Tornadoes cause severe damage, deaths in Southeast US
A series of storms and tornados hit the Southeast U.S. on the evening of Dec. 23, causing severe damage and a small number of fatalities. The states facing the brunt of the damage were Mississippi and Missouri, where the storm affected a wide swath of territory on both sides of the two states' borders. USA Today reported while that final assessments weren't yet ready, initial assessments of the situation were severe. Specifically, hundreds of homes and businesses were damaged to an extent, some severely, and infrastructure also took a hit.
Trees knocked down by the tornado caused travel problems along with damage to buildings, while power lines severed by the storm stopped the flow of electricity to some areas. Wind damage was so severe that, in some areas, police officers had to be stationed at all intersections because traffic lights lost power or were physically swept away by the weather system.
A state of emergency
According to Jackson, Mississippi-based news station WAPT, Gov. Phil Bryant has issued state of emergency orders for the areas where the tornado hit the hardest, including the entirety of Jones and Marion Counties. There were two deaths reported in Marion County as well as two in Jones County. There were also several moderate to severe injuries caused by the tornado. Norma Williamson, coroner for Marion County, told local radio station WDAM that emergency departments at area hospitals were experiencing a much higher volume than usual.
Not the only storm on the radar
The days before Christmas offered many severe weather patterns across the U.S. USA Today pointed out that a major storm brought rain and snow to parts of the Midwest and East Coast in the same time period, while a snowstorm heavily impacted parts of South Dakota and surrounding states, with the Black Hills region getting as much as two feet of snow. Missouri, Mississippi and other southern states also received some snowfall around the same time that the storm hit.
Protecting business assets
Advance warning and accurate analysis make a significant difference for companies that are threatened by large-scale natural disasters. Having some lead time to secure physical assets and ensure the safety of employees can make a big difference. Asset liability management isn't only a best practice for ensuring the safety of people and property, it also helps companies maintain continuity in terms of operations.
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