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Author Topic: @_@ Tornadoes... question(s)  (Read 2681 times)

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Offline MoonStars

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@_@ Tornadoes... question(s)
« on: February 27, 2013, 08:50:50 PM »
Um ok, it just occurred to me that we will be in tornado territory. Coming from eastern PA, the thought of seeing one even in the far off distance is terrifying. I once heard a freight train go through the drive through window of the bank where I worked, and the front windows bowed in and out; the clouds were absolutely black as night outside. Later we found out a small tornado had touched down a few miles away and wreaked some havoc on a wooded area. We guessed it had passed over head of our building a tad too close for comfort. But that is the extent of my personal tornado experience, and generally we don't get them around here. I do, however, have relatives in Alabama whose neighborhood was decimated a couple years ago, and one who used to just *sleep* in her safe place because the sirens were going off so often. That just sounds terrifying to me. I guess you get used to it... but... as my mother used to say, "Ya get used ta hangin', too". :-/

To get to the question. We are going to be driving around in Indiana, Illinois, Iowa and Ohio for a week after the Fair visiting friends and family. I know you listen for warnings and take cover in a basement or the innermost area of a basement-less place (correct me if those are false assumptions), but what do you tornado-prone area residents do if you're on the road and there's nothing for miles and you see a tornado heading your way (or even heading away from you)? Or hear a warning on the radio while out in the middle of nowhere, even if you don't see one? Because I suspect, judging by google maps, some of our routes are going to have us out in the middle of nowhere. (Or at least, in the middle of miles and miles of corn fields.)

I know, it's likely over-worry, but... @_@ Any advice or comforting words?
« Last Edit: February 27, 2013, 08:55:49 PM by MoonStars »

Offline LadySatine

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Re: @_@ Tornadoes... question(s)
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2013, 09:04:19 PM »
First, words of comfort! They actually don't come through Indiana or Ohio that often. For example, in 2010, an EF2 went through the county north of us and took some houses, knocked the steeple off of our church and knocked down tons of trees. I was 25 and I had never seen anything like it before.

But if you do find yourself in that kind of situation on the road, you'll want to get out of your car and get to a ditch, or possibly see if you could camp out in a store, like Walmart if there's one around.
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Offline skyrocketneko

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Re: @_@ Tornadoes... question(s)
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2013, 09:32:41 PM »
Oh, I know all about tornadoes... I lived in a town that was hit by 3 tornadoes in 3 years.

Since you'll be in a flat area, you'll be able to see one coming. There's a pretty tiny chance that you'll come across one in the first place, though. People where I lived actually followed them in their cars to take videos, which I don't think is entirely intelligent.
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Offline LadySatine

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Re: @_@ Tornadoes... question(s)
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2013, 09:43:16 PM »
People where I lived actually followed them in their cars to take videos, which I don't think is entirely intelligent.

Not really lol!
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Offline Skeen

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Re: @_@ Tornadoes... question(s)
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2013, 09:57:59 PM »
http://www.tornadoproject.com/safety/safety.htm

Quote
If caught in the open, you should seek a safe place immediately. The chances of encountering falling trees, power lines, and lightning is greater than encountering the tornado itself. The basement of a sturdy building would be best, but lying flat in a ditch or low-lying area may be the only thing available. A culvert in a ditch MAY be a good choice if there is no rain, but if there IS rain, flash flooding may be more dangerous and likely than the tornado.

If you are in a car, and you can see a tornado forming or approaching, you should leave the car and take shelter as above. You may think you can escape from the tornado by driving away from it, but you can't know what you may be driving into! A tornado can blow a car off a road, pick a car up and hurl it, or tumble a car over and over. Many people have been killed in cars while they were trying to outrun the tornado, and although it is sometimes possible to escape, it is generally not a good idea. The photo to the left shows you what can happen to a car that encounters a tornado.

An underpass may seem like a safe place, but may not be. While videos show people surviving under an underpass, those tornadoes have been weak. No one knows how survivable an underpass is in a strong or violent tornado. The debris flying under the underpass could be very deadly... head for a ditch.



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On my street, you can tell who the true Okies are.  When the sirens go off, we all go outside to look at the sky!

Mr. Skeen, having never had to sit through the tornado documentaries we watched every spring all through school, seems to think tornadoes are a mythical beast, like Bigfoot.  People claim to have seen them, but he hasn't so he isn't worried by them.  The last time the sirens went off right as I was making dinner, and he poked his head out of his room and asked me, "Is this going to delay dinner?"  I made him sit in the closet with the screeching cats while I went outside to chat with the neighbors.  XD

Offline Bow Tie

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Re: @_@ Tornadoes... question(s)
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2013, 10:19:37 PM »
I haven't experienced any tornadoes here in Illinois. I live in Northern Illinois though. I've driven through many parts of Illinois during many different times and haven't really experienced any tornado warnings.
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Offline skig

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Re: @_@ Tornadoes... question(s)
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2013, 10:29:38 PM »
Yeah... this is the last time we had a tornado in SW PA.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xIGMKJ0nSnA
The last one before that... sometime in the '90s, maybe.

That said, I have had a couple of nightmares involving a tornado tearing off my roof. It sucked up my ponies and dropped them all over the field. Picture a rainshower of ponies... And we were outside picking them up afterward. (I don't live near a field; I live in the city with a patch of grass that hardly qualifies as a yard.)

I suppose that should we encounter one in our travels, it may rain ponies from the car. I'll be far more concerned about seeking shelter for all of us, though. Thanks for the safety tips, peeps.

Offline NoDivision

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Re: @_@ Tornadoes... question(s)
« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2013, 11:09:32 PM »
Not saying it can't happen as in the past few years tornadoes seem to have gotten more frequent and stronger... BUT tornadoes are not as frequent in ohio, indiana and illinois as they are farther west and farther south. Just be vigilant. Check the weather before you set out on long drives or with your phone, and there are always local AM weather stations if nothing else.

Offline shimmer73083

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Re: @_@ Tornadoes... question(s)
« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2013, 12:45:41 AM »
Hi MoonStars,

Where abouts in eastern PA are you from? I am from the southeastern part of the state near West Chester.  I would say that maybe tornadoes in the Pony Fair territory may happen just as often as Lancaster, PA does, which isn't very often.  I'm not an expert though but I think everything will be ok!

Offline SweetTune

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Re: @_@ Tornadoes... question(s)
« Reply #9 on: February 28, 2013, 12:53:09 AM »
 Just to put you at ease, July is not tornado season in Indiana. I'm sure a fluke one has happened in July, but we usually only have tornadoes in the spring months (March-May) and even then they aren't very common. I wouldn't be overly worried about running into one. I grew up in Indiana and I've never seen a tornado, or had anyone I've personally know have any property damage due to one. :)

Offline DancingPhoenix

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Re: @_@ Tornadoes... question(s)
« Reply #10 on: February 28, 2013, 02:00:41 AM »
If you're in the hotel then you'll be fine. All buildings in tornado territory are required to have shelter areas, which are pretty much just areas low to the ground with little or no windows. I've lived in Minnesota my whole life and experienced quite a few, and usually it's just a sit and wait game. You'll be okay :)
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Offline rybett

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Re: @_@ Tornadoes... question(s)
« Reply #11 on: February 28, 2013, 02:04:33 AM »
Grandmother was living in Greensburg, Ks when it got blown away.  Ekk.  Hubby likes to chase them.  Silly Dave...
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Offline MoonStars

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Re: @_@ Tornadoes... question(s)
« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2013, 05:44:10 AM »
Thanks for all the replies and advice. It's amazing how many of you live where tornadoes are considered to be common (at leat, by eastern standards), yet have never really experienced one close by! I guess that's comforting Heh. Now I'm picturing all these ponies raining down on Indiana as everyone is on the way (or leaving) with cars full of ponies and diving into ditches when a rare July Indiana tornado decides to descend....

And... Skeen?  Thanks for that link.... but re: your Okie-ness.... O-o  lol. I grew up on the Delaware River. We used to merrily watch the river rise and we were gleeful when it crossed the road, and neighbors caught up with one another's lives while out marking their measuring sticks. Somehow, I don't think it's quite the same... snort.

rybett--I'm so sorry about your grandmother!! Greensburg, KS, I remember that.  Horrifying. I hope she, personally, was okay (nothing was left standing, right?).  They've rebuilt now, and very "green", too, if I recall from a news segment recently. Seems like it was the start of this run of tornadoes that are wiping out towns every time we turn around.

Offline shimmer73083

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Re: @_@ Tornadoes... question(s)
« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2013, 11:48:41 AM »
Regarding the tornado popping up when we are driving home with a car full of ponies: i will outrun that sucker first before allowing anything to happen to my herd, lolol.

I'm close to the Brandywine River. Its always getting near flood stage levels when there's a strong rain.

Offline Al-1701

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Re: @_@ Tornadoes... question(s)
« Reply #14 on: February 28, 2013, 12:16:00 PM »
Actually, you should be more worried about derechos.  Derechos are a line of violent thunderstorm and produce straight line winds that can top 100mph and they can last for up to two days as they rip from the plains to the Atlantic coast.  The Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio tier is the favored area for these types of storms.  While the damage is not as intense as tornadoes, it's far more widespread.

If you are caught on the road with a tornado in the area, try to drive perpendicular to it's movement.  Don't try to outrun it because tornadoes can travel as fast as freeway traffic.
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