Tuesday, April 26, 2011
A severe storm system moving across southern U.S. states is making for treacherous conditions and bringing numerous reports of rain, hail, tornadoes and flash floods.
Risk Management Solutions (RMS) cites National Weather Service reports of tornadoes across the states of Texas, Arkansas and Tennessee. A state of emergency has been declared in Arkansas based on tornado activity and flash flooding.
A tornado outside the Arkansas capital of Little Rock caused reported damage to around 10 homes, while the town of Vilonia in Faulkner County, Arkansas reported damage to between 50 and 80 properties, RMS notes.
The New York Times reports that the storms and floods left at least 5 dead in Arkansas.
The latest round of storms comes just days after Missouri was hard hit by severe weather including an EF-4 tornado that caused significant damage in St Louis County.
This April has been a particularly active month for severe convective storms across the U.S., with preliminary reports of as many as 3 times the number of tornadoes than the monthly average from the National Weather Service. While preliminary reports cannot be directly compared to the actual monthly number of tornadoes from previous years, this gives an indication of the heightened tornado activity observed this year.
From insurersâ€™ perspective, property damage caused by thunderstorms can be costly. According to the I.I.I., over the last three years the insurance industry paid $30 billion in property claims for thunderstorms, the highest in U.S. history.
A YouTube video (below) of the tornado hitting Lambert-St. Louis International airport last Friday has been widely circulated on the web, and is compulsive viewing with around 800,000 hits so far: