Thursday, November 13, 2008

Natural Disasters - Part Three - Tornadoes

Tornadoes are one of nature’s more violent storms. Tornadoes should always be taken very seriously. Tornadoes are very dangerous and are sometimes very deadly. They come from powerful thunderstorms and appear most often as rotating, funnel-shaped clouds. Tornado winds can reach speeds of up to 300 miles per hour and cause a great deal of damage when they touch down on the ground. They can cause damage to areas as large as a mile wide and up to 50 miles long. Every state is at some risk, but states in “Tornado Alley” have the highest risk.

Tornadoes can form any time of the year, but the regular tornado season generally runs from March to August of each year. Tornadoes also appear during hurricane season as well. The ability to predict tornadoes is very limited and usually there will only be a few minutes warning. The most important thing to do is TAKE SHELTER immediately when a tornado is nearby or present in your area.

Tornado Tips:

1.) Keep informed of severe weather updates. You may only have minutes to seek shelter.

2.) When a tornado is in your area you need to immediately seek some form of shelter.

3.) If you find yourself outside and no shelter is available, lie down in a ditch or culvert.

4.) Take shelter in any buildings that may be nearby if you are in your vehicle.

5.) Be careful and watch out for broken glass or downed power lines after a tornado.

An underground shelter is your best form of protection. If you don’t have a basement or a storm shelter, find an inside room or closet away from any windows.

On September 20, 1967 I personally survived the devastating effects of a killer tornado. Tornadoes were extremely numerous with Hurricane Beulah. I was unfortunate enough to be living in Palacios, Texas at the time and lost four friends and had 6 other friends who were seriously injured due to a killer tornado. They lived next door and across the road from my home. We went to high school together and our lives were changed as a result. It is an experience that will never be forgotten.

Here is an excerpt of the story:

“An amazing 115 tornadoes were spawned by the system, the most ever known to be generated by a tropical storm (5 times the previous record set by Isbell in 1964). Most of the tornadoes were confined to the entire coast of Texas and were rather weak. One killer tornado touched down in Palacios on the morning of the 20th, killing 4 people and injuring 6 more. A tornado near Louise in Wharton County caused one death. Fifteen people died in Texas during Beulah; 5 by tornado, 10 by flood. One hundred ten boats also fell victim to the storm. Damages were estimated conservatively at $100 million.”

Staying above the water line!



scoutinlife said...

Are I used to live in a different part of Ohio was a stretch that Tornado activity was a semi frequent occurence... Once scary creation of Mother Nature that's for sure..........Great post River........

riverwalker said...

I've been way too close, too many times to tornadoes. They are nasty devils! Thanks scout.


Anonymous said...

I am glad to live South of Waco. 3 AM super cell storms suck! I will never live in N. Texas again. And yes I understand that they happen in other locations, but the big nasty suckers happen in the alley.

riverwalker said...

I lved in Temple. Texas for a while and decided it wasn't too healthy after a tornado hit Lake Belton. The wife didn't like it at all.


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