Active Winter Storms Lead to Many Twisters
All across the nation, communities have been battered by a slew of tornadoes, adding up to the deadliest twister season in the last decade.Tornadoes have killed about 100 people in the United States so far this year, according to the National Weather Service. This Memorial Day weekend, 43 tornadoes were counted ripping through Oklahoma, Kansas, Iowa and Minnesota â€” killing a least seven people, including a toddler. "Now we're reaching our peak in terms of severe weather activity in tornado events," said Greg Carbin of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
So why all this twister activity?
Experts say it's all thanks to an active winter storm season. "The storm track was very active across the Rockies, into the East Coast â€” and this active storm track lends itself to more severe weather events," said Carbin. "The more severe weather events you have, the more [likely] you are to see an increase in tornadoes," he added.
In Iowa, a tight-knit community struggled to rebuild after a tornado killed six people Sunday, according to the Des Moines Register. The death toll was lowered from seven. At least 50 injuries were reported in Parkersburg, Iowa. Around half the town's homes and buildings were destroyed, including the entire extended Klinkenborg family's homes. All four of the houses that the family built together were destroyed. "You try and think you're building a little legacy in a town â€” and it's wiped out," said Jon Klinkenborg. This year, the deadly tornadoes got off to a howling start, with 72 confirmed twisters hitting the nation's midsection alone.
In Minnesota, the tornado damaged about four dozen homes Sunday in the St. Paul suburb of Hugo, Minn. The Washington County Sheriff's Office confirmed that the storm killed a 2-year-old and critically injured the child's sibling. Earlier this month, an EF-4 twister hit Oklahoma, packing winds up to 175 mph and killing six people. Last week in northern Colorado, at least eight tornadoes touched down in the region cutting a path of destruction.
Back in Iowa, residents are slowly picking up the pieces in Parkersburg, a small town about 80 miles northeast of Des Moines. In the kind of community where relatives are never far away, the Klinkenborg family is thankful they didn't lose any family members in the tornado. "All the other stuff you don't care about, it's family that means the most," said Klinkenborg.