Monday, April 18, 2011

Experts Busy Assessing Ferocity of Storms

Amid the stunned residents, bleary-eyed insurance adjusters and solicitous relief officials who traipsed through storm-damaged homes and businesses Monday was a small cadre of meteorologists tasked with figuring out just how many tornadoes touched down and how powerful they were.
Jeff Orrock, a warning coordinator at the National Weather Service, spent Sunday and Monday talking his way past emergency officials in North Carolina so he could perform tornado assessment — a mundane task that is important in improving the ability to forecast such storms and warn people to take cover. His inspection of the State Employment Security Commission building in Roanoke Rapids, N.C., helped to show just how powerful the storms were miles beyond hard-hit Raleigh.

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