Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Tornado Hit Us, Not Too Badly

We got hit by some tornadoes last night. It broke up one of those runs of days that are too hot, like I had mentioned a while back.

Suddenly a storm blows in and once the rain and winds are gone, it brings fresher cooler air from aloft leading in a cold front.

But although the relief from the heat is very nice, there may be violent storms at the edge of this sort of change, and that is what happened.

Since I was languishing in the 88 degree heat, I was standing at the window trying to enjoy as much cooler air from the wind as I could while not getting too wet from the rain that is in the wind. At some point it becomes too violent, and then you lock down the hatches.

So the rotation in the wind formed a tornado, as it went over me, and bore down right on the Salt Mines to where I was working for our War Correspondent RJK last week, where it was close to the ground and violently ripped a crab apple tree near the front door right up out of the ground by the roots.

I found it a few hours later. There were lots of other branches on the ground from other trees, but that one completely torn out looked pretty dramatic.

Then it slammed into the ground a mile away at the next town's fire department, flipping all the firemen's cars upside down in their parking lot. This is close to the main airport of Chicago, which had to close down for a couple hours when the tower people had to evacuate.

They were reporting winds at 81 mph, but only later figured out it was officially a tornado. They determined two touched down, meaning hit the ground, and maybe three others up in the air around the area, without touching down necessarily.

If I had known it was officially a tornado I would have probably taken cover, but instead I was standing there enjoying the cool breeze.

There was another one heading towards the Alte Fritz's neck of the woods too, a few minutes later.

Both of them have officially qualified as tornadoes now, but of the kind that only just qualify, so it wasn't really bad, except for the firemen, and the place whose roof was torn off...and the crab apple tree.

I must say, on my way to the Salt Mines a half hour later, I benefitted from the lighter than usual traffic on the roads and did not have to drive at tornado speed to get to work on time for once.

This Helped the Blog in its Own Way

 Due to the disaster recovery I had to work an extra half day, but that helped the blog as I was able to meet with the Correspondent RJK to coordinate the story he has from Virginia, some aspects of which will be exclusive to the headquartersinthesaddle blog, but too busy with this to have it up just yet. It will be soon.

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  1. We're quite lucky over here in the UK, we don't get that many tornado's or anything like it. The worst I can remember was back in 1987, the year of the big storm, I woke up with a giant oak tree in my garden on top of my dad's shed. It took us weeks to cut it up into moveable logs.

  2. We had some freak tides last year, which shifted most of the sand off the local beaches and wrecked all the boats in the harbour here, but we really get very little in the way of extreme weather in Britain - our weather seems to be persistent rather than violent.

    When I used to travel to Central and South Germany I witnessed some spectacular electric storms, which are a feature of the Summer there. A few nights there was no question of sleeping through it, so I used get a beer out of the minibar, pull an easy chair over to the window, and sit up and enjoy the show.

    One thing for sure - if Nature decides to do something, it doesn't mess around.

  3. With it moving 68-81 mph it was over and gone in an hour or so. A second tornado was headed for Der Alte Fritz and knocked out his power.

    It was just restored for him three hours ago, and he published an article one hour ago telling of what happened to him. That's on the blogroll to the right.

    I enjoyed the show, but had to get to work right behind the tornado by thirty minutes, and on the same path.

  4. Never experienced a tornado but as long as you're okay that's all that matters.