Friday, May 21, 2010

The House Next Door and Oklahoma Storms.

Well, it has been a week or two of hammering. You will remember when I complained about the framers showing up super-early a couple of Saturday's ago. This week, while dodging thunder storms, hail and tornadic activity, they actually got the roof on the thing. So I am guessing that the brickwork will be next. They are also ready to get wiring installed and then sheetrock. It is moving fast! Anyone want to take bets on when the new neighbors move in?

Speaking of getting hammered, and I don’t mean drunk … Now, let’s talk about the storms we had here in Oklahoma this week.  It is May in Oklahoma and guess what, we have turned into a tourist attraction for our tornado potential.  I’ve been a bit disturbed by this video that is floating around the internet.  It is by one of our responsible storm chasers – one of the guys that follow the dang things for our local stations.   In this clip, they are chasing down Highway 51 (where Moi probably recently drove on the way home from her foot race) …. toward Stillwater (home of the OSU Cowboys) …. this line of cars is filled with storm chasers.  Some from the Discovery Channel.  Some are tour groups of people wanting to see a real tornado (nutjobs).  And they are trying to drive right into a storm.   What is disturbing is that some of these folks are on the wrong side of the road, going at high speeds, disregarding those yellow “no passing” lines …. as if a tornado is life-threatening in the first place, these bozos are now trying to take out some poor unsuspecting car coming the other way, someone probably trying to get home before the storm.

And this video below is going viral --- the hail storm from May 16 that dropped softball size hail on north Oklahoma City.  You just wouldn’t believe the number of cars driving around without windshields.  I know several people who have had their cars totalled due to the property damage.  They might be fine mechanically, but are just a total loss physically – cost more to repair than they are worth.  And fairly new cars at that.  My friend Kathy and her daughter both have significant vehicle and home damage.  Worse, a friend of a friend, a workmate of Jamie’s, lost her house on Monday night in a tornado. 

I’ve lived here all my life (except for a short time in the 90’s) …. and this tornado below is the only one I have ever been close to being involved with.  But, of course, it was the biggest tornado EVER.  And I mean EVER.  The fastest wind speed on earth was recorded about a mile from my house – inside the core of this tornado.  This monster was “on the ground” for over 60 miles.  It really should be labeled as an “F6” tornado, but such a thing doesn’t exist because they never thought wind speeds could be so great.  This big black cloud that sounded like a huge jet engine is all we saw coming toward us.  Never saw the rotation.  Didn’t need to, we headed for the closet under the stairs. 

After the storm, we literally saw big dually pick-up trucks that had been rolled up in a ball to about the size of a large suitcase.  Heard stories of pony tails being torn off little girl’s heads.  Water in swimming pools being sucked up into the tornado.  And I know a woman who was severely injured in this tornado – basically scalped.  She wrote a story of her survival and ordeal that she had to go through to get back to full health.

carolyn stager

So believe me when I say that my strategy for tornado survival is to pay attention to our local weathermen and their storm chasers.  When Gary, Rick or Mike tells me to get in the bathtub and put a mattress over my head because the storm is now on my street (and yes, they can track it that close with the radar) …. I will be in the bathtub with a mattress on my head!


carmar76 said...

Growing up, I had a basement. Now, I live in a trailer park. I'm thinking w/ summer coming I need to make my "bed" in the tub, just in case! (Not all the time, just in bad weather. ; ) )

Boxer said...

I remember as a child in Ohio driving just a few miles from our home and seeing total destruction from a tornado. It really stayed with me. Where I am, we have the threat of earthquakes which are more rare.

Honestly? Tornados scare me more.

moi said...

I don't mean to sound flippant when I say this, but I don't know whether to be scared out of my mind or jealous. Because when Mother Nature gets her bitch on, there's a kind of terrifying beauty in all that fury. Regardless: stay safe.

Pam said...

Carmy: Trailer park here means NO NO NO for tornados. You must leave and go to a shelter.

Boxie: You keep your earthquakes, I'll keep our tornados. Deal? I like the notice. Earthquake? None.

Moi: There is a strange beauty in it all as it is happening. My favorite part is green skies that make green lights look blue.

chickory said...

wow! kinda exciting. i loved the swimming pool video . V showed that to me before i got here so yeah it is viral all right! stay safe (git in yur hole grrrrrrrrrrl)

Aunty Belle said...


Mercy, Pam, It scare the whoo-hoo outa me. I see the "terrible beauty" aspect, but I likes to see that from a safe distance.

We had a tornado onc't come over us--not the size of no Okie tornadoes, jes'a wee itty bitty Florida version-- but still--jes' like the movies, it sounded like a freight train an' it was on us afore we could blink--took off a neighbor's roof, another's house split in two--we lost a massive tree, but thas' all. VERY scary.

The one thang about tornadoes is they's quick--hurricanes is hours, days.

Aunty Belle said...

oh--an MM Haiku & Blogger Summit 2011? Oh yeah baby--let's go! (see the Porch fer post on summit.)

fishy said...

PAM .....
Mermaid and I were in a tornado once. In a car, on a sand key with the tornado roaring in from the Gulf. Scared the breath out of me. The preceding hail was huge, cracked windshield, dented the car with a zillion poc marks and that ferocious tube dropped the roof of a condominium in the road just behind my rear bumper. Terrifying. I can't even think about earthquakes. But! I agree with Moi, when Mother Nature throws a temper tantrum it is the biggest show around.

What is the Visual Haiku theme for this week? Are we moving to Mondays? Staying with Thursdays? Your call. I think there is eagerness to play!!!! Thanks so much for hosting the haikus.

Karl said...

Good afternoon Pam,

That last video plotted tornado right over my old house. I went to Google earth and looked the satellite view. It must've missed the place altogether.

The hale video: Wow, it was pretty intense.

Pam said...

Chickie - That swimming pool video is famous now!

Auntie: Tornado is tornado is tornado!

Fishy: That is more tornado that I have ever been in! Yikes and wowza, terrifying!

Karl: That last one is the video from 1999, "The Big One". You might check more recent footage because your area has been hit this year. That bit where I-240 runs into I-40 has bee hit twice.