high wind gusts can be expected for the areas of Oklahoma City, Abilene, and Cheyenne.
On Thursday is when the storm systems will be the most intense. This will affect the upper Mississippi Valley and the southern Plains. There will be an initial round of thunderstorms in the morning that will then redevelop over the day. In the evening the storm system will then hit an area farther west. Oklahoma City, Dallas, Kansas City, and the Twin cities can expect hail, damaging winds, and some isolated tornado threats. These tornadoes will develop in the afternoon or evening in the upper Mississippi Valley and parts of Kansas and northern Oklahoma.
The system will become milder on Friday and will move into the central Great Lakes area, the Ohio Valley, lower Mississippi Valley, and central and east Texas. These areas can expect to see hail, and heavy rainfall that could possibly lead to flash flooding in the area. Louisville, Memphis, Houston, and San Antonio are the predicted areas of impact on Friday.
It is always in your best interest that you stay updated on any severe weather threats in your area. The Weather Channel is a good way to stay updated on the weather in your region, as well as your local weather authority. For your safety, it is also a good idea to keep an emergency kit with you when there is a threat of severe weather near you. This can include anything from flashlights to non-perishable goods.
As is the usually the case in early April, a severe weather pattern is over portions of the Midwest and South. On Wednesday, severe thunderstorms dumped hail the size of golf balls over St. Louis at noontime. The hail was so heavy in some metropolitan areas that it completely covered yards. Many motorists in St. Louis were stranded in their vehicles Wednesday due to flash flooding that occurred across that city. In portions of eastern Kansas, it was reported that hail stones the size of baseballs came down, smashing the windshields of numerous vehicles.
A twister touched down in the St. Louis metropolitan area early Thursday morning, doing damage to dozens of homes. By afternoon time, many severe thunderstorms had dropped large hail stones over the community of Denton, Texas. There were also reports of up to three tornadoes in the northwestern section of Texas during the evening hours Thursday. As of Thursday night, numerous tornado warnings were in effect for several areas in the Midwest and South.
The severe weather that’s plaguing parts of the United States is a sure sign that spring is finally here. People living in Tornado Alley got their first taste of severe spring weather as tornadoes and hail made their debut, affecting large swaths of the Midwest and southern Plains states. In Jefferson County, Missouri, emergency teams were dispatched to make a few water rescues and evacuations of a couple of mobile home parks after rushing water there caused flash flooding. The first call for help came in at just after 2pm, according to the county’s emergency management office.
People living in portions of southern Illinois were told Thursday to brace themselves for a possible round of strong thunderstorms after a tornado touched down in neighboring Missouri. By Thursday evening, there were reports coming in from residents of Belleville, Illinois of strong storms downing trees. One resident of that community reported that a large tree smashed through his home and garage, doing significant damage. The National Weather Service reported that the severe thunderstorm that swept across southern Illinois did not cause any injuries but that it did do damage to homes and other structures.
The NWS said that over five inches of rain fell across most of Missouri and western Illinois to cause flash flooding and evacuations of some homes. A major highway in Johnson County, Missouri was closed down after rushing water washed out several culverts. Heavy rainfall also flooded some roadways in Indiana Thursday where conversation officers there said they had to rescue at least 7 people.
As a widespread storm system swept over the East this past weekend, many states including Massachusetts were experiencing roadway flooding. The National Weather Service issued a flash flood advisory for several Massachusetts counties Sunday which included Bristol, Middlesex, Plymouth and Worcester counties. Torrential rainfall stranded several drivers on Route 18 in New Bedford this past weekend. That roadway was closed down for several hours Sunday morning as it was completely overcome by several feet of flood water. In Waltham, a large sink hole oped up on Wyman Street to close that roadway. An even bigger sinkhole measuring 10 x 20 feet opened on Boston Road in Chelmsford when a culvert gave way during the rainstorm Saturday night. That section of roadway is expected to remain closed for several days until the damage can be repaired.
Heavy rainfall is expected to continue soaking the Boston area overnight Sunday into Monday to raise flooding concerns for the area. Forecasters are warning that the rainfall may pick up in intensity at times and that the rain could even turn to sleet, snow or a wintery mix just in time for Monday morning’s commute. The NWS has a winter weather advisory in effect until just before noon on Monday for the greater Boston area as well as for portions of New Hampshire as freezing rain, sleet and snow may total more than one inch in that region.
The NWS has also issued a flood watch for western and coastal Maine that will remain in effect throughout the day on Monday. This watch was posted because astronomical high tides combined with high gusting winds could easily cause flooding along Maine’s coast. The weather service also has a flood watch in effect for the Portland area as that city was being pounded by heavy rainfall this weekend. In addition to the rain that’s coming down in Maine, the snow is melting to raise flooding concerns for much of the state. That state’s largest rivers – the Saco, Androscoggin and Kennebec are all expected to reach flood stage on Monday.
The biggest threat facing Maine is the 2 inches of expected rainfall along with the snowmelt and poor drainage of storm drains blocked with ice. The water simply won’t have anywhere to go. Officials in the state are warning motorists to be watchful for deep pools of water on roads early this week and especially near culverts and storm drains.
Many people living in the US such as those in the Ohio Valley and Midwest are welcoming news of the warmup that’s approaching. Unfortunately however, with the unseasonable warmer weather comes a real threat of severe weather. There is a good chance that severe thunderstorms will erupt in the Ohio Valley region and the Southeast starting Thursday. Temperatures on Thursday will reach into the low 70s in places such as Memphis and Nashville and in the 60s over an area stretching from St. Louis to Cincinnati which means any precipitation that falls will be in the form of rain.
An upper disturbance that’s rolling in with the jet stream is what will push the temperatures up as warm air is being drawn northward out of the Gulf. This makes conditions just right for severe weather which includes heavy thunderstorms, high gusting winds and hail. Along with this very unstable weather pattern also comes the possibility that tornadoes can form. However, a widespread outbreak of tornado activity is unlikely. Instead, a few isolated, smaller twisters may form which could nonetheless cause damage and threaten lives.
Forecasters say that the inclement weather heading into the Ohio Valley could even make its way into the extreme southern portions of Michigan by Thursday night. The severe weather could batter that part of the Great Lakes State with rainfall, winds in excess of 50 miles per hour and hail stones the size of ping-pong balls.
The National Weather Service said early Wednesday that Tulsa, Kansas City and Springfield are at risk for the worst of the severe weather Wednesday night. Then by Thursday morning as the system moves east, Nashville, Cleveland and Cincinnati may see strong winds, heavy rain and hail. The NWS says that there a 50 percent chance of tornadoes forming over central Missouri on Thursday and a 40 percent chance of twisters for western and central Kentucky.
While the warmer weather heading for the Midwest will be welcomed, the warmup could cause some problems as far as flooding is concerned. Many areas in the Midwest have one to two feet of snow on the ground. There is at least 6 inches of water locked up in the snowpack in Michigan where there’s more than 2 feet of snow on the ground in most places. When the snow does begin to melt, water will run-off into ice-clogged streams and rivers and into low-lying areas which very well could cause some significant flooding issues. On Thursday when the next weather pattern moves into the Midwest it will dump some snow, mixed precipitation and rain to cause even more concern for flooding.
As millions of residents in the Midwest have been busy digging out from deep snow, they’re now facing yet another blast of winter in the form of sub-zero temperatures which may shatter records. The National Weather Service stated this weekend that temperatures in places like Detroit will plunge to below the zero mark on Monday. Highs Monday in many communities are only expected to be in negative single digits with lows in negative double digits which is downright cold!
The NWS says that a polar vortex is the cause of the deep freeze. This is literally an air mass coming down from the Arctic Circle which is something not seen often. The good news is that people have been warned about the extreme cold now for several days so hopefully everyone will be prepared.
People living in the Midwest are being reminded to prevent their pipes from freezing. Pipes most vulnerable are those in places like attics, crawl spaces and garages. Even pipes hidden behind cabinets in kitchens, baths and laundry rooms can easily freeze when it’s very cold outdoors. To prevent pipe freeze-up, people are being encouraged to spend a few dollars on some specially made pipe insulation that’s sold at nearly all home improvement and hardware stores. Newspaper can also be used by those who want a cheaper way to go. Just ¼ of an inch of newspaper wrapped around a pipe and secured with tape can prevent freeze-ups.
In records dating back to the 1870s, the city of Detroit has only experienced five days in which the high has failed to reach zero. The last time this occurred in the Motor City was in January of 1994 when the high was -4. The high on Tuesday in Detroit may indeed break that all-time record as forecasters are saying that the mercury levels are not expected to rise much above -4 or so. If Detroit gets the 6 to 10 inches of snowfall it’s being forecast to receive, the city’s 40 plows will find it difficult to keep streets and roadways clear wherein a city-wide snow emergency may be declared. There is already around a foot of snow on the ground across the metro Detroit area so more will only make travel increasingly difficult at the start of the new work week.
The fifth named storm of the 2013-14 winter, Electra is being forecast to spread across the eastern portion of the United States dumping precipitation as it moves along. This winter storm will develop in the Midwest Thursday into Friday and then track toward the northeast over the weekend while dumping snow and some ice. Late Thursday and into Friday, the storm will begin gathering moisture out of the Gulf wherein it will deposit patchy freezing rain and sleet over parts of Kansas, Arkansas, Missouri and Illinois. This will make travel very hazardous as roadways, bridges and overpasses will be ice-covered and slippery.
By lunchtime Friday, Electra should be dumping mostly snow over the Mississippi and Ohio Valleys as well as the Great Lakes later in the evening. Major accumulations of snowfall should not take place until after the evening rush hour. However, roads will be slippery so travelers should use extra caution on their way home.
By Saturday morning, snowfall will be on-going over the Mississippi and Ohio Valleys and Great Lakes. This will make traveling on Saturday challenging on numerous major expressways in that part of the country.
Electra will continue dropping snow over parts of the Northeast Saturday and into the nighttime hours as well as early Sunday morning. The part of the country that’s expected to get the most snow is an area stretching from northern Pennsylvania into New York and further up into New England. Forecasters say that people in this part of the country should be prepared for anywhere from 6 to 12 inches or even more – especially further inland.
The National Weather Service is forecasting up to 6 inches of snow for portions of southeast Wisconsin Friday into Saturday with higher amounts along Lake Michigan. Those snowfall accumulations are too concerning to many people in the state who still clearly remember all the trouble caused by the gigantic winter storm that impacted their state last December. That storm literally buried parts of Wisconsin including the capital city of Madison which got over two feet of snow.
People living in the part of the country from Baltimore to Washington DC are still digging out from the several inches of snow they got earlier this week. Winter storm Dion is being blamed for the last round of winter weather that brought with it bitterly cold temperatures, snow and freezing rain. Now that winter storm Electra is being down on the Northeast, it’s time for people in that part of the country to yet again brace for more extreme winter weather. It’s too early yet to say just how much snow will fall in the northeast as it all depends on how this latest major winter storm tracks.
From the southern Plains states to the Mississippi and Ohio Valley and further northeast, winter storm Cleon is being predicted to dump snow, sleet and freezing rain on a large portion of the country. Cleon, which is the fourth named storm of the 2013-14 winter season, has already impacted several states earlier this week. The large system dumped over a foot of snow in parts of the Rockies and Upper Midwest on Wednesday.
Forecasters say that ice accumulations of half an inch or more are possible Friday in Dallas, Little Rock and Memphis. If that does take place, the ice will weigh down limbs and power lines which will almost certainly cause widespread power outages. Travel will be dangerous across a large part of the United States this weekend because of the winter storm system that’s sweeping across the nation.
Cold and icy weather is settling in from the southern US up to the Great Lakes on Friday. The National Weather Service has winter storm and ice warnings in effect for many states including Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Illinois and Indiana. Cleon’s nasty mix of freezing rain, sleet and snow will affect millions of people and is threatening to cut power for hundreds of thousands. Some forecasters believe that Cleon will be the worst ice storm the country has seen since 2009 and that it will affect the same areas as that storm. The early 2009 ice storm claimed dozens of lives and resulted in 2 million homes and businesses being left without power from Oklahoma to West Virginia.
As the winter ice storm marches east, most of the mid section and western part of the US will experience some bone-chilling cold temperatures through this weekend. Temperatures are expected to be 20 to 30 degrees below normal which won’t push the mercury levels above single digits in many locations. The entire state of Wyoming was already below zero early Friday morning, prompting many outdoor events and venues there to close.
State and local officials are reminding people all across the country to be ready for winter weather. Now is the time people should be stocking up on supplies such as flashlights, drinking water, canned food, blankets, etc. The massive ice storm that’s causing problems in the US now is also a good reminder for homeowners to protect their pipes from freeze-ups. If a water pipe were to freeze and break, it could result in a devastating home flood. This is the time of the year when homeowners also should inspect their fireplaces and chimneys. Those who haven’t done so in a year or two, should their chimneys cleaned out to lower the risk of fire.