hail, snow and earthquakes
Min. Farrakhan issues divine
warning, calamities wreak havoc on U.S. cities
by Nisa Islam Muhammad
and Eric Ture Muhammad
(FinalCall.com)—He warned the nation to watch the
weather and for calamities that would soon engulf America with great
intensity. And shortly after the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan
delivered his Feb. 25 Saviours’ Day warning to the world at Christ
Universal Temple in Chicago, acts of God were felt in a blistering fury as
two major storm systems—a wet one moving through the South and a frigid
one coming down from Canada—were on a collision course at Final Call
press time, threatening to create a massive snowstorm along the eastern
seaboard, the like of which has not been seen since 1966.
According to the National Weather Service (NWS), heavy
snowfall blanketed an area from the Virginias to southern Maine with over
two feet of snow in areas such as Boston. NWS meteorologist Michael Eckert
called the late-winter storm highly unusual in that it represented the
combination of two mighty weather systems. "You combine the extreme
wetness of the system coming up from the South with the really deep, cold
air of the North, and you’ve got the ingredients there for a major
storm," he said.
"That doesn’t happen every day," a shocked
Paul Kocin, a winter weather expert at The Weather Channel, said of the
storm. The weatherman warned travelers and motorists to stay off the
roads, store plenty of water and announced area school, government and
Violent storms damaged dozens of homes in Ocala, Fla.,
Lake and Marion counties March 4 blowing over trees, pulling up roof
shingles, knocking out power for hundreds of residents and temporarily
closing off at least one busy roadway.
Almost 60 homes just east and west of Ocala sustained
the most damage at about 9 a.m.—almost entirely from high winds and
flying yard debris. One area west of the city lost power for almost 10
hours while utility crews scrambled to clear damaged wires and poles.
Heavy rains across the New Orleans area began early
March 3, the day immediately after its Mardi Gras celebration, causing
minor flooding, closing some streets and trapping thousands of the two
million visitors to the city.
Waves of heavy thunderstorms blew through southeastern
Louisiana starting about 3 a.m. accompanied by strong winds and lightning.
The unexpected heavy rains brought three St. Tammany Parish rivers to
dangerously high levels, dropping more than 3 1/2 inches of rain—mostly
in the morning hours.
"Tons of water was being pulled from the Gulf and
being dumped in the area," said Carrie Wotten, a meteorologist with
the Weather Services Corp., which produces The Times-Picayune’s
daily weather page. "It was coming down too quickly and there was no
place for it to go," she said. Across northern Louisiana, floodwaters
began to seep over levees, across roads and into homes, where unrelenting
rain pushed numerous rivers, lakes and bayous to or slightly above flood
stage. Flash flood watches were in effect across the central and northern
parts of the state.
Thunderstorms battered inland areas from Mexico to
Fallbrook, blanketing counties just south of San Diego, Calif., with an
inch of dime-size hail that fell nearly 30 minutes. It stopped briefly and
then fell steadily again for another hour, accompanied by thunder and
Contamination-warning signs were posted at Ocean Beach
after a blockage sent 1,810 gallons of raw sewage into Alvarado Creek and
San Diego waterways.
Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee shook his head in disbelief
on Feb. 27 as he stood in the parking lot of Sandstone Church of Christ.
The church was a tornado relief center in 1997. Now it is a pile of rubble
strewn from its foundation, with parts of the structure cast into
surrounding pine trees. Six tornadoes carved through the state Feb. 24-25,
leveling houses in 13 counties and killing an 18-month-old child.
"There’s just no explanation," said the
governor. Bud Harper, director of the Arkansas Department of Emergency
Services, described the tornadoes as "wagging their tails."
The state has not been declared a disaster and
according to Mr. Harper, the governor cannot sign a declaration until all
13 counties declare disasters. Damage assessment teams with the state
Department of Emergency Management criss-crossed the state estimating the
cost of damage to public buildings and uninsured homes and property.
Gov. Huckabee extended his stay in Washington, D.C.,
after that weekend’s National Governors’ Conference to meet Feb. 26,
with President Bush and Joe Allbaugh, director of the Federal Emergency
Management Agency (FEMA), about disaster relief for the state. President
Bush "does understand how bad our situation is," he said.
Ice storms, recent flooding in the south and tornadoes
have taken a huge toll on the state, he said.
"Locusts are next," Mr. Huckabee said, adding
that the need for more federal aid is urgent.
Weather matches divine warning
"The Bible says He stored up snow in the north.
You haven’t seen snow like you are going to see it. You like cold. The
Bible says He will bring cold out of the north. It will be so cold that it
will freeze your lungs; hail stones the size, not of golf balls, but
blocks of ice. "Earthquakes," predicted Min. Farrakhan, during
his Feb. 25 address. "You’re going to know that God is in the world
and He’s not to be denied," he said.
It was as if the weather pattern heard a call to
cadence as each calamity unleashed practically in the order it was
A 23-mile long, three and a quarter mile wide tornado
touched down across several states directly after the Minister’s speech
carrying torrential rains, hail, lightning and snow. The tornado boasting
of wind gusts over 60 mph, ripped through the city of Pontotoc killing at
least eight people and destroyed or damaged hundreds of homes. Dozens more
Mississippi Gov. Ronnie Musgrove left the same
governors’ conference in Washington the evening of Feb. 25, to see the
damage. He declared parts of the county a disaster area and called for
On the colder side of the storm, South Dakota,
Minnesota and Iowa authorities closed miles of interstates because heavy
snow and 30-mph winds created blizzard conditions.
Minnesota’s highway department closed all state
highways in seven southwestern counties because snowplows couldn’t keep
up with the drifting snow. "We’re just losing ground all
around," said Renard Fritz, Minnesota State Patrol dispatcher in
Detroit Lakes. Northeastern Minnesota collected more than 20 inches of
snow, including 23.5 at Finland.
South Dakota authorities reopened segments of I-90 the
same day as snow crews plowed out drifts and removed stalled vehicles. In
Huron, S.D., which has received more than five feet of snow this winter,
crews are running out of room to pile the snow.
"The boulevard in front of my house is 5 feet
high," city manager Ralph Borkowski said. "The street department
guys just can’t get the snow up there anymore. They roll it up, and it
rolls back into the street. Our streets are getting narrower," he
"We had troopers hauling people from stalled
vehicles all through the night, and we had several semis blocking the
highway," Highway Patrol Sgt. Curtis Blasy said.
Three traffic deaths were blamed on the storm in
Minnesota and Nebraska.
Several Missouri counties reported downed tree limbs,
closed roads due to flooding—including parts of Interstate 44—and
In Manhattan, Kansas, a man drowned while his wife and
son made it to safety as floodwaters swept their car off a bridge, the
Jackson County Sheriff’s Department said.
Major quake follows Farrakhan’s warning
"In the book of Deuteronomy, the question is
raised, ‘How will you know when a message is spoken that it is from God?’
If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not take place or
come true; that is a message the Lord has not spoken," said Min.
Ishmael Muhammad, assistant minister of Mosque Maryam, and assistant
minister to Min. Farrakhan.
"So if the word or the message of that prophet
comes to pass, then you know that it is from the Lord. Make no mistake
about it! Min. Farrakhan is from God and the word that he spoke, and the
proclamation that he gave at Saviours’ Day has indeed come to
pass," Min. Ishmael said.
The weather continued its role as a witness bearer to
the divine power backing Min. Farrakhan, with an earthquake in Seattle,
Wash. The reported 6.8 magnitude quake, which hit Feb. 28, caused a
reported 250 injuries and substantial damage. Transportation was a concern
due to landslides and road failures; state officials said hundreds of
thousands of people and businesses were left without power.
"I was in an office meeting when it occurred. I
heard a banging and thought it was construction and then the floor began
to vibrate. It intensified and then I knew it was an earthquake,"
said Gov. Gary Locke, during a live interview broadcast over CNN on March
Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) toured the damaged areas
with Federal Emergency Management Agency Director Allbaugh, expressing
gratitude that injuries appeared to be minimal.
Gov. Locke said on CNN that the damage could reach
billions of dollars, "when you calculate not only property damage and
the cost of repair but also the economic impact of lost wages.’’
Earthquake losses in the United States add up to about
$4.4 billion a year when annualized over time, according to a FEMA study.
The study, released by FEMA in September 2000, was based on a new
methodology to estimate earthquake risk and future losses by geographic
The $4.4 billion estimate is extremely conservative and
includes only capital losses such as repairing or replacing buildings,
content and inventory ($3.49 billion), and income losses—business
interruption, wage and rental income losses ($0.93 billion).
It does not cover damage and losses to critical
facilities, transportation and utility lifelines or indirect economic
Despite it all, Gov. Locke said state residents were
The center of the earthquake was 35 miles west of
Seattle and could be felt as far away as Oregon and Canada. The quake
started some 30-40 miles underground which prevented it from being worse,
officials said. The earth’s crust absorbed much of the shock, according
According to a University of Washington seismologist,
minor aftershocks were recorded the next day at the same location as the
"America, as I speak is under divine judgment. I
want you to watch what Allah does inside America. I am His servant, make
no mistake about that. I’m not boasting or bragging. I have no power,
but the power is with Him," said Min. Farrakhan Feb. 25, speaking via
satellite to 100 venues in cities around the country and countless homes.
It was his first address since the Million Family March in October and
following surgery as part of his recovery from the after affects of
prostate cancer treatment.
(Stephen Jackson contributed to this report.)