A second round of storms and tornadoes left a path of destruction across several states. Two storm systems developed between February 28, 2012 and March 3, 2012 that spawned numerous tornadoes that killed at least 52 people. In the seven days prior to March 5, 2012, the National Weather Service issued 413 tornado warnings across the United States, with the majority of these warnings occurring east of the Mississippi River.
As many as 20 tornadoes impacted eight states on Feb. 28 and 29. States impacted include Missouri, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Indiana, Nebraska, Tennessee and Arkansas. At the time of this posting, there are 12 reported fatalities and several hundred persons injured. Harrisburg, Ill., was severely impacted with six fatalities and as many as 100 persons injured. In Branson, Mo., 32 persons were injured and three were killed in nearby towns. In Kimberly City, Mo., 30 homes and several businesses were destroyed. There are also three deaths in Kentucky -- two in Cumberland County and one in DeKalb County. Twelve persons were injured in Harveyville, Kan., near Topeka. These numbers are preliminary; more accurate details will be available as damage assessments are conducted by local, state and federal authorities. More tornadoes were reported in Kentucky, Tennessee and Illinois as the storm system continued to move eastward.
As of March 5, the preliminary count for the tornado outbreak on March 2 is up to 80 with 42 tornadoes confirmed and 39 deaths. The storms pushed through Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, and North Carolina. Many strong tornadoes destroyed towns and communities, and some were rated as strong as an EF-4 with winds around 180 miles per hour.
The United Church of Christ through its partnership with CWS are in contact with response agencies. We are currentyly working to access the situation, and to provide iimmediate needs of material goods such as Clean Up Buckets, blankets, and hygiene kits. CWS Emergency Response Specialists are collecting information about needs from state VOADs (Volunteer Agencies Active in Disaster), from interfaith communities, and from faith leaders in the affected communities.CWS communions and partners are already moving resources and people to aid tornado survivors, and to assist with cleanup activities.
As the communities move from the response phase to the recovery phase of the disaster CWS Emergency Response Specialists will work with local, state and federal organizations and agencies to train and prepare the communities for their long-term recovery. Training will be provided for construction management, volunteer management, emotional and spiritual care, case management and other specialized activities as needed. CWS will also provide grants to long term recovery committees to help them in the early stages of their activities.
Funding is needed to process and ship material goods, to provide Long Term Recovery Group Start-up Grants and for Long Term Recovery Group training.
How You Can Help
1. Pray for the people and communities impacted by severe storms and tornadoes and those serving as first responder emergency personnel.
2. Make a gift payable to your congregation marked for 2012 Severe Storms and Tornadoes, with the request they be sent through your Conference Office on to United Church of Christ, Financial Services, 700 Prospect Avenue E, Cleveland, OH 44115.
3. Send gifts, payable to United Church of Christ and marked in the memo portion 2012 Severe Storms and Tornadoes, then mail to United Church of Christ, Financial Services, 700 Prospect Avenue E, Cleveland, OH 44115.
4. Make a secure on-line donation. Donate Now. Please note: 2012 Severe Storms and Tornadoes, in the Comments section.