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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Killer tornados in Alabama

   
Author Topic: Killer tornados in Alabama
Belle
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Major tornado outbreak expected tonight and tomorrow. Hang on folks!

Everybody in the path of these storms - stay safe. Be sure you have a weather radio or another way to hear warnings - you cannot rely on sirens!

I will be watching things very anxiously because I work a county away from my kids and there is already talk that schools will close early.

quote:
See the SREF output below, valid at 7:00 p.m. tomorrow. This is the chance of the significant tornado parameter (STP) exceeding 5 units; the model gives that a 90 percent chance in the general area from Gadsden to Mobile. Understand a STP over 2 is very significant, and 5 or higher is pretty rare.
from the Alabama weather blog at http://www.alabamawx.com/?p=46181

[ April 27, 2011, 06:38 PM: Message edited by: Belle ]

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FoolishTook
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Our state has been narrowly avoiding this wave of storms. I'm thankful for that.
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Stone_Wolf_
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Good luck to you and yours...I was going to post a snarky yay for California weather post...but you mentioned your kids and now I can't cause I would feel like a jerk.
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Belle
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About time to leave - and there are dozens of school systems closing or delaying but not mine nor my kids. So I have to go to work.

And my school says there are 12 teachers out today and 7 do not have subs so I have to cover someone else's class during my prep which is right when there will be dismissals so those classes will be held over....*sigh*

My tree in my front yard split and half of it is on the ground - no damage to houses or cars, so if that's all that happens it's okay.

Scary day.

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The Rabbit
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Stay safe Belle. Don't let the school pressure you into doing anything that is against your better judgement.
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Belle
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My kids schools cancelled and mine dismissed at 10:30. We are all home now.

Three deaths confirmed in Alabama so far. The storms this morning were just the precursor - the big ones are supposed to be this afternoon. starting to get a little scared.

I don't want to be considered an alarmist, but the thing they are saying about this storm have me spooked big time.

quote:
The combination of extreme instability (like we see on summer afternoons) and extreme wind shear (like we see often in winter) will create a very dangerous setup over Alabama this afternoon. The energy-helicity index (a combo of CAPE and wind shear) measures the overall tornado potential well. Anything over 2 means tornadoes are possible, and over 5 tornadoes are likely. On April 8, 1998, the EHI was around 6. Today, as you can see on the maps below for 3, 5, and 7 pm, we expect EHI values of 8-10 over much of north and central Alabama, some of the highest I’ve ever seen.
The 1998 storms he refers to killed several people and destroyed a high school. If this one is supposed to be that much worse I'm scared.
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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by The Rabbit:
Stay safe Belle.

Amen!
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The Rabbit
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quote:
The 1998 storms he refers to killed several people and destroyed a high school. If this one is supposed to be that much worse I'm scared.
It sounds like you have good cause to be scared. Do you have a good storm cellar?
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Belle
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oh yeah, we have a basement. We're okay, just nervous.
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The Rabbit
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And with good cause. Even if I could ensure that all my family and property would be untouched (which you never can), I'd be worried about my friends and neighbors. Do what you can to stay safe.
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Belle
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Major damage to my church - a tree went through the sanctuary roof. No one was in there thank goodness.

My pastor just posted on facebook that the church has insurance but the town looks like a war zone so any donations need to go to help families in need. Death toll still at 3 but expected to rise.

Several schools damaged in the surrounding counties - some won't be able to open again until Monday.

And again - they are saying that the storms this afternoon will be even worse.

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The Rabbit
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The words the best express my sentiment would violate the hatrack user agreement. You guys are in my prayers.
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advice for robots
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[Frown]
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Belle
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Death toll now at five. Afternoon storms just now beginning to kick up. First tornado warning of the afternoon is a few counties away from me. They expect us to get the worst between 4 and 10 central time.
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Belle
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watching a tornado live on tv right now...very frightened. We are not in the direct path of this one but the day is just starting for us
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Belle
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lost internet for a bit

things still calm at my house. terrible damage in Cullman Alabama and the hospital may also have been hit.

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The Rabbit
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The hospital being his is awful new. I'm glad to hear you are still safe. Hang in there.
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Belle
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major tornado in downtown Tuscaloosa AL. About a a half mile wide headed straight for downtown and the University of Alabama
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Belle
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massive damage in Tuscaloosa. Damage to the hospital and mall - unknown how the campus was affected. Some neighborhoods reported as completely flattened.
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The Rabbit
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I keep misreading this thread title

"Killer Tomatoes in Alabama".

I need to get out my glasses.

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Belle
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tornado now in downtown birmingham
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Samprimary
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This is absolutely nuts. The stuff you posted about the EHI is enough to make you tense from hundreds of miles away.
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Tstorm
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I hope you're safe, Belle.


On the other hand, these ridiculous headlines have got to go. "Dangerous Tornado Outbreak" ... as if there's any other kind?

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Carrie
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I hope everything's alright for you and yours, Belle - we had a few tornado watches in this area throughout the day, but nothing like the awful-looking storms in your neck of the woods.
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Rappin' Ronnie Reagan
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There were some pretty bad storms here (and some are still coming). At one point it really sounded like there was a tornado outside. We had golfball-sized hail, and it looks like it damaged my car's windshield.
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dem
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My parents hometown (Ringgold, GA) just go smashed. They have video on the Chattanooga TV stations and the tornado that hit them is huge. They have called for all available ambulances from the surrounding areas to head to the town. Reports include a three story hotel having collapsed.

All my relatives have reported in, but we are expecting large numbers of significant injuries.

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The Rabbit
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Are you OK Belle?
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The Rabbit
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No word from Belle since 7 pm last night. I'm hoping its just her internet connection that is down and not anything more serious.
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Tstorm
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It's reasonable to assume that an intelligent person like Belle is perfectly all right. Safety from tornadoes isn't rocket science, after all.

I just saw some footage of the Tuscaloosa tornado on Youtube. Quite impressive.

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kmbboots
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Not to be an alarmist, but I don't know that we can assume all of the 248 (so far) that have been killed were idiots. It has been a very bad group of storms.
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The Rabbit
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quote:
Originally posted by Tstorm:
It's reasonable to assume that an intelligent person like Belle is perfectly all right. Safety from tornadoes isn't rocket science, after all.

If all that concerns you is personal safety, that's probably true. I think having your home destroyed is something to be worried about even if you and your family live through it.
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Tstorm
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Of course. But the odds of a given spot being directly impacted by a tornado, even in a big outbreak like this, are still relatively slim. (Yes, they're higher than normal, but it's still long odds.)
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Tstorm
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quote:
Not to be an alarmist, but I don't know that we can assume all of the 248 (so far) that have been killed were idiots. It has been a very bad group of storms.
I'm not feeling like an audit of each victim's actions is necessary. Some people might have just been unlucky.
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The Rabbit
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I can't get theme song of "Attack of the killer Tomatoes" out of my head, which is really disconcerting because its so utterly inappropriate.
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Rappin' Ronnie Reagan
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There are people here (Knoxville, TN) still without power, so it wouldn't surprise me if Belle didn't have power since Alabama was hit harder.

I was able to get a better look at my car today. There are two big cracks that run almost the height of the windshield and there are dents all over the hood and roof.

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Sala
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I live just south of Ringgold, GA, by about ten minutes. As dem says, the town got destroyed. There are eight confirmed deaths from the town that I'm aware of. The cashier for the cafeteria at the elementary school where I work was trapped in her destroyed house. Her husband died. She was taken to the hospital. Her left foot was turned completely around and she has fiberglass insulation in her eyes and insulation and dry wall in her back. The hospital fixed her foot because she was starting to lose circulation there, but didn't fix her eyes or back yet because there were others who needed help worse. Thankfully her circulation has been restored. Two teachers are now homeless and vehicle-less, though they are all well. Three other teachers are all okay, but their parents/brothers/sisters/etc. are homeless from the tornado. The middle school and high school were destroyed and can't be used for at least six months for repairs. Entire buildings are gone. It wouldn't have taken much for the tornado to have turned my way. I live in a double-wide trailer. Looking at these houses and businesses that were destroyed, my house would have been totally gone, and maybe me with it. [Frown]

Lots of emotions today at work. Really tough day. Yesterday we had an hour and a half tornado "drill" at school because tornadoes were sighted in the region. Imagine, if you will, 19 prek kids in a bathroom, and put all of the prek to second graders in bathrooms (thankfully not 19 in all of them), with the 3-5 graders all squatting in the hall. It was pretty intense. Though it was really heart-warming to hear sweet little pre-k and kindergarten giggles coming out of the bathrooms as their teachers entertained them during the "drill."

I really hope Belle is okay. It's been a tough week.

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The Rabbit
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Sala, It's good to know you are safe, but sad to hear the personal reports of the devastation.
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Belle
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I'm fine. Internet and phones were out until about five minutes ago.

We had debris in our yard including a piece of mail from someone with a Tuscaloosa address. The storm lifted up and passed over my hometown without a touchdown but dropped debris all over us.

Hubby left about 10 last night to go help the recovery effort in Pratt City (a Birmingham neighborhood). Today he was in Pleasant Grove doing first responder treatment of people injured and unable to get to the hospital.

He's finally home and sleeping. School was out today and is out tomorrow for me and the kids. Reeling. Absolutely reeling here. One of the custodians at the school where I worked last year was killed.

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Blayne Bradley
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Time to break out the national red slipper reserve.
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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by The Rabbit:
It's good to know you are safe, but sad to hear the personal reports of the devastation.

This.
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CaySedai
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There's a Facebook page for people to post of things they found and want to return to the owners: Pictures and Documents found after the April 27, 2011 Tornadoes.

Someone posted that they found photos from Dekalb County, Ala., in their driveway in Riceville, Tenn. I think that's about 100 miles.

I'm also glad to hear of Hatrackers that are okay, but sorry to hear of the others who are suffering.

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The Rabbit
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Belle, Glad to know you are OK.
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The Rabbit
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quote:
Originally posted by Blayne Bradley:
Time to break out the national red slipper reserve.

I believe you mean "ruby slippers".
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rivka
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SILVER slippers!
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Belle
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It has been an amazing few days. My husband has been up pretty much for 72 hours straight as part of the rescue and now recovery effort.

We have a volleyball tournament in Atlanta tomorrow and were planning on being there through Monday. I feel guilty for going now, but it's not as if our life quits happening, you know?

My neighbors next door have a daughter, son-in-law and grandaughter who lived in Tuscaloosa. They were in a downstairs closet when the tornado hit. The three of them crawled out of their house and walked for about three miles until they got out of the path of destruction. A University of Alabama student picked them up and carried them away from Tuscaloosa until they could call and get some family members to come get them. They've lost everything, but they are okay and they are extremely grateful. They're staying at my neighbor's house for now.

I found a piece of someone's mortgage or warranty deed in my yard...and a piece of paper that looks like it came from an elementary school. In the neighbor's yard I found a page from the Bible. I gave it to the mom that carried her 8 year old daughter out of the wreckage of her house and she cried. She said her arms hurt still from holding on to her child so tightly. She said she sat in that closet and prayed and held on for everything she had and told her daughter no matter what happens, don't let go.

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Glenn Arnold
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My nephew is at the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa. He's fine, but the house he lived in last year is completely gone.

This story just seemed to wrap up so many facets to this kind of tragedy. You can see the damage to the store, the genuine charity of the owner, the story of the employees in the meat locker.

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Stone_Wolf_
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What a harrowing story Belle, I'm glad to hear you and yours are physically okay.
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FoolishTook
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Glad you're okay, Belle! The news coverage has been terrifying/heartbreaking. [Frown]
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