Superstorm in Philippines has local impact


Reporter - Elizabeth Fields
Photographer - Randall Barnes

PADUCAH -- More than 100 people are confirmed dead in Philippines tonight. At least another hundred are injured, victims of one of the strongest storms on the record.

The number is expected to climb once power and communication lines are repaired and rescuers can survey the full extent of the destruction. Weather experts say the typhoon slammed into the country with sustained winds near 200 miles per hour.

Even though this is happening thousands of miles away, there are still local people impacted by the devastation. Many had good news to report that their loved ones were safe, but some still haven't heard.

All are praying for those impacted by this storm.

Typhoon Haiyan hit the central Philippines hard. High winds ripped roofs off of houses and trigged landslides that blocked roads.

Leaders say the dark clouds and heavy rain blocked the sun, so even though it was in the middle of the day, it was still as dark as night.

Donna Copeland has never been to the island country, but her son who serves in the Army has called it home for several years.

"I see pictures, you know. Of course Facebook, you can see a lot things via the screen like that."

But when the images are like this, she says a mom always worries.

"Then I finally e-mailed him, he e-mailed me back and said... Mom, I can't talk, I'm taking care of the storm, but we're fine."

Copeland's son and family live north of where the worst damage has been reported, but it won't stop him from heading to the devastation as soon as he can.

"He'll have to be in charge of getting supplies to the people that its destroyed and see to it that they have needs."

Experts say the silver lining is that the speed at which the typhoon sliced through the central island prevented the band of rain clouds from stalling and dumping water over the already heavily damaged villages.

Most deaths from typhoons come from flooding, so they're hoping the massive evacuation efforts were enough to save lives.

Secretary of State John Kerry made an announcement today that America stands ready to help the country recover and rebuild.