Devastating Images Emerge From Historic Tornado Outbreak

First Fires, Then Floods: Climate Extremes Batter Australia

Two years ago, the fields outside Christina Southwell’s family home near the cotton capital of Australia looked like a dusty, brown desert as drought-fueled wildfires burned to the north and south.

Last week, after record-breaking rains, muddy floodwaters surrounded her, along with the stench of rotting crops. She had been trapped for days with just her cat, and still didn’t know when the sludge would recede.

And with a second year of the weather phenomenon known as La Niña in full swing, meteorologists are predicting even more flooding for Australia’s east coast, adding to the stress from the pandemic, not to mention from a recent rural mouse plague of biblical proportions.

“It seems to take for bloody ever to go away,” she said, watching a boat carry food into the town of Wee Waa. “All it leaves behind is this stink, and it’s just going to get worse.”

Life on the land has always been hard in Australia, but the past few years have delivered one extreme after another, demanding new levels of resilience and pointing to the rising costs of a warming planet. For many Australians, moderate weather — a pleasant summer, a year without a state of emergency — increasingly feels like a luxury…READ ON

Largest tornado in state history touches down, stays down 227 mi., wreaking devastation, killing hundreds
Destruction in Mayfield (Photo via Kentucky Today)

Devastating Images Emerge From Historic Tornado Outbreak

Homes were left in splintered ruins, bodies pulled from a Kentucky factory and multiple people killed in several states…READ ON

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