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View Diary: Dangerous Tornado/Hail Outbreak Expected Wednesday (64 comments)

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  •  We are, too, twigg (9+ / 0-)


    I had just turned eight when I first learned about tornados, a few days after the two-day 1955 Great Plains tornado outbreak when at least 46 tornados, hit across seven states killing 102 and injuring hundreds. Tulsa was spared, but a family from Blackwell (one of the two small towns devastated by F5s) moved here with a girl my age, Anita, who joined my second grade class. They had escaped with their lives but nothing else. She seemed  extremely "shy," and wore the same dress every day until the PTA organized a brief  donation drive for them before the end of the school year. By fall, they were gone. To this day, Anita's remains the face in my mind when I think about poverty in America.

    We had NO early warning system in 1955 and apparently little understanding beyond folk lore (first the air turns green) of the fairly simple mechanics that set the winds turning. Tornados came out of the sky, sometimes at night, sometimes on clear days, as if by magic. By 1960, however, we had "tornado sirens," and in the spring, our city fathers blew them almost every evening just about dinner time. My mother cooked a lot of hot dogs that year, so we could carry them to the car in the garage where we waited until the all-clear was sounded. After the first year or so, we just ignored the sirens. After a few years, they stopped sounding them. Now, the sirens are used so infrequently that we do take them seriously, but we get our best information from the local network affiliates and local "spotters" who report seeing funnels near specific intersections around the city. Deaths by tornado have plummeted over my lifetime, thanks to advances in weather science and communications. Thanks for your part, Weatherdude!!

    So, twigg, what should we do? We're prepared for a power outage, we have a weather radio, and we've identified the safest spot in our small house, but we're old, Mr. 74135 is  in a wheel chair, and this one looks like it could be a bad one. Do you have special plans for a weather event like this? Advice?  

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