Drones capture tornado devastation in southeast US

tornado damage

The US can’t catch a break this spring. As casualties from the deadly COVID-19 begin to peak in some parts of the country, deadly storms are ravaging other regions. Over the weekend, storms triggered at least 34 tornadoes in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Georgia—leaving at least 18 people dead.

A stay-at-home order for the coronavirus doesn’t do much good if there’s no longer a home to stay at. Mississippi suffered the most tornado damage, with 11 people losing their lives. That comes on top of 96 deaths from the virus.

Numbers can only tell so much of the story. Images from the scene graphically convey the damage. And some of the most dramatic come from photographer Brandon Clement. His organization, WX Chasing, captures stunning imagery of natural disasters, including tornadoes, volcanos, wildfires, and hurricanes.

Aerial video of tornado devastation

This weekend, he recorded the ferocity of damage in drone video from the town of Bassfield, Mississippi. It includes homes reduced to scraps of lumber. Cars and trucks are tipped on their side or completely flipped over. Falling debris has crushed other vehicles.

Most shocking, perhaps, are huge sections of forest, maybe a quarter-mile wide, that have been flattened. Trees are snapped like so many twigs by the force of the tornado that tore through the region.

Meanwhile, drone footage from the Monroe Fire Department in Louisiana shows the random nature of tornado devastation. It pictures a subdivision of mostly intact homes, with a selection that have been partly or completely leveled. Damage varies from complete to nonexistent from house to house in this neighborhood.

The weather front is now moving to the east, threatening severe storms from Georgia all the way north into Virginia.

Image credit: WX Chasing

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