Tornado System Devastates Towns Across Southern and Midwest America


Tornados have devastated parts of the country this spring.

Jason Fallo

Between March 31 and April 1 over 140 tornados hit the Midwestern & Southern United States, resulting in more than 20 fatalities and more than 200 injuries according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA. A cold front moving across the Midwest caused the severe weather outbreak from Iowa and Missouri through Ohio. The tornadoes ranged heavily on the Enhanced Fujita scale, with several EF-0 and EF-1 tornadoes, the strongest being an EF-4 tornado that hit Keota, Iowa. Other destructive tornadoes hit Little Rock and Pulaski, Arkansas as well as Wayne and Covington, Tennessee. President Biden promised funding to the states affected to cover the costs of emergency responders and recovery, as well as authorizing cash grants to individuals whose homes were damaged or destroyed by the tornadoes. 

Paige Stewart, a resident of Robinson, Illinois at the time of the storm system shared their experience. “We just thought it was going to be a normal thunderstorm up until our phones sent us an alert that a tornado had touched down nearby. Shortly after, the sirens at the oil refinery started to wail. My mom and I were pretty freaked out, this wasn’t the first time we’ve had a tornado come through, it almost always gets diverted away from town, likely because warmer air around the refinery. Nonetheless we huddled up in a closet with our two dogs. I tried to corral my cats, but I was in a hurry to get into the closet and couldn’t catch them.” 

Thankfully, no one in Paige’s household was hurt, but the destruction around them was devastating. “I’ve talked to some of my family members affected by the storm. A cousin of mine lost his entire home, and my uncle got incredibly lucky. The tornado skipped over his house, only damaging his roof, while all of the surrounding houses were entirely flattened. An older couple near him were picked up and thrown by the tornado. They were found in a field later. The old man was already dead, and last I heard the old woman was in critical condition.”

Similar experiences are shared all across the South and Midwest United States as the several towns and cities affected by the tornadoes recover and rebuild as organizations like FEMA and the Red Cross provide relief efforts to those in need.