At least 11 dead from powerful Texas tornadoes; 13 dead in Midwest flooding

by DAVID WARREN and REESE DUNKLIN Associated Press  |  published on December 28, 2015

GARLAND, Texas — At least 11 people died and dozens were injured in strong tornadoes that swept through the Dallas area and caused substantial damage this weekend, while 13 people died in flooding in the Midwest.

It was the latest of a succession of powerful weather events across the country, from heavy snow in New Mexico, west Texas and the Oklahoma Panhandle to flooding in parts of the Plains and Midwest. Days of tumultuous weather have led to 43 deaths overall — those in Texas, plus five in Illinois, eight in Missouri and 19 in the Southeast.

The full extent of damage from Saturday’s storms along a nearly 40-mile stretch near Dallas came into clear focus. Local officials estimated as many as 1,450 homes were damaged or destroyed in storms that the National Weather Service said produced nine tornadoes. Vehicles were mangled, power lines fell and trees were toppled. Heavy rain, wind and falling temperatures hampered cleanup efforts Sunday afternoon.

“This is a huge impact on our community, and we’re all suffering,” Garland Police Lt. Pedro Barineau said of the suburb about 20 miles northeast of Dallas, where eight people died, 15 were injured and about 600 structures, mostly single-family homes, were damaged.

  • I Seigel

    This is “weather”. It’s not “climate change”. The drought in California is caused by a longer-term weather pattern. The “super storms” in the eastern Pacific – hitting the Philippines especially hard – are weather. The massive fires caused by heat and drought in Australia are caused by weather. And the heat waves that have killed hundreds in Europe, India, the Middle East are weather. The disappearance of ancient glaciers in the Swiss Alps and in the Andes are also caused by weather. So is the record high temperatures the US has just experienced this past summer, and the Arctic warmth that is creating open seas for the first time in millennia.

    All just weather – not climate change.

    But you put them all together, and you look at the historical data, and you start to see a pattern. Tornadoes in December are just another example. California wildfires in December are another example

    • billwhit

      You got that right, just weather! Climate has been changing thousands of years and will always do so. Here in Austria, where I have been living the last 25 years, we haven’t even had any snow this year, hardly been below freezing so far, when usually, we have knee deep snow. But it will come back, not to fear! At least we agree on one thing, Seigel, lol! God Bless you and yours in the New Year!

      • I Seigel

        “It will come back, not to fear!” Let’s hope so.

        Was there snow last year? Knee deep? Are there more or fewer ski resort operators now than there were 5 or 10 or 20 years ago? Any talk during summers of water restrictions? Are summer fires more common now than they were 15 years ago? I’m just asking – I have no idea.

        • Wasn’t so much snow last year either, but we had already had some snow before Christmas, of last year, then no more until January, for about a week, that was it. About four years ago, we had so much snow, I was sick of it! No summer fires that I know of even though we have had dry summers the last couple. I live in the flatlands of Burgenland, near the Hungarian border. Sometimes I can see a little snow on top of Schneeberg, a big mountain, in the Alps, I can see occasionally, if the weather is right. It is usually white all winter. We moved here about 25 years ago, my wife is from here. I am an Okie.

          • I Seigel

            Hmmm. Just wondering if Austria provides a national health insurance system, such as Canada’s or Britain’s?

          • Yes, they have socialized medicine and it works pretty well, except it is going downhill fast, with all the refugees and illegals. I do believe if the USA had set up a system like this, right after WW2, it may have worked, and we still could if both parties worked on it together, not just one behind closed doors, and especially if all of Congress were required to get medical care under the same system, then they may come up with a workable solution, but as long as Congress is Above all the rest and do not follow the same rules as We, the People, the it will always be flawed. There are long waits, no matter where you go, months waiting for appointments, and yes, there are Death Panels too. My brother in law was a victim of one. 65 years old, just retired, never been to the doctor in his entire life, went for a checkup and found out he had liver cancer. The cancer had not spread and the doctors said that a transplant should take care of it, but the Bureaucrats in charge decided he was too old to waste the money one, and sent him home to die. I also had a liver transplant in 2005, sick since 2001, doctors called the family in three times for final goodbyes, but I would laugh and send them home, took almost 15 months to get a liver but doing great today. Good care but like I said, it is going downhill fast with so many non-citizens abusing the system. To me, it is the same kind of care I received while in the military, same BS that went along with it, and same unexperienced young doctors who reminds me more of medics than doctors. Hell, the doc I am now seeing can’t be over 22 years old, lol! I have no problem with socialized health care at all, as long as it is not forced on me. I don’t like anything forced on me, or I buck bigtime, lol! Always have, always will. Also, you know what your getting here, not BS and Lies like Obama saying if you like your doctor you can keep your doctor.

          • I Seigel

            During the debate – and scare tactics – surrounding the Obamacare legislation at the time (2009-ish), was not only the “death panels” argument, but even more important was the idea that people’s decisions about their health care would be taken away from them and it would be given over to insurance companies and bean counters. I’m sure you remember it similarly.

            And yet, by your own history, you say that your health care was decided, earlier, by the VA, and now by the system in place in Austria. Is that right? I would guess that even as a kid, your parents had to make decisions on doctors’ appointments, wanting to see a specialist, etc,, based on what their insurance coverage would cover.

            So, unless you’re a wealthy individual and don’t really care about insurance – you could pay whatever is necessary on an as-needed basis – are any of us REALLY in control of our health care, and are we REALLY able to make the decisions WE want to make, or are our choices limited to what the bean counters allow us? Have we EVER been in control of those decisions, even before Obamacare?

            Furthermore, there are lots of stories in the US about people with unusual conditions being forced to go places like Tblisi, Georgia or Serbia to get treatments that actually work but haven’t been approved by the US FDA and, therefore, aren’t even available here.

          • There are people in Austria that go across the border to Hungary to get some treatments that are not offered in Austria, what they are, I have no idea, but I do know many others go for dental work because it is cheaper in Hungary than Austria. Dental work is free here, unless it is for beauty, or you need dentures, then you have to pay a small amount. I really don’t mind the medical system here at all, since I was used to military care, which is about the same thing, you take what they give you and hope for the best, lol! I do have to say, the dentists here are much better than those in the military! I was by an Army Dentist once, back in 1969, and no matter how badly I needed to go, I never went again until I was finished with the military! That one time was enough to scare me away for good, lol! Talk about one cruel dentist and asshole!

          • I Seigel

            I would imagine that situation – going across the border for treatments – is similar to what some do here, going to Mexico for “unauthorized” cancer treatments. And now people will be able to go to Cuba for dental if they want. And they go to Brazil for all kinds of plastic surgery, all for beauty.

          • Yea, same thing! Course, some of the same dangers go along with the cheaper treatments. There have been a couple of people, in Austria, that have died after having their fat sucked out, in beauty treatments, and people have had problems with dentistry treatments, but they are few and far between. Hell, I bought a house in Hungary, 15 years ago, nice and peaceful. Hungary reminds me of growing up in the states in the early 50’s, but it is changing fast. Still have horse drawn wagons in most of the small villages, like where my house is. I love going there, all dirt roads to my house, dead end road, three cars a day is heavy traffic, lol!

          • I Seigel

            Well, you could just move to the Amish country in Pennsylvania. Think of how much closer you’d be to all your friends in Washington, DC! You could read the Washington Post EVERY day! And get all your news in real time from the Rachel Maddow Show and MSNBC, rather than time-delayed like you probably have to suffer with now. So many advantages. I think Intercourse, Pennsylvania sounds like a nicer place to live than Hungary

            By the way, just curious: I would imagine the gun-ownership laws there are (much) stricter than they are here. Is that the case? If so, that would be another advantage to move to Pennsylvania Dutch country! .

          • You know, I was here for five years before I went home the first time to visit, couldn’t wait until I could watch some American TV. I saw MSLSD(I call it that because they have to be on some trippy acid) and actually thought it was like Saturday Night Live, a loony comedy show, then my sister told me that it was considered a Leftist News station. What a vomit bucket of idiocy! No wonder their rating are in the toilet. No, I am no Leftist Loon, I leave that idiocy up to guys like you. Love the Amish, great people, hard workers, people that Leftist could learn from, maybe become human and gain a bit of Common Sense in their lives. Yes, gun ownership is strict over here but not impossible. Costs a bit for a permit, but I passed my test with flying colors. Can’t but M4’s, AR15, or any of those types of weapons in semi, but got a fine Glock 43, which is made here in Austria. Looking into buying a shotgun, just haven’t decided which one yet. I still have a small armory in the USA, back home, with 19 different weapons within. Always great to go out with friends, do some shooting when I come home.

          • I Seigel

            Yeah, I know what you mean about MSLSD and trippy acid. I think the exact same thing when I watch Hannity. Like he’s reporting from some parallel universe or something. An anti-universe. Maybe in that universe we’re buds.

            Nah. Probably not.

          • Lol, no, I doubt it, not if your an Obama fan or even a Democratic Lunacy fan! I used to be a Democrat, or thought I was most of my life, since I came from a family of hardcore Democratic Farmers in Oklahoma, but I never really paid attention to politics, just voted Democrat every election and went about my business. I voted for Carter, but did vote for Reagan his two terms because I liked the guy, but went back to voting Democrat after he left office. I became interested in politics when Bush went into Iraq, which I though was a very stupid move, should have concentrated on Afgan and Pakistan. Only election I did not vote in was Gore/Bush, figured neither were worth spitting on, I could not stand Gore! Hell, I even voted for Kerry when he ran! I was also a big Hillary fan back in 2008 and would have voted for her if she had won the nomination, but I was very leery about Obama, when I heard him speak, all I heard was someone full of themselves, telling BS and outright Lies, plus the fact that his entire Past was SEALED tight, there was no way I could trust or vote for this person, so, for the first time sine Reagan, I voted Republican, for McCain, although I can’t stand McCain, but I did like Sarah, she was like a breath of fresh air in a very stale environment. Then, after Obama and the Democratic Party started showing their true colors, which were not Red, White, and Blue, all the corruption, the deceit, the outright lies, no, this old disabled Vet is a Full Time Conservative today. And Hillary has proved to be the most corrupt, deceitful woman in the USA. I pray Obama and Hillary both are tossed in prison one day, but that will never happen. Too much corruption within both Parties! Don’t get me wrong, I said I was Conservative, only reason I belong to the Republican Party today is so I can vote in the runoffs. Otherwise, I would be registered as an Independent. The RINOS are just as corrupt as any of the Leftist and neither Party are the Parties of our Fathers and Grandfathers today. They both have completely changed and are barely recognizable as being anything close to “American” today. Just my two cents worth.

          • I Seigel

            Yeah, unfortunately I am an Obama fan and a Democratic Lunacy fan. (Do you mind if I steal your phrase and call myself a DemoLoon?)

            But you say you voted Dem in 2004 and would have again in 2008, which really wasn’t all that long ago. You probably still remember the bankruptcy at Washington Mutual, a local bank for me. Now if you want to talk about corruption and tossing someone in prison, there’s not a better candidate than Kerry Killinger, their former CEO. And you probably remember how awful our economic system looked in 2008 and 2009, when banks were going under and people were losing their homes in record numbers. The US can’t affect the price of oil very much, or the actions of Putin or Iran or Little Kim in Korea or even, apparently, Netanyahu, all of which were relatively stable during the Bush years, but the US COULD have kept watch on our economy better and safeguarded it from the Villains, Thieves and Scoundrels Union, and at that, Bush & Co failed miserably. In fact, I venture to bet that many of his neocons became quite wealthy in the crash and its aftermath.

            But I digress.

            So it wasn’t all that long ago that you considered yourself at least partly Dem and showed that you had, at least, a fairly open mind. So I say there is still HOPE for you! Maybe the Pod People haven’t been able to completely take over your body yet. Maybe there is still a shred – a corpuscle or 2 – of your former self in there, fighting to get out. Listen to that wee inner voice. Feel the Force flowing inside you. IT knows you really want to mark a ballot for Bernie or Hillary or What’s-his-name. Just Do It.

            (Acknowledgements to all copyrights and trademarks I’ve infringed in this message)

            PS Say WHAT?!?!?! There used to be Democratic Farmers in OKLAHOMA?!?!?! Now THERE’S an alternate-reality for you!

          • Lol, everyone hopefully grows up one day and their views change. Only reason I thought I was a Democrat all those years was because I though they would be the Party that legalized Cannabis long before the Republicans would. Stupid, yes, but that was my reason I was a Democrat, that plus, not paying any attention to politics, the news, zilch! Like I said, I started really paying attention when Bush went into Iraq and I couldn’t figure out why, when Saddam was bad, but not a threat to the USA, unlike some other areas. I liked Bush a lot, and he was loved by the military and I was military most of my life, but I was down on him as much as I am down on Obama, except there was no Hate against Bush, whereas, I can honestly say that for the first time in my life, I actually despise my CIC, when it comes to the Kenyan Queen. Then, once I started paying attention to politics, I started seeing how corrupt the Clintons were and still are, and the entire Democratic Party. Today, neither Party is the Party of our Fathers and Grandfathers, not anywhere near the same decent, Common Sense Patriots, on both sides, as we used to have, which I call the JFK Democrats, the decent folks. But both parties are nothing but corrupt vomit buckets today. I consider myself Conservative more than Republican, who are as bad as the Leftist Democrats. No, I have worked my entire life, hard work, either soldiering or roughnecking in the oilpatch, never took any Freebies or Handouts in my life, so I would make a lousy Leftist, lol! I did apply for Food Stamps, back in 1983, when the oil boom went bust in OK, lost my house, job, but I was told by the big fat black woman in charge that, even though it was November, I had earned too much money the 1st quarter of the year so she turned me down. But, being the fighter that I am, I found work and built back my little empire, lol! Moved to Austria in 1990 (long story why) even found work here, being an illegal worker at first but my 1st boss legalized me, because I am one hell of a good worker, always have been. Today, I am 63, medically retired because I had a liver transplant in 2005 and Hep C, plus, I bought homes in Austria and Hungary, both completely paid off. Today, all I do is babysit with my ten grandkids, eight boys, two girls, ages 3 – 20, and all live within 15 minutes of the wife and I. Also been with the same Lady almost 45 years! Life is good because of all the hard work I did all my life, now it is time to enjoy it! Course, I am not into traveling, did enough of that as a soldier, lol! I just like to stay home, be with my kids, work in the garden, and chop wood! And yes, that beard is real, but much longer now, lol! Seigel, you seem like a decent sort, hell, I am sure we would probably get along pretty good in real life, lol! My bark is always worse than my bite, lol, and I do have a lot of Liberal friends and we always have a good time, BSing each other. I have some super liberal family members too, but we have agreed never to talk politics when together because of our love for one another, and it works pretty well so far. But no, I will remain a Bible Thumping, gun owning Conservative till the day I die, lol! God Bless, my friend!

          • I Seigel

            Well, it turns out you were right about the cannabis thing. It was DemoLoon (!!) states like Colorado and Washington that were in the vanguard of that effort. Did you vote for their Dem governors at the time?

            It turns out I’m only a few months younger than you, and I, too, have worked hard for a long time, not in the ways you have, but certainly my share. I started working (underage) at 15 washing dishes at an IHOP in the Washington, DC area. I’ve driven delivery trucks in LA and driven forklifts on the docks in Long Beach. I’ve been a radio DJ on an FM station in Bethany Beach, Delaware and I’ve stood in the doorway of my hotel room at 3am in McAllen Texas answering questions from the local cops who were looking for runaway underage girls in the rooms of the rock band I was managing at the time (they were called Megadeth). Now I work thru 2 different unions and put retirement money away in a 401k and buy into the health plan available to me thru the union. I love what I do and I continue to tell my now-college-graduated daughter that “I get to go to work today”, because I still feel lucky and privileged to have a job that I enjoy and that I’m good at. And I used to have an Expert Marksman rating from the NRA, and load my own bullets for my Mossberg 30.06, but that was a long time ago. I probably would need some additional practice now.

            So other than the fact that your politics are completely f**ed up, I’d say we have a lot in common. 🙂

          • No, I never voted for their Dem governors, don’t even know who they are, and I am an Okie, not from Colorado, although my older cousin moved to Colorado as soon as it was legalized, lol! Course, as much as I love the guy, he is a very far left liberal who, at 65, has never worked a day in his life, only sucked from the system. Has two degrees, one in Engineering and the other in Drug Counseling. He really wanted to be a counselor but has a number of drug convections so no one would hire him, lol! He is the cousin I never talk politics with because we are so different but grew up together, hell, I even peed on him when we were kids, lol! We love one another so much, we agreed never to talk politics when together.
            I grew up dirt poor, in Eakly, Oklahoma, population 350 if you count all the stray cats and dogs, lol! I was going door to door selling garden seed and Occasional Cards, I would order off the backs of comic books, I was a shoe shine boy in a barber shop in Carnegie, OK when I was about eight until ten. Drove tractor, plowed fields, chopped cotton, weeded peanuts, worked peanut and wheat harvest every year until I went into the military in 1968 at 16 years old. My Aunt was head of the country draft board and snuck me in without a BC, but at Ft Polk, during basic training, I was called off the rifle range, sent to the Reception Station, where I stayed for over a month waiting for a Discharge for being a Minor, they had busted me. I was right back at Ft Polk right after my 17th birthday, legal this time, and right back with the same Drill Sgts who had told me they had better never see me back. They gave me hell for two month, lol, but we are still friends today, except for 1SGT Cole passing a couple of years ago. Served 69 – 72, got out and worked the oil fields but missed the military and reenlisted in 1974 until 1977, when I left because my career ladder was kind of broke because of a Court Martial, in which my officer in charge said he found me innocent, but since I had pleaded guilty from the beginning, and took three days to explain why, then he had to punish me, so I got one week of extra duty of one hour a day, lol! But my shot at E-6 was blown for a while, so I decided to get out when my enlistment was over. I did join the OKNG in 83, because I missed the military still, but hell, the NG’s was just party time, lol! Had a blast! I have been medically retired since 2004. I became sick in 2000, found out I had Hep C and that my liver was ruined. Doctor said I had to have Hep C for over thirty years for it to do that much damage. I had thought my liver was ruined because of drinking but he said beer would not have done the damage and I only drank beer and wine, but not an alcoholic, just weekends, party hardy! I was more in the hospital than out, family called in three times to say final goodbyes but I would laugh, send them home, and tell them I was not going to die, even thought the doctors thought so, lol! The first time I was in ICU, with internal bleeding, back in 2001, I was praying and the Lord spoke to me and said if I kept the faith and did not give up, that I would Live and be Blessed, and I believed HIM over the doctors. My wife came in crying, so I asked her what was wrong, but she refused to say, then she broke down and told me the doctors said I was dying. I laughed and told her what Jesus had told me and not to worry. Course, you can imagine how my wife and the doctors all reacted when I told them the same thing, lol! They all thought I had gone off the deep end, lol! Finally, in 2007, two years after my liver transplant, my doctor, Professor Peck, of the AKH Hospital in Vienna, Austria, told me the only reason I am alive was because of my faith in God. He finally admitted it, lol! Course, most people think I am nuts when I tell them the Lord has spoken to me twice in my life, but I don’t care. I know what I heard, and what happened, that is all that matters! And bless me abundantly HE certainly did! At the time of my sickness, I had six grandsons. In 2008, two of my daughters gave birth to our first two little girls, born two months apart. Then, two years later, two more grandsons, for a total of 10 now! So all I do in retirement is babysit, work in the garden, and cut wood, three things I love!

          • Lol, good try, but no, Trump has my vote! I was never a Bush fan, but I do like the guy, he was good to us Vets and military, unlike the hateful Hillary, who hated our military. Sanders, I don’t even bother listening to anything he has to say because I think it will be a cold day in hell before he is ever elected, kind of like the Republicans Ron Paul, just laughable.

          • I Seigel

            Hey Bill! Where did you go? I miss you. Come back here some time. There’s so much to talk about!

          • I am always around.

          • I Seigel

            Oh. Ok

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