Storms, tornadoes kill 25 in Alabama

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Re: Storms, tornadoes kill 25 in Alabama

Postby Big Magilla » Thu May 01, 2014 6:06 am

OscarGuy wrote:Earthquake-prone areas have strict building codes (at least in the U.S.) that make it easier to withstand such phenomena.


To a point.

https://www.disastersafety.org/building ... ne-states/
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Re: Storms, tornadoes kill 25 in Alabama

Postby OscarGuy » Wed Apr 30, 2014 7:38 pm

For Hurricanes, Blizzards and floods, you typically have enough advanced warning that you can seek shelter or get away from the area about to be effected. Earthquake-prone areas have strict building codes (at least in the U.S.) that make it easier to withstand such phenomena. The problem with tornadoes is that they are entirely unpredictable. You know the type of weather they spawn during, but you never know if it's just going to come down right on top of you or start a block away. Forecasters try to put the best notice on them by putting out watches, but if we spent our entire lives taking shelter during watches, we'd spend a quarter of our lives hiding.

Anyway, I've lived right next to Tornado Alley my entire life. I've almost become desensitized to them, but then something like the Joplin tornado strikes and the reality comes crashing back down.
Wesley Lovell
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Re: Storms, tornadoes kill 25 in Alabama

Postby Big Magilla » Wed Apr 30, 2014 6:06 pm

A terrible thing, tornadoes. I've been through hurricanes, blizzards, earthquakes, minor floods, but I've only seen the aftermath of tornadoes. I'd like to keep it that way.

Three years ago the house my sister and her family had been renting north east of Dallas suffered damage in a Category 1 tornado early in the season. This year they were in a new house they own in the same area when it was hit by another Category 1 tornado. Usually my sister, her husband three sons, the dog and the cat would huddled together in a closet. This time I thought they'd be doing the same, but when I called my sister she was just emerging from the closet where she had hidden with the cat. She had never been so frightened in her life. She couldn't find the dog. Her husband had called to say he was taking shelter in the local community college on the way home. Her oldest son, whose cell phone he forgot to charge, was in one of his clubs at the local university whose damage was being televised; her youngest son was auditioning for a play at his high school. The middle son was in Germany finishing his junior year in engineering school. It turned out they were all okay, but the new house now needed a new roof.

I've talked to numerous people in my area (the Jersey shore) who've lost everything in weather related disasters like Superstorm Sandy. Fortunately I've never met anyone who lost family members or friends in these things. It's heartbreaking enough just hearing and reading stories about those I don't know.
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Re: Storms, tornadoes kill 25 in Alabama

Postby OscarGuy » Wed Apr 30, 2014 4:00 pm

Death toll is thankfully lower.
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Re: Storms, tornadoes kill 25 in Alabama

Postby Greg » Wed Apr 30, 2014 3:42 pm

Where I live, in Florida between Orlando and Daytona Beach, we got a lot of unexpected rain yesterday evening and are getting some right now. I think this is the edge of the same storm system.
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Re: Storms, tornadoes kill 25 in Alabama

Postby dws1982 » Wed Apr 30, 2014 3:22 pm

Three years and one day after the 2011 tornadoes, my county got hit again.

It's hard to say how these compare to 2011 in terms of destruction, etc. The 2011 tornadoes hit in the East Limestone area, which is pretty densely populated. These hit in the western part of the county, which is much less densely populated, and nowhere near as developed. But once again, I still know several people who were directly affected by this. Two separate tornadoes came through; The first (and by far the most damaging) missed my parents by about a mile to the north, and another missed them by a couple of miles to the south. The East Limestone area, where I live, which was damaged so badly three years ago (and then again on March 3, 2012), got out relatively unscathed this time. The internet at my place is down, and my computer charger got fried (and shot across the room) due to a lightning strike, but overall I was definitely fortunate. One young man I know (a former student) lost his house entirely in the 2011 tornadoes; their house was seriously damaged in the 2012 ones; they have a river house that was seriously damaged on Monday. (They weren't at the river house Monday, thankfully.)

The Sunday storms in Arkansas and Oklahoma were, if anything, even more severe, because they went full-force through major towns.

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Postby dws1982 » Thu May 05, 2011 6:38 pm

I had to drive over to Huntsville today for graduation gifts and Mother's Day gifts, so I had to drive right through some of the devastated areas. It truly is a sight to behold. Huge steel billboard poles are bent at nearly 90-degree angles. The tornado tore through an area just north of Highway 72 and destroyed some neighborhoods there. You couldn't really see the houses from the highway before because there were trees all around, but you can see straight through now. The trees that are left hardly have any leaves, branches, or even bark in some cases. Power lines are still down, poles snapped in two, all down the highway. (They were working to get those fixed.) And they haven't really even begun to clean up the rubble from most of the houses and buildings that were destroyed. It was an amazing thing to see. Definitely puts a lot of things into perspective.



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Postby dws1982 » Fri Apr 29, 2011 11:49 am

Yeah, I live about 4-5 miles from it. It's shut down--something to do with the power transmission system--and hundreds of thousands of people are out of power because of it. But whenever they start working on restoring power, the areas near the plant are always the first to get it restored. I know the nuclear plant itself--the facilities, etc.--have power. Not sure if we benefit from their emergency backup or what.

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Postby Greg » Fri Apr 29, 2011 11:08 am

dws1982 wrote:It was a rough day yesterday, but living a few miles from a nuclear power plant has one big advantage: We're never out of power for very long.

Are you talking about the Browns Ferry plant? I read that it was shut down beacuse of the storm.
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Postby Big Magilla » Thu Apr 28, 2011 8:36 pm

You can't prepare for something like this. They interviewed people in Tuscaloosa who said they've been through tornadoes before but never anything like this. They heard he sirens but it was very quiet. They didn't know they being hit until they were hit. You can stay away from windows but what do you do when the whole house and ev erything around it it uprooted? Below ground in a basement may not hae even helped in some cases.
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Postby dws1982 » Thu Apr 28, 2011 5:26 pm

I don't know how well-prepared Alabama is for tornadoes compared to other states, but the reason this one was so deadly is that the tornadoes were fast-moving, sometimes formed quickly and almost out of nowhere, and they tore straight through major residential (and commercial) areas. In some cases too, people already had power out when they came through, and they didn't have a lot of warning to see exactly where the tornadoes were. Phil Campbell, a small town in the northwest part of the state, was pretty much wiped off the map after a tornado ripped through downtown. A mile-wide tornado tore through downtown Tuscaloosa. Cullman, one landed downtown. In the East Limestone area, several neighborhoods were totally demolished. I've never heard of anything like it.

We were very lucky that we didn't have any damage at all. It's strange though. One church that was destroyed yesterday in Limestone County was also destroyed in the 1974 tornadoes. Same thing with one of the trailer parks.

I know my brother-in-law is very glad to be leaving the police force after this. Last night, working clean-up and getting into houses, he saw bodies twisted around like pretzels (his words), one corpse whose head was turned around 180 degrees. Today part of his job has been keeping looters out of the high-income neighborhoods that were destroyed.

All of the texting I've done today will probably send me over my monthly limit and and up costing a fortune, but I've finally heard from almost everybody.

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Postby OscarGuy » Thu Apr 28, 2011 4:56 pm

The death toll is likely higher due to the fact that I doubt Alabama is as tornado-prepared as those states that have sections of Tornado Alley running through them. Our area certainly strives for safety awareness and since we are prepared for it from an early age, we tend to be better able to get to safety than a lot of these other places. Those types of tornadoes hitting in Tornado Alley would have had far less loss of life, but plenty of destruction.
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Postby Big Magilla » Thu Apr 28, 2011 4:28 pm

CNN had a tornado expert on this mornign who said that Tornado Alley has more tornadoes but that teh South, when it gets them, gets worse ones becuase they tned to stay on the ground longer.

I've opened my home to friends and family without a place to stay in the past but I don't know if I could do that for strangers. I've been through hurricanes, blizzards and earthquakes but not tornadoes although I have been in places that have them, just not when I've been there, so far anyway.
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Postby Mister Tee » Thu Apr 28, 2011 3:08 pm

I've been occupied the last 24 hours or so, so this is my first chance, dws, to say I'm glad you were personally spared the devastating effects of this. The pictures are frightening; I've never been witness to weather approximating this.

Best to all in the rebuilding.

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Postby OscarGuy » Thu Apr 28, 2011 10:56 am

It must be hard for those who don't often have this type of weather to cope and understand what's going on. We live just off Tornado Alley here in my neck of the woods (I'd say we're easily within 20-30 minutes of that zone). While we've never had the string of outbreaks this week has seen, this season is usually fairly common for this type of weather, so I've kind of grown accustomed.

We were lucky this time around. Every time there is a major series of tornadic activity, it usually hits a few small towns not far from here.

I'm glad to hear you guys are ok. Jason O'Brien who runs the Oscar Invitational every year has reported that he and his loved ones are also in the clear.

I also love the fact that you're opening your house to those without power. It's a very generous thing for you to do.
Wesley Lovell

"Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both." - Benjamin Franklin


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