Reducing the Impact of Disasters Through Education
State Information

Spring 2012 Series



April 15 - Tornado season continued into April, with a preliminary tornado count for April 14 at more than 100 across the Midwest and Plains states. Storms wreaked havoc in Oklahoma, Iowa, Nebraska, and Kansas, and NOAA was forecasting similar weather for the 15th in northeast Iowa, southeast Minnesota and western/central Wisconsin.

In mid March, two weeks after the first blast of storms in 2012 another devastating tornado touched-down, this time in Michigan. Look for Michigan's report in Response Notes from Members, below.

Earlier in the month: Severe weather that produced the deadly Leap Day tornadoes in Illinois, Kansas and Missouri, continued into Friday and Saturday bringing death and destruction in Indiana, Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina and Ohio.  

Check here for Federal Declarations.

Delegates should select Event Name "Tornadoes Spring 2012" when reporting through Response Notes. Reports of Extension impacts and activity are forwarded to our EDEN-NIFA liaisons as the Response Notes are received. Highlights are shared with delegates through this page.

Currently showing reports and updates from:

  • Alabama
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Michigan
  • Missouri
  • Ohio

Requests for Assistance 

Responses to requests, as well as resources offered spontaneously, are presented on the "Resources Collected" page

March 12 - 1:30 p.m.  Kentucky asked delegates for "information on how to remove fiberglass insulation from clothing and home interior fabrics"

March 9 - 10:00 a.m.  Kentucky requested “canned” programs/activities to use with 4-H/Youth geared towards recovery after a disaster.  ...programmatic activities that are already developed and ready to use (especially regarding recovery as most youth disaster programs seem to be geared towards preparedness)....short (approximately 1-hour) disaster recovery programs for youth...

March 6 - 12:30 p.m.  Kentucky asked for "pre-developed information about hay/pasture cleanup after a tornado". The network responded with suggestions, two published news articles and flood-related pasture-feed notices from the northeast (Extension based; found on Pennsylvannia Farm Bureau website). 

See the Current Situation page for recent updates

  • FEMA's policy change regarding hazard mitigation grants for safe rooms
  • grants from the American Vet Med Association for disaster services


Response Notes from Members 

States listed alphabetically.



A series of tornadoes hit north Alabama beginning about 9 am March 2. Communities in Limestone and Madison counties that were affected in last year's storms were again hit. No deaths associated with these events. Additional tornadoes hit other parts of the state throughout the day and into the night. One death occurred following a tornado in Dadeville, AL (Tallapoosa Co.) damage assessments will be conducted on Saturday. 17 counties are reporting damage.


At this point, I don't know of any damages to Extension property nor of injury to employees. 


Offered support and resources.  


Links to web resources include ACES EDEN and EDEN tornado resources. 


Thanks for the resources and the network support! 


Auburn University - V. Morgan - 9:10 a.m.   3/3



February 29

A tornado struck Harrisburg in Saline County.. later characterised as F4 ...six deaths. Town sealed off ... numerous propane leaks ...many injuries.  Early estimates are that about 300 structures have been damaged or destroyed. Hospital damaged but remains open.

See Illinois Experience



Initiated March 4

Indiana tornados about 11 affected counties. At least one county with a declared emergency (Clark), State is in the process of declaring a state emergency, ...

See Indiana Experience




Update submitted 

A tornado hit Harveyville, Kansas (population about 250) in Wabaunsee County, Tuesday night, Feb. 28. About 40 percent of Harveyville suffered damage. Eleven people injured...three critically. [One had died by the next day]. Some homes completely destroyed and gas and power supply affected. Gov. Sam Brownback declared a state of emergency, which covers the whole county.  


No known direct impact on university personnel or Kansas State University Research and Extension offices.


Kansas State University Research and Extension County Agents are providing assistance to the Harveyville, Kansas tornado recovery effort. 
Since the tornado on the evening of February 28, Wabaunsee County Agent, Karaline Mayer, has been in charge of directing the efforts of the 400-600 daily volunteers to various areas of the town that need assistance from tree removal to sorting through household residue for important items.  Another Wabaunsee County Agent, Bernadette Trieb has been involved in the management of the donations that are directed to Harveyville.  Lyon County Agents Brian Rees and Gordon Rhonda have also been involved in the Extension effort to manage volunteers and assist in the city’s management of the disaster. 
Everyday, the volunteers are provided a lunch and refreshments throughout the day by volunteer groups and organizations. 

The agents have been to Harveyville everyday since the tornado and expect to have extra long hours through next week before their assignments are returned to regular city and county personnel.  The County Agents will then provide long term assistance to the Harveyville community through their office with the Kansas State University connection for additional educational information.  


EDEN POC in KS sent two msgs to K-State extension educators in Wabaunsee Co., pointing out (with links) resources available to them through the EDEN network and offering to help further. Received a response from the FCS agent w/thanks. No requests for additional help at this time (approximately 15 hours after storm). 


Kansas State University -ML Peter - 12:29 p.m. 2/29



Initiated March 3

Tornadoes spawned from storms beginning in the early afternoon of March 2, 2012 and lasted through the evening. Death toll in Kentucky rose to 22 by March 17. The hardest hit counties were in the eastern part of the state, with reported deaths in Laurel County, Morgan County, Kenton County, Menifee County, Johnson County, and Lawrence County.

See Kentucky Experience




On Thursday, March 15, an EF3 tornado damaged some 105 homes and destroyed 13 with winds up to 140 mph in the village of Dexter in Michigan's Washtenaw County. Touching down around 5:30 pm, it remained on the ground for a half hour and covered over 7 miles. Fortunately no one was killed or seriously injured.

National weather service reports that an EF0 twister flipped a car and damaged a few homes in Monroe County's Ida township and an EF2 twister moved a house off its foundation, toppled a couple of barns, and damaged farm equipment in parts of Lapeer County.

Governor Snyder toured the Dexter area Friday afternoon most affected by the storm. No state of emergency has been declared at this point.
Power companies are working to restore service to those affected by the storm, some roads are closed until downed trees, power lines and debris can be removed. Red Cross has a shelter set up, United Way and other local groups are accepting donations. Warning sirens were sounded some 24 minutes before the tornado struck allowing those residents at home to take shelter, many others were not yet home from work, etc. 


One Washtenaw County MSU Extension educator had his home virtually destroyed. 


I sent an email to all MSU Extension staff Friday monring reminding them of the resources available via the EDEN website. The same information was also posted to Facebook by one of my colleagues. 


Michigan State University - E. Bush - 8:51 a.m. 3/17



Initiated March 1

At least 5 tornadoes occurred in MO late Tuesday and into Wednesday AM resulting in 3 fatalities. ...  Damage is extensive and still being assessed...Especially hard hit was Cape Girardeau County (almost 500 homes damaged) with other small touch downs in NE and NW MO.  ...Another round of severe weather is forecast for this same area late tonight. 


See Missouri Experience





Counties impacted by Friday's storms include: Adams, Athens, Brown, Clermont, Gallia, Pike and Scioto. Three people in Clermont County died as a result of Friday's severe weather and tornado outbreak. The Governor declared a State of Emergency for Clermont County; the declaration allows additional state resources to assist with debris and recovery issues.
Residents of Moscow in Clermont County were allowed to return to their homes and properties at 4 p.m. Saturday. Aproximately 935 customers in the county remain without power. Utility officials urged citizens to stay away from all downed power lines. A shelter remains opened at Clermont County's New Richmond High School.


Not aware of any at this time. 


Our local OSU educators are out surveying the damage with the Farm Service Agencies, and have been working with land owners answering clean-up questions. Our educators have been asked to reply How they are assisting, and what resources are needed. 


None reported. 


Entered for Dee Jepsen by Pat Skinner, based on emails received 3/5  10:00 a.m. 


The Ohio State University - Entered by PSkinner for D Jepsen based on e-mails received March 5, 10:00 a.m. 


Initial Report 

In its February 29 National Situation Update, FEMA reported the early season outbreak:

"Severe thunderstorms resulted in multiple unconfirmed tornado touchdowns across the Central Plains. Tornados were reported in Nebraska, Kansas, and Missouri. Tornado watches and warnings continue today for portions of the Central Plains, Ohio and Tennessee Valleys. No significant damages or injuries were reported from the tornado in Nebraska. Damage assessments for tornado/tornados in Missouri are ongoing. Sporadic power outages have been reported due to downed trees and power lines."

EDEN received reports from delegates in Kansas (ML Peter), Missouri (B Maltsberger) and Illinois (R Atterberry). Six of the twelve reported deaths (as of morning, March 1) occurred in Illinois, where Extension has been impacted directly. Severe weather is continuing March 1 in the same geographic area and to the east.


Tracks across the Heartland 

Tornado Tracks Feb 28-29 from NOAA
Storm Tracks - February 28 and 29 2012 (Credit: NOAA)

NOAA's NEXRAD system of radars deployed throughout the United States provide meteorologists the most up-to-date information on the ground regarding severe weather, especially when it comes to identifying potential tornado outbreaks. By analyzing both the rotational velocity of the storm systems (the spinning of tornadoes has high rotational velocity compared to the surrounding storms) and presence of hail, scientists at the NOAA National Severe Storms Laboratory have developed a product that approximates the track of tornadoes, shown here for the February 29, 2012 storms in Kansas, Missouri, and Arkansas.

From NOAA Radar Tracks Tornadoes in Midwest, the NOAA Environmental Visualization Laboratory.


Last Updated:4/15/2012 3:11 PM

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