It would have been even worse this time because we were in the middle of our local city festival with lots of people from out of town. People were scrambling to local shelters.
Last count there were 98 tornadoes in Kansas that night. It's one thing if it hits during daylight, but at night it's worse - you just can't see where it's coming from.
Cubster wrote:I'd have already evacuated myself some time ago, which wouldn't have been pleasant for those sharing the shelter with me. Make like a gopher and enjoy re-emerging to a brave new world.
This is Kansas - standing outside looking for and/or watching a tornado is our State sport. People pay big money to come here and chase them (especially from Japan). We typically go tornado chasing with SWMBO's father but couldn't this time due to the festival - we're on the board. This time though, the F-n-L was on the wrong side of the storm and we lost contact for a few hours.
The wife and I have been so close to one of these puppies that we held onto a pole and her hair was getting sucked up.
Where we live tornadoes tend to get close, but this is the first one that they were expecting to flatten us. In the 50s there was a town, about 9 miles from us, that was wiped off the face of the earth, and then there was the Greensburg KS tornado of '07 that wiped that town out as well - we were told this was a 'Greensburg' tornado and was heading straight for us and Wichita. Like I said, we lucked out. The Wichita metro area kindda lucked out - it bounced around destroying pockets. It could have stayed on the ground. if it did this it would have amount to several hundred dead and missing. Right now - not including the aircraft plants and the Air Base, the damage is over $240 million. The news groups are still not allowed to get on the Air Base, however, the evacuated aircraft are on their way back to the nest.
We are staying in our area for now because the authorities are asking people to stay away. If it wasn't for that we would be helping dig out the rubble. I'm certified in NIMS (National Indecent Management System) and am getting ready for CERT training (Community Emergency Response Teams). A few years back I was the liaison person for our city when dealing with FEMA and the DHS - so, we both have a lot of training in this area - but your never 'ready' when it gets this close.
What is 'interesting' is the fact that the storms are getting worse and more frequent. It's to the point that the warning system is being re-done. Instead of just saying "there is a tornado reported on the ground and warning sirens are going off" we are now hearing "this is a verified tornado emergency - this is a non life sustaining event if above ground".
I do think the media helped to create a panic that was above and beyond what was necessary. They really caused a problem for us here. They were making it sound that towns in the path of the main one (the one that came by us) was leveling each town it came in contact with. The reality is is that it was bouncing. It did not stay on the ground the whole time. It was going over, and skirting these towns - ours included. Instead - the news was saying "the monster tornado (yes - they were saying monster tornado) has just hit Clearwater (or Conway Springs or Haysville, etc). It just really freaked out, and panicked a lot of people. What's bad is that Haysville (about 5 miles from us) was virtually wiped out about 10 years ago and they said what they did.
Anyway - we are still here....and tornado season has just begun....