Tornado damages Pfizer plant in North Carolina as scorching heat and floods sock other parts of US

by Gabriel Martinez
Pfizer plant tornado damage

Pfizer Plant in North Carolina Damaged by Tornado as Heatwaves and Floods Hit Various US Regions

A major Pfizer pharmaceutical plant in North Carolina suffered severe damage from a tornado on Wednesday, while torrential rains caused flooding in Kentucky, and scorching heat persisted across an area stretching from California to South Florida.

Pfizer confirmed that the twister struck the large manufacturing complex near Rocky Mount, causing significant destruction. Fortunately, there were no reports of serious injuries, and the company stated that all employees were safely evacuated and accounted for.

The powerful tornado tore off parts of the plant’s roofs, resulting in the displacement and damage of large quantities of medicine. Nash County Sheriff Keith Stone revealed that approximately 50,000 pallets of medicine were strewn across the facility due to the rain and wind.

The affected Pfizer plant is responsible for manufacturing anesthesia, other drugs, and nearly 25% of all sterile injectable medications used in U.S. hospitals. According to Erin Fox, senior pharmacy director at University of Utah Health, the damage will likely lead to long-term shortages as Pfizer works on either relocating production or rebuilding the plant.

The National Weather Service categorized the tornado as an EF3 with wind speeds reaching up to 150 mph (240 kph).

In the nearby Edgecombe County, the Sheriff’s Office reported three people injured in the tornado, with two of them sustaining life-threatening injuries. A preliminary report from Nash County stated that 13 individuals were injured, and 89 structures were damaged.

Meanwhile, other parts of the United States continued to experience extreme weather conditions. Phoenix broke an all-time temperature record, while Kentucky faced flash flooding. Forecasters warned of a “life-threatening situation” in the affected Kentucky communities, with additional storms expected. Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear declared a state of emergency in response.

The storm system is forecast to move towards New England, where the ground remains saturated after recent floods. Tragic incidents have occurred, such as the deaths of a mother and her 5-year-old daughter who were swept down a swollen river in Connecticut.

In Phoenix, residents faced a heatwave, with the city setting records for warm low temperatures. Heat-related deaths have been on the rise in Maricopa County, where Phoenix is located.

These extreme weather events are occurring amid global concerns about human-caused climate change and the influence of El Niño, which are contributing to record-breaking heat around the world. Atmospheric scientists emphasize that global warming intensifies both extreme heat and heavy rainfall events.

Finley reported from Norfolk, Virginia. Contributing to this report were Anita Snow in Phoenix, Freida Frisaro in Miami, JoNel Aleccia in Temecula, California, and Rebecca Reynolds in Louisville, Kentucky.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about climate extremes

What caused the damage to the Pfizer plant in North Carolina?

The damage to the Pfizer plant in North Carolina was caused by a tornado that touched down near Rocky Mount.

Was there any reported injury in the tornado?

Fortunately, there were no reports of serious injuries resulting from the tornado that damaged the Pfizer plant. All employees were safely evacuated and accounted for.

What is the significance of the Pfizer plant in North Carolina?

The Pfizer plant in North Carolina is a major pharmaceutical manufacturing complex. It produces anesthesia, other drugs, and nearly 25% of all sterile injectable medications used in U.S. hospitals.

How will the tornado damage impact medicine supply?

The tornado damage to the Pfizer plant may lead to long-term shortages of medications. Pfizer will either need to relocate production to other sites or rebuild the damaged plant to restore production capacity.

Are there any other weather-related incidents mentioned in the text?

Yes, the text mentions scorching heatwaves and floods in various parts of the United States. Phoenix broke temperature records, Kentucky experienced flash flooding, and other regions faced extreme heat and storms.

What are the global climate change implications mentioned in the text?

Scientists attribute the extreme weather events, including heatwaves and heavy rainfall, to human-caused climate change and the influence of El Niño. These factors are contributing to record-breaking heat and intensified weather patterns worldwide.

More about climate extremes

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medicinewarrior July 20, 2023 - 7:33 am

pfizer plant damage? omg, they make important meds there! hope they can fix it fast so there won’t be any shortages.

JustSaying July 20, 2023 - 9:53 am

global warming is real, people! these record temps and crazy weather events are not a coincidence. time to act!

JohnDoe22 July 20, 2023 - 11:33 pm

tornado is soo scary, can’t believe it damaged a big pharma plant in north carolina!! hope nobody got hurt!

NatureWatcher July 21, 2023 - 1:07 am

climate extremes wreaking havoc across the nation, it’s a wake-up call to take better care of our planet. we can’t ignore the signs!

WeatherLover123 July 21, 2023 - 3:35 am

heatwaves and floods are like the worst combo ever! stay safe everyone, climate change is no joke 🙁


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