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View Diary: TORNADO LIVEBLOG: Tornado Outbreak Migrates To Texas, DFW Included in Tornado Watch (106 comments)

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  •  It may be random, but the weatherman yesterday (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    YucatanMan, Onomastic, Aunt Pat

    warned those in Moore that if they couldn't get underground to get in their cars and drive away from the storm.

    As I understand, that was a first, even for Oklahoma but the weatherman had actual data to indicate that it was likely to be a severe tornado and was going to hit very soon.

    Personally, I have spent far too many springs in the OKC area watching and waiting for tornadoes to hit while listening to my sister-in-law complain about earthquakes in California. While we were sitting in her storm shelter. Beautiful country, but I don't think I could ever live there.

    •  I don't know if it was wise to tell people to (4+ / 0-)

      "get in their cars and drive away."

      Moore has about 55,000 people, but even in such a small town, a big increase in traffic would prove disastrous and maybe right as the storm hit.  I suppose if there were a few hours warning, but with an hour or minutes, who knows who would be caught indoors and who out in their cars.

      Given the helicopter video footage of some of the cars on the highway nearby, I would have taken my chances in a house, most likely.

      Just think if the weatherman broadcast "Get in your cars and get away!" in a metroplex of five million people, like DFW.  The traffic there is impossible without a storm, let alone with one causing panic and stupidity in the streets.

      I do think the National Weather Service's use of harsher language is getting people to pay attention.  They used to be very scientific about everything.  Now they use words like "Killer storm" and "Take cover NOW" which tends to get people's attention.

      "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

      by YucatanMan on Tue May 21, 2013 at 02:57:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think one of the reasons that the death toll was (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        YucatanMan, Onomastic, Aunt Pat

        as low as it was is that at 3:20 in the afternoon, most residents were at school or work.

        But yes, it would have been worse to have had a major metro area try to escape a tornado by auto. Even in those areas used to evacuating for hurricanes would have problems since they have always had more time to accomplish an evacuation than a tornado would allow.

        •  I'm trying to remember for Houston, but when (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Onomastic, Susan from 29, Aunt Pat

          the last hurricane hit there, Rita, it took them something like 3 days and it was just a partial evacuation.

          On the first day of evacuation, the roads became gridlocked within hours. A full day later, contra-flow was implemented (changing all lanes of highway traffic to outbound-only). It still was another day before everyone intending to evacuate was out.  An estimated 3.6 million people evacuated the coast and Houston - the largest evacuation in US history.

          Avg travel time Houston to Dallas is 4-5 hours. It took people 24-36 hours to make the drive in bumper-to-bumper traffic.

          Anyway....  tornadoes are just another animal from hurricanes altogether.

          "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

          by YucatanMan on Tue May 21, 2013 at 05:20:55 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Here's what he actually said: (3+ / 0-)

      Huff Post Link:

      "You never want to say it but we're going to say it right now," KFOR's chief meteorologist Mike Morgan said. "This is May 3rd all over again as far as the intensity of this tornado and where it is heading." He later added, "You gotta be below ground. Interior closet or bathroom is not going to do it. Or get out of its way ... do not be in your car near the tornado, drive away from it if you have no option to save your life."  
      "Abandon where you are if you cannot get below ground." comment was also made
      MSNBC's reporter then characterized that as:
      But he said, and people have reported on this that they were told, 'If you can't get under ground today, get in your car and hightail it as far away from this thing as possible' ..
      These comments were made right as the tornado was hitting.  It's crazy to think the whole town would pick up, jump in their cars, and drive away. It is too late to get away, especially if you get caught in traffic or have a traffic accident due to crazy drivers.   Many more people would have died if they'd been out in the streets.

      "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

      by YucatanMan on Tue May 21, 2013 at 03:07:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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