The unusual outbreak of tornadoes this week; The unusual floods from Florida to Baltimore; The explosion at a prison in Florida; The train explosion in Virginia; The explosion at an oilfield in Texas; The explosion and fire in California; The explosion and fire in Pennsylvania — and those are just things that have happened this week alone. This is not to mention all of the things that have happened in recent months and years.
Maybe the president ought to lead the country in prayer and repentance on this National Day of Prayer.
Outbreak of tornadoes this week
CBS/AP: A dangerous storm system that spawned a chain of deadly tornadoes over three days flattened homes and businesses, forced frightened residents in more than half a dozen states to take cover and left tens of thousands in the dark Tuesday. As the storm hopscotched across a large swath of the U.S., the overall death toll was more than 30, killed Monday and Sunday in a band stretching from Oklahoma to Alabama. Forecasts showed the storm continuing to threaten residents in the Deep South Tuesday afternoon and evening, with another round of howling winds, pounding rain, flash flooding and tornado conditions possible.
Unusual floods from Florida to the D.C.-area
NPR: People were plucked off rooftops or climbed into their attics to get away from fast-rising waters when nearly 2 feet of rain fell on the Florida Panhandle and Alabama coast in the span of about 24 hours, the latest bout of severe weather that began with tornadoes in the Midwest. On Wednesday, roads were chewed up into pieces or wiped out entirely and neighborhoods were inundated, making rescues difficult for hundreds of people who called for help when they were caught off guard by the single rainiest day ever recorded in Pensacola.
The Washington Post: The Washington area continued to dry out Thursday after record-setting rainfall over the past few days. There was a slew of problems, from school delays to traffic backups, road closures and the evacuation of roughly 200 people from an apartment building for several hours.
Train explosion in Virginia
UPI: A train carrying crude oil derailed and exploded in downtown Lynchburg Wednesday, causing a massive fire. The CSX train crashed around 2 p.m. with 12 to 14 tanker cars, three or four of which were breached. No injuries are reported at this time but residents are encouraged to stay away from the downtown area. Lynchburg police and emergency personnel are on the scene, and after assessing the situation, the fire department decided to let the fire burn out.
Explosion at a prison in Florida
AP: An apparent gas explosion rocked a jail in the Florida Panhandle late Wednesday, killing two inmates, injuring more than 100 people, and causing the building to partially collapse, according to a county spokeswoman. At the blast site Thursday morning, pieces of glass and brick were strewn about on the ground. The front of the building appeared bowed out, with cracks throughout. Authorities blocked off roads leading to the jail.
Explosion at an oilfield in Texas
The Los Angeles Times: Two oil well workers died and nine suffered minor cuts and bruises Wednesday after a high-pressure explosion in a West Texas county that is lightly populated but richly saturated with oil. The two bodies were found about 20 feet from a wellhead that was being replaced, Loving County Sheriff Billy Hopper told The Times. The blast did not trigger a fire.
Explosion and fire in California
KTLA: Eleven people were injured, two critically, in an explosion at a commercial building in La Habra on Tuesday, authorities said. The explosion occurred in the 500 block of Commercial Way (map), the Los Angeles County Fire Department stated on Twitter. Three of the victims were critically injured, according to Inspector Keith Mora, spokesman for the Fire Department.
Explosion and fire in Pennsylvania
Philly.com: A home exploded in Center City overnight after an apparent gas leak, causing a three-alarm blaze that spread to other residences. Staff from the American Red Cross of Southeastern Pennsylvania – already racing about all night from helping with flooding – set up a shelter at the High School for the Creative and Performing Arts on South Broad Street.