Tornado Damage in Kentucky and Other States


Hurricanes as powerful as those that tore through parts of the central United States this weekend are the “new normal” in the age of climate change, the top federal emergency management official said Sunday. Japan.

Deanne Criswell, administrator of FEMA, said her agency is prepared to strengthen resilience in the face of more extreme weather.

“This is going to be our new normal,” Criswell told CNN Sunday.

“The effects we are seeing from climate change are the crisis of our generation,” Criswell said. “We’re working very hard at FEMA to work with communities to help alleviate the impacts we’re seeing from these extreme weather events and help develop system-wide projects that can help protect communities.”

She said the severity, duration and intensity of the storms later this year were “unprecedented.”

Earlier in the day, President Biden said it was too early to know the specific impact of climate change on this week’s hurricanes. He said he would ask his Environmental Protection Agency for a review.

Scientific research on the role of climate change in tornado formation and intensity is not as robust as it is for other types of extreme weather such as droughts, floods, and even hurricanes. The short and small scale of tornadoes, coupled with an extremely unequivocal and unreliable historical record of them, make the long-term relationships to anthropogenic climate change difficult. very difficult.

While it is difficult to establish a link between climate change and tornadoes, the correlation between El Niño/La Niña and tornadoes is strong. La Niña seasons tend to increase tornado activity in the United States, and it is worth noting that the United States is currently experiencing La Niña, which is expected to last into next spring.

Criswell is speaking ahead of a scheduled visit to Kentucky to assess the damage caused by a series of powerful storms that swept across a large swath of the Midwest and South. She will be accompanied by the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.

Criswell said ground operations remain a rescue mission.

“I think there’s still hope, right? We’ve sent one of our federal urban search and rescue teams down to Kentucky. They arrived yesterday. They should be able to assist the locals. in the ongoing rescue effort. I think there’s still hope and we should keep trying to find as many people as possible,” she said.

She lists housing, both short- and long-term, as the agency’s priority.

On ABC’s This Week, Criswell said she doesn’t know if Biden will visit Kentucky, noting that she will update him on what she sees on the ground.


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