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Scores of tornadoes kill 6, injure at least 37 in Midwest

Scores of tornadoes kill 6, injure at least 37 in Midwest

Cellphone video captures a twister touching down in a central Illinois neighborhood.

By M. Alex Johnson and Jeff Black, NBC News

A powerful storm system rampaged through the Midwest on Sunday, spawning dozens of tornadoes that killed at least six people, injured many others and left devastating damage in parts of Illinois.

Brookport, Ill., in Massac County near the Kentucky line, was particularly hard hit. At least two people were confirmed to have died, and police with dogs were going door to door to search for trapped residents. With roads entering the city closed by debris and downed power lines, Brookport authorities imposed a 6 p.m.-to-6 a.m. curfew.

At least four other people were killed in Illinois, the state Emergency Management Agency told NBC News. An 80-year-old man and his 78-year-old sister were killed near New Minden, according to Washington County Coroner Mark Styninger, and unidentified victims were confirmed dead in Washington city and in Unionville.

“All of a sudden, the wind started picking up, and [my wife] said, ‘We’ve got to get in the basement right now!'” Steve Bucher of Washington told NBC station WEEK of Peoria.

“Within less than a minute, everything started collapsing inside the house, cracking, sputtering,” he said. “Next thing we know, it’s light inside the garage.”

After bringing rain and tornadoes to Illinois, what will this weather system do next? Mike Seidel of The Weather Channel reports.

By early evening, 37 people were being treated at St. Francis Hospital in Peoria, seven of them as trauma patients. Numerous injuries were also reported in Massac County, and with communications difficult and many roads impassable, it remained unclear how many other people might be hurt.

At WEEK-TV, newscasters had to go off the air abruptly as they realized they themselves were in the path of the twister. According to the National Weather Service, the station’s roof was damaged.

Steve Smedley / AP

A storm system spun off multiple tornadoes killing several people and flattening an entire neighborhood.

In Tazewell County in central Illinois, emergency crews were responding to a tornado that flattened homes in several neighborhoods. The cities with reported damage include Washington, Perkin and East Peoria, county spokeswoman Sara Sparkman told NBC News. Pictures from Washington showed an expansive trail of wood debris from homes torn apart as the twister laid waste to one neighborhood.

East Peoria Mayor Dave Mingus said about 100 homes were damaged in his city of more than 23,000 residents, with 25 to 50 destroyed and uninhabitable.

The Red Cross was working with the county to open up shelters in the area for families whose homes were damaged.

Altogether, The Weather Channel recorded 40 reports of tornadoes: 16 in Indiana, 14 in Illinois, eight in Kentucky and one each in Missouri and Ohio. There were more than 250 reports of wind damage or high winds across eight states.

At least 83,000 customers were without electric power Sunday evening in Illinois, most of those in the Peoria area, said Jonathon Monken, director of the Illinois Emergency management Agency.

Rescue teams were deploying to multiple areas across the state, focusing on the hard-hit Washington and Gifford areas, Monken said.

Damage extended across the region, with damage reported as far east as Kentucky.

Corey Mayes of Corydon in Henderson County, Ky., said he, his wife and their 4-year-old dashed downstairs as a tornado rushed through.

 violent storm system spawned tornadoes in central Illinois. NBC’s Kevin Tibbles reports.

“I yelled at everybody to get down to the basement, and I checked on my family and ran back up,” Mayes told NBC station WFIE of nearby Fort Wayne, Ind.

“About that time, it had already come across the street and was trying to touch back down,” he said. “It just sucked back up and blew on over.”

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn warned residents that the weather and storms across the state were “very serious.”

In Chicago, the Baltimore Ravens-Chicago Bears NFL game was delayed because of the weather, and the seating area at Soldier Field was evacuated. The game resumed at about 2:20 p.m. (3:20 p.m. ET) after a nearly two-hour delay.

The highest threat area for tornadoes was eastern Illinois into Indiana, southern Michigan, western Kentucky and western Ohio, but dangerous winds were also a concern as the storms move across the Appalachians as well as parts of the Northeast into early Monday, the National Weather Service said.

Significant damage was reported in Lebanon, Ind., where Elizabeth MacDougal was in a Starbucks when a possible tornado appeared.

“I was looking out the front window of the Starbucks and I was actually on the phone with my mom saying, ‘Hey, we’re entering some not-so-nice weather here,'” McDougal told NBC station WTHR of Indianapolis.

“And then all of a sudden, I see this white cloud, and I’m like, ‘Oh, that’s moving funny,'” she said. “And then my eyes tracked downward, and that’s when the debris started to kick up. And that’s when I said, ‘Mom, I gotta go!'”

The windows of the Starbucks were shattered, and vehicles in the parking lot were overturned, WTHR reported.

Wind and hail could cause downed trees and scattered power failures across a broad area from Chicago to Buffalo.

The Weather Channel predicted that the storm would diminish as it moved east through Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey, but high winds could reach as far as New York on Monday morning.

Michelle Acevedo, Christopher Essner, Azhar Fateh, Elisha Fieldstadt, Alastair Jamieson, Christopher E. Nelson and Julmary Zambrano of NBC News contributed to this report.

New Book Review

November 17, 2013


Book Review: “The Trident” by Jason Redman

Jason Redman was critically wounded in a fierce firefight in the Al Anbar province of Iraq in 2007. He almost bled to death that night, thousands of miles away from his family, and friends.  The note he hung from his hospital door during his recovery vent viral, and inspired many. The Trident is his story.

I started reading Jason’s book on my way back from Poland. I had just finished a quick visit with some of our Special Ops GROM brothers, and cracked open the book on the long flight home back to Manhattan.

I found it hard to get through the first couple of pages. This was not because of the writing, it’s very well written. It was difficult because of the long, sobering list of names he placed upfront, a list of all the SEALs lost since 9/11/01. It hit me in the face like the icy winter waters of the Pacific ocean and sent chills down my spine as I sat in 40D. I paused, staring off into blankness long enough for people to start looking at me funny, then I snapped back in and read on.

I’ll be honest with you, I secretly wished I didn’t know any of them. It would be easier to not know them, just acknowledge their bravery and read on.  Robinson, Retzer, Campbell, Axelson, Lee, Tumilson, Dietz, Murphy, Suh, Kyle, Freiwald and many more, all men I knew well, brothers, my generation of Team Guys, all gone.

Fast forward a week and as I was finally getting around to writing this review, my oldest son was sitting next to me. He looked over and asked, “What are you writing dad?” I told him that I was writing a book review for SOFREP. “Is it a good book,” he asked. I told him that is was a great book, and then told him I loved him. I plan on letting him read it next.

I can’t help but think about how many of my SEAL brothers will never again have an opportunity to hug their kids and tell them they love them. My only solace is knowing that they died with their eyes wide open, doing something they loved and cared deeply about. We should never forget them, and books like The Trident ensure that their memories continue to live on in story.


When you read Jason’s book you’ll know that he is extremely lucky to be alive today.  Jason has an amazing wife, family, and network of friends that served as his foundation during his multi-year recovery. Learning about his long road to recovery reminded me how important these people are in our daily lives, and how I should appreciate them more for it.  The people we surround ourselves with matter, and we are who we hang out with. I’d hang with Jason Redman any day.

Jason’s Sign

Attention – To all who enter here

If you are coming into this room with sorrow or to feel sorry for my wounds, go elsewhere.

The wounds I received, I got in a job I love, doing it for people I love, supporting the freedom

of a country I deeply love.  I am incredibly tough and will make a full recovery.

What is full?  That is the absolute utmost physically my body has the ability to recover.  Then

I will push that about 20% further through sheer mental tenacity.  This room you are about to

enter is a room of fun, optimism, and intense rapid regrowth.  If you are not prepared for that

Go Elsewhere.


Photo: The sign that went viral and inspired America

Every now and then a book comes along and you know it’s in a special category. The Trident is such a book. Read it, you’ll be a better person for having done so.



About the Author

is a former U.S. Navy SEAL with combat deployments to Afghanistan, and Iraq. His proudest accomplishment in the U.S. Military was when he was a Chief Petty Officer & Course Manager for the US Navy SEAL Sniper program, arguably one of the best sniper programs in the world. He is Editor-in-Chief of and a New York Times best selling author (The Red Circle & Benghazi: The Definitive Report), and his writing has been featured in print, and digital media worldwide. Follow him on twitter.

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U.S. Dispatches Aid For Philippine Typhoon Recovery

11/11/13 12:45 AM ET EST AP

us aid philippine typhoon

Downed power lines and debris block the road in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan on November 10, 2013 in Tacloban, Leyte, Philippines. Typhoon Haiyan, packing maximum sustained winds of 195 mph (315 kph), slammed into the southern Philippines and left a trail of destruction in multiple provinces, forcing hundreds of thousands to evacuate and making travel by air and land to hard-hit provinces difficult. Around 10,000 people are feared dead in the strongest ty | Getty


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MANILA, Philippines — MANILA, Philippines (AP) — A US military plane carrying relief supplies and a contingent of Marines has left the Philippine capital en route to the country’s typhoon-devastated eastern seaboard.

The C-130 left Manila’s Vilamor air base on Monday loaded with bottled water, generators wrapped in plastic, a forklift and two trucks.

It was the first American relief flight to the region, where thousands are feared dead and tens of thousands more homeless as a result of Friday’s typhoon.

The flight was headed for Tacloban, a city badly hit by the storm and in desperate need of assistance.

Also on HuffPost:

Loading Slideshow...
  • This image provided by NASA shows Typhoon Haiyan taken by Astronaut Karen L. Nyberg aboard the International Space Station Saturday Nov. 9, 2013.

  • Residents look at bodies brought inside a damaged chapel Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013, a day after powerful Typhoon Haiyan slammed Tacloban city, in Leyte province in central Philippines.

  • A boy walks past the devastation brought about by powerful typhoon Haiyan at Tacloban city, in Leyte province in central Philippines Saturday Nov. 9, 2013.

  • A man sits in the debris with an uprooted tree seen in background, after powerful typhoon Haiyan slammed into Tacloban, central Philippines on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013.

  • Survivors walk along a dark city as electricity has been cut after powerful Typhoon Haiyan slammed into Tacloban city, Leyte province, central Philippines on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013.

  • A Philippine flag stands amongst the damage caused after powerful Typhoon Haiyan slammed into Tacloban city, Leyte province, central Philippines on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013.

  • A woman stands amidst the devastation brought about by powerful Typhoon Haiyan at Tacloban city, in Leyte province, central Philippines Saturday Nov. 9, 2013.

  • A survivor carries relief goods amongst the devastation after powerful Typhoon Haiyan slammed into Tacloban city, Leyte province central Philippines on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013.

  • A resident sifts through the rubble of his damaged house following a powerful typhoon that hit Tacloban city, in Leyte province, central Philippines Saturday Nov.9, 2013.

  • Tacloban city, devastated by powerful Typhoon Haiyan, is seen in Leyte province, central Philippines Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013.

  • Soldiers load relief supplies for airlift to affected areas Saturday Nov. 9, 2013, a day after powerful typhoon hit Tacloban city, in Leyte province in central Philippines.

  • In this image provided by NOAA Friday Nov. 8, 2013 which was taken at 12:30 a.m. EST shows Typhoon Haiyan as it crosses the Philippines.

  • A resident walks past high waves pounding the sea wall amidst strong winds as Typhoon Haiyan hit the city of Legaspi, Albay province, south of Manila on November 8, 2013.

  • A house is engulfed by the storm surge brought about by powerful typhoon Haiyan that hit Legazpi city, Albay province Friday Nov.8, 2013.

  • Residents clear a road after trees were toppled by strong winds at the onslaught of powerful typhoon Haiyan that hit the island province of Cebu, Philippines, Friday Nov. 8, 2013.

  • Soldiers make the rounds to enforce the evacuation of residents as powerful typhoon Haiyan hits Legazpi city, Albay province about 325 miles south of Manila, Philippines Friday.

  • Fisherman repair their outrigger on the shore of Manila bay as Typhoon Haiyan approached on November 7, 2013. (JAY DIRECTO/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Fisherman repair their outrigger on the shore of Manila bay as Typhoon Haiyan approached on November 7, 2013. (JAY DIRECTO/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Fisherman repair their outrigger on the shore of Manila bay as Typhoon Haiyan approached on November 7, 2013. (JAY DIRECTO/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Fisherman’s outrigger are anchored on the shore of Manila bay as Typhoon Haiyan approached on November 7, 2013. (JAY DIRECTO/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Fisherman’s outrigger are anchored on the shore of Manila bay as Typhoon Haiyan approached on November 7, 2013. (JAY DIRECTO/AFP/Getty Images)

  • This image provided by the U.S. Naval Research Lab shows Typhoon Haiyan taken by the NEXSAT satellite Thursday Nov. 7, 2013 at 2:30 a.m. EDT. (AP Photo/US Naval Research Lab)

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Allen West

ALLEN WEST: Conservative black issues at forefront of political platforms

Black voters are starting to understand that liberal policies hurt their communities. That's an opportunity for conservatives like Virginia's E.W. Jackson. Photo: E.W. Jackson
Friday, November 1, 2013 – Allen West: Out of the Foxhole by Allen B. West

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla., November 2, 2013 — There are some encouraging signs that black Americans are beginning to understand that liberal Democratic leaders and the policies they support are doing far more harm than good to their communities. And conservative black issues are becoming a part of many black — and white — political platforms.

There is a conservative black candidate for Lieutenant Governor of Virginia — E.W. Jackson. Jackson is a former Marine, a Harvard educated attorney, and an ordained minister whose conservative values should be warmly embraced by those who will most benefit from them.

SEE RELATED: Allen West: Grayson, the TEA Party, and the real racists in America

Just last week, NBA Star, future Hall of Famer, and Newark native Shaquille O’Neal officially endorsed New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. In July, the Black Ministers Association of New Jersey also blessed Christie with their endorsement.

So what are the key issues for black voters? Education for one.

Christie’s support of choice in education for all children, including black children, has made him a poll leader in the New Jersey governor’s race. That is especially interesting since President Barack Obama cancelled the D.C. school voucher program in February 2009, immediately after his inauguration.

The black community has forgotten it was Republican President Dwight Eisenhower who federalized the National Guard to protect black students like the Little Rock Nine. Democrats like George Wallace and Lester Maddox stood outside the doors blocking access to better education.

SEE RELATED: WEST: The Obamacare discussion puts politics into the ‘Toilet Bowl’

Today, it’s liberal progressives who stand inside the school doors blocking access to the choice of a better education for black children.

Indeed, the Democrats’ steady assault on the black community has been going on for decades. Never mind that it was the Democrats who gave America slavery, secession, segregation, Jim Crow laws, poll taxes, and literacy tests. Or that the Democratic Party gave birth to the Ku Klux Klan, whose early missions were to intimidate black voters. One cannot argue these policies were anything but racist and damaging.

When the initial Civil Rights Bill came before the full Senate in 1964, it was a group of 18 Southern Democrats who argued most fervently against its passage, including Al Gore Sr. and ex-Klansman Robert Byrd. It was Republican Senator Everett Dirksen who was instrumental in building support for the legislation.

The Civil Rights Act passed, finally ending the reprehensible practices of segregation, but the liberal progressive policies passed during these last nearly five decades have perhaps done more damage to black Americans’ prospects than the overtly racist policies of the past. Unemployment in the black community remains above 15 percent overall, and almost 40 percent for black teens. Food Stamp enrollment, an indicator of financial failure, is up, and nearly three-quarters of all black children do not live with their biological fathers.

Welfare policies first championed by President Lyndon Johnson, supposedly to aid single mothers, have instead worked perversely to incentivize more young women to have children out of wedlock.

High minimum wages advocated by labor unions — from whom Democrats receive tremendous financial support — mean employers are less apt to hire unskilled black youths, or any youths for that matter.

For the left, “spending on education” means job protection and preserving benefits for teachers. It doesn’t mean actually improving education for students in public schools, where black students can build a foundation for economic advancement.

Even urban planning policies have a deleterious effect on the economic progress of black Americans. In cities like San Francisco, severe building restrictions drive real estate prices through the roof, making neighborhoods unaffordable to many black families.

Inner cities like Detroit are beginning to resemble combat zones. We were supposed to be living in a post-racial America since we elected the first “African-American” president. That’s hardly the case.

Black Americans seek opportunity; liberals instead promote dependency by way of expanding the society of those in poverty and on government subsistence via food stamps.

America rewards diligence and determination, but liberalism redistributes the fruits of labor and effort to those who have had their hopes and dreams stolen by the lie of low expectations.

Even PBS host Tavis Smiley was forced to admit to Sean Hannity on Fox News, “The data is going to indicate sadly that when the Obama administration is over, black people will have lost ground in every single leading economic indicator category.”

But the tide is turning. High profile black endorsements for Christie, along with Elbert Guillory’s impassioned explanation as to why he left the Democratic Party, demonstrate a political awakening in the black community. It is beginning with small but significant ripples which are spreading across the country.

The only way for black Americans — for all Americans — to enjoy the full fruits of economic freedom is by once again embracing the spirit of individualism and self-determination laid out in our Constitution. That spirit is exemplified by true black leaders, such as Frederick Douglass and Booker T. Washington. It is only by abandoning the damaging liberal progressive policies and throwing off the shackles of the victim mentality that black Americans can finally be “free at last.”

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