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Check in with anyone in Missouri / Midwest

dragonfly411

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 25, 2007
Messages
7,378
Is everyone ok out there? The devastation is overwhelming. They are unofficially listing this one as an F-5. The city of Joplin Missouri is demolished. I pray for everyone.
 

merilenda

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 20, 2010
Messages
816
I'm a native Missourian and have a number of friends from Joplin, although I'm not from the area myself. I've seen pictures of their high school (completely demolished) and keep seeing status updates on Facebook that so-and-so's family members are okay but their homes are all destroyed. It's really terrible.

A dear family friend posted this earlier, and I really liked it.

"Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it." - Helen Keller.
 

Logan Sapphire

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 5, 2003
Messages
2,389
My DH is from Joplin. Fortunately, his mom is ok, as is her house (minor damage). He was really worried as her house is very close to the high school.
 

sillyberry

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jul 28, 2009
Messages
1,792
Yesterday I was driving from Dallas to Chicago and finally pulled off Interstate 44 just over the Missouri line headed towards Joplin because the rain was so bad I couldn't see anything. There was a whole line of cars doing the same thing. After the rain moved out I drove into the town of Joplin (the very southern end) to wait out the storms further along my route. All the power was out everywhere and there was a non-stop parade of fire trucks, ambulances, and police cars down the main street.

When I finally got back on the highway, I counted 11 overturned semis on the west-bound side of the road.

I had no idea how bad everything was until I was listening to the radio and heard about all the devastation in Joplin.

My heart goes out to everyone there.
 

NewEnglandLady

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 27, 2007
Messages
6,299
Oh my gosh, Sillyberry, it must have been unnerving to see the devastation first-hand so soon after the tornado.

I grew up in MO and my mother's side of the family is near Joplin, but I've been told they're all okay. My heart breaks for the victims and their families.

Logan and Merilenda--I'm glad your families are safe, the damage is really overwhelming.
 

Gothgrrl

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
May 27, 2006
Messages
1,671
It is so sad. It just seems this year one after another keeps happening. And it's only May. My heart goes out to everyone affected by this. I heard Indiana had a EF1 hit I think Bedford? Between Indianapolis and Bloomington. Please be very careful everybody.
 

VRBeauty

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 2, 2006
Messages
10,293
The images are incredible - the destruction and loss horrifying. My heart goes out to anyone affected by this year's tornadoes.
 

ksinger

Ideal_Rock
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Joined
Jan 30, 2008
Messages
5,078
And the worst part is, these deaths were almost entirely preventable. We here in Oklahoma have been marveling at how so many people died in Joplin. Somebody - especially in other plains states where there really should be no excuse - needs to take a good long look at the warning systems in place. We were horrified to lose 41 in the May 3rd tornados - there were 60 in the state that day, one of which was a long-track F5 that ploughed through several highly populated sections of the OKC metro. We had HOURS of advance warning.

And Joplin loses in the hundreds? Something is not right here. I read that the residents only had 20 minutes warning. That is utterly criminal in this day and age. Of course, it could be too that the psychology of the residents themselves doesn't take this stuff seriously. In Oklahoma we really are cats on hot tin roofs about storms. People need more warning, but they also MUST HEED THEM when they come.

Last I checked, we had 4? tornadoes last night - two of them long-track wedge tornados of F4 or higher, and the current death toll is 6. The point is, it isn't in the hundreds.
 

Logan Sapphire

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 5, 2003
Messages
2,389
ksinger|1306323972|2929798 said:
And the worst part is, these deaths were almost entirely preventable. We here in Oklahoma have been marveling at how so many people died in Joplin. Somebody - especially in other plains states where there really should be no excuse - needs to take a good long look at the warning systems in place. We were horrified to lose 41 in the May 3rd tornados - there were 60 in the state that day, one of which was a long-track F5 that ploughed through several highly populated sections of the OKC metro. We had HOURS of advance warning.

And Joplin loses in the hundreds? Something is not right here. I read that the residents only had 20 minutes warning. That is utterly criminal in this day and age. Of course, it could be too that the psychology of the residents themselves doesn't take this stuff seriously. In Oklahoma we really are cats on hot tin roofs about storms. People need more warning, but they also MUST HEED THEM when they come.

Last I checked, we had 4? tornadoes last night - two of them long-track wedge tornados of F4 or higher, and the current death toll is 6. The point is, it isn't in the hundreds.
I asked DH about what you said and here is his response:

"The problem is people get used to the sirens and don't do anything when they sound. The weather service has said 20 mins was excellent time and is much better than years ago when they would have had maybe 10 mins notice. The other problem is the tornado went through some of the older sections of town. The houses were probably very flimsy and didn't have basements."

DH's mom's house does not have a basement either but only a crawl space, so she rode out the storm in a neighbor's basement.
 

merilenda

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 20, 2010
Messages
816
Logan Sapphire|1306334476|2929866 said:
ksinger|1306323972|2929798 said:
And the worst part is, these deaths were almost entirely preventable. We here in Oklahoma have been marveling at how so many people died in Joplin. Somebody - especially in other plains states where there really should be no excuse - needs to take a good long look at the warning systems in place. We were horrified to lose 41 in the May 3rd tornados - there were 60 in the state that day, one of which was a long-track F5 that ploughed through several highly populated sections of the OKC metro. We had HOURS of advance warning.

And Joplin loses in the hundreds? Something is not right here. I read that the residents only had 20 minutes warning. That is utterly criminal in this day and age. Of course, it could be too that the psychology of the residents themselves doesn't take this stuff seriously. In Oklahoma we really are cats on hot tin roofs about storms. People need more warning, but they also MUST HEED THEM when they come.

Last I checked, we had 4? tornadoes last night - two of them long-track wedge tornados of F4 or higher, and the current death toll is 6. The point is, it isn't in the hundreds.
I asked DH about what you said and here is his response:

"The problem is people get used to the sirens and don't do anything when they sound. The weather service has said 20 mins was excellent time and is much better than years ago when they would have had maybe 10 mins notice. The other problem is the tornado went through some of the older sections of town. The houses were probably very flimsy and didn't have basements."

DH's mom's house does not have a basement either but only a crawl space, so she rode out the storm in a neighbor's basement.
I agree with LS's DH. I'm from Missouri, and growing up here, you hear the sirens going off so often that it's really easy to ignore them. They also test them so often that I've almost learned to tune them out completely. Now if the weather looks bad and I hear the sirens, I will check to see what the warning says. But I don't immediately assume that I need to get to the basement. I know it's better to be safe than sorry, but it's still hard to really blame people.

I would guess that a large part of the death toll & destruction is in the nature of the storm and its location as well. Some tornadoes/storm systems just allow for more advanced warning than others. Some develop so quickly, that advanced warning is not possible. I know that Joplin has been under tornado warning a number of times since this happened, and we've had strong storms all over the state all week. But none of those caused the level of destruction because the details were different. This particular tornado tore a path through a populated area, destroying the hospital, high school, churches, etc. And it sounds like it came on more quickly than anyone had thought. I read that the hospital heard the warning that they were expecting to be hit in 20 minutes, and the windows were being blown out 5 minutes later. I guess I just don't think anyone is to blame, and that this tragedy occurred mostly due to circumstance.
 

Arcadian

Ideal_Rock
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Joined
Sep 17, 2008
Messages
7,580
Not in the midwest but my folk are. they're fine though they're tired of the weather. I'm supposed to be in Arkansas in June. (am NOT looking forward to this!!)

-A
 

NewEnglandLady

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 27, 2007
Messages
6,299
My mom just called me (Kansas City area) and she's been under her desk since 10:30 this morning. She and all of her coworkers have been sharing food in their desks because they can't leave for lunch (or really even their cubes). I guess it's an active tornado day in the area, though it seems not many are staying on the ground for long.
 

Iowa Lizzy

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Joined
Jul 2, 2008
Messages
1,667
I'm in St. Louis. We're waiting on the storms that hit the Kansas City area earlier today. Growing up in Iowa, hearing the sirens becomes kind of a "cry wolf" issue. You hear them every spring and summer, yet they rarely do damage in heavily populated areas. Most people I know would go sit outside when they heard the sirens. I think the latest outbreaks of severe weather have people thinking twice about how they respond to the warnings.

I live in a high rise building and I just broke my foot a few days ago. I'm pretty immobile right now so I'm really hoping they stay out of my area.
 

merilenda

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 20, 2010
Messages
816
NewEnglandLady|1306348269|2930032 said:
My mom just called me (Kansas City area) and she's been under her desk since 10:30 this morning. She and all of her coworkers have been sharing food in their desks because they can't leave for lunch (or really even their cubes). I guess it's an active tornado day in the area, though it seems not many are staying on the ground for long.
I live in KC metro, and we had quite a few tornadoes touch down in the metro today. They're touching down without much warning, too. But hopefully they've let her eat, because they were all moving pretty quickly. Sedalia seems to have gotten hit the hardest this time.
 

NewEnglandLady

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 27, 2007
Messages
6,299
Stay safe, Travel Goddess, and hopefully you don't have to move around too much!

Merilenda, hopefully the sporadic tornadoes are over! She did get to eat, finally :) We have a family farm in Sedalia and my uncle was down replanting corn this week, so I should probably check on him.
 

merilenda

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 20, 2010
Messages
816
NEL, I hope your uncle is okay in Sedalia. My mom lives about an hour east of there, but I don't think they got hit too hard in Columbia/JC. I did hear that a tornado touched down in Kingdom City though, which is close.

TG, I hope you're hunkered down safely in STL. One of my friends posted a picture of hail he just picked up, and it's baseball sized! Our state sure is having some terrible weather.

I came across these pictures today of the utter devastation in Joplin. They really show the magnitude of what happened. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...twister-cuts-4-mile-swathe-Missouri-town.html
 

ksinger

Ideal_Rock
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Jan 30, 2008
Messages
5,078
merilenda|1306337373|2929907 said:
Logan Sapphire|1306334476|2929866 said:
ksinger|1306323972|2929798 said:
And the worst part is, these deaths were almost entirely preventable. We here in Oklahoma have been marveling at how so many people died in Joplin. Somebody - especially in other plains states where there really should be no excuse - needs to take a good long look at the warning systems in place. We were horrified to lose 41 in the May 3rd tornados - there were 60 in the state that day, one of which was a long-track F5 that ploughed through several highly populated sections of the OKC metro. We had HOURS of advance warning.

And Joplin loses in the hundreds? Something is not right here. I read that the residents only had 20 minutes warning. That is utterly criminal in this day and age. Of course, it could be too that the psychology of the residents themselves doesn't take this stuff seriously. In Oklahoma we really are cats on hot tin roofs about storms. People need more warning, but they also MUST HEED THEM when they come.

Last I checked, we had 4? tornadoes last night - two of them long-track wedge tornados of F4 or higher, and the current death toll is 6. The point is, it isn't in the hundreds.
I asked DH about what you said and here is his response:

"The problem is people get used to the sirens and don't do anything when they sound. The weather service has said 20 mins was excellent time and is much better than years ago when they would have had maybe 10 mins notice. The other problem is the tornado went through some of the older sections of town. The houses were probably very flimsy and didn't have basements."

DH's mom's house does not have a basement either but only a crawl space, so she rode out the storm in a neighbor's basement.
I agree with LS's DH. I'm from Missouri, and growing up here, you hear the sirens going off so often that it's really easy to ignore them. They also test them so often that I've almost learned to tune them out completely. Now if the weather looks bad and I hear the sirens, I will check to see what the warning says. But I don't immediately assume that I need to get to the basement. I know it's better to be safe than sorry, but it's still hard to really blame people.

I would guess that a large part of the death toll & destruction is in the nature of the storm and its location as well. Some tornadoes/storm systems just allow for more advanced warning than others. Some develop so quickly, that advanced warning is not possible. I know that Joplin has been under tornado warning a number of times since this happened, and we've had strong storms all over the state all week. But none of those caused the level of destruction because the details were different. This particular tornado tore a path through a populated area, destroying the hospital, high school, churches, etc. And it sounds like it came on more quickly than anyone had thought. I read that the hospital heard the warning that they were expecting to be hit in 20 minutes, and the windows were being blown out 5 minutes later. I guess I just don't think anyone is to blame, and that this tragedy occurred mostly due to circumstance.
You'd be hard pressed to convince me that you guys hear sirens more often than we do here in Oklahoma. We have more tornadoes per square mile than any place on earth. I'm still thinking you guys don't get nearly enough warning - probably due to inexperienced weather men rather than hardcore meteorologists with the most expensive and advanced toys, and the psychology of the people. That's not blaming, it's a simple fact. Even in a place like this - home to the National Severe Storms Lab, where of all places the people should know better, this happens. But not as often, for the obvious reasons. To again put this in perspective, the May 3rd F5 tornado - one of nearly 60 - ploughed through a HIGHLY populated area: almost a thousand homes were scoured down to the foundations, and hundreds of others were badly damaged - and that was just ONE tornado's worth of damage in the metro, and yet only 41 were killed statewide that day. SOMETHING was different, you have to admit. (I have to add here that a friend of mine - currently going back to school for a meteorology degree - commented that a friend was in Dallas (don't recall if she said it was recent or not) and the TV cut in, said there was a tornado on the ground in Dallas and then went back to regular programming. WT....??? Her friend was totally freaked. That would NEVER happen here.)

http://www.latimes.com/health/boostershots/la-heb-joplin-tornado-missouri-20110524,0,1869581.story

I know I admit I get mightily annoyed when they blow sirens all over Oklahoma county, for a tornado say, on the eastern edge. (The county is 709 square miles). The "cry wolf" syndrome tends to come to the surface. But our guys on the whole are pretty good, and don't cry wolf very often, maybe because they know they'd be lynched more quickly if people died because they DIDN'T than were annoyed and inconvenieced because they DID. Add to that the fact that our "weathermen" are rockstars around here.

As I said, we had HOURS of notice. The local stations start the drum beat via the news that morning, and a the real coverage begins at about 2 and prempts everything on EVERY local station until the storms are literally out of the broadcast area. Every station has chasers EVERYWHERE, and tornado tracking down to the street level - with graphic maps superimposed on the radar. "The tornado is now crossing Waterloo Rd!" They have time estimates and track vectors for each cell(not tornadoes but each CELL), that change by the minute in realtime as the storm develops, with estimates of it hitting this community in 40 minutes, and that in 28, etc. They even tell you where the hail core is. You'd have to be near comatose to get caught with your pants down weatherwise here, especially now. (And in last year's epic hailstorm, I was complacent and got my car HAMMERED because I wasn't paying attention, so I know - with much chagrin - of which I speak)

Obviously there will be deaths, but dang! this year has been OTT. Maybe there's really no way around it, when in so many of the places, people just never give it serious credence, and in fairness, something like this season happens what? every 40 years or so? But still, very tragic in light of how well these things are predicted anymore.

Believe me, I'm NOT blaming. No one understands this better than an Okie. We remember the devastation very well indeed.
http://www.srh.noaa.gov/oun/?n=events-19990503-damage-mb
http://xpda.com/mooretornado/
 

merilenda

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 20, 2010
Messages
816
ksinger|1306363029|2930236 said:
merilenda|1306337373|2929907 said:
Logan Sapphire|1306334476|2929866 said:
ksinger|1306323972|2929798 said:
And the worst part is, these deaths were almost entirely preventable. We here in Oklahoma have been marveling at how so many people died in Joplin. Somebody - especially in other plains states where there really should be no excuse - needs to take a good long look at the warning systems in place. We were horrified to lose 41 in the May 3rd tornados - there were 60 in the state that day, one of which was a long-track F5 that ploughed through several highly populated sections of the OKC metro. We had HOURS of advance warning.

And Joplin loses in the hundreds? Something is not right here. I read that the residents only had 20 minutes warning. That is utterly criminal in this day and age. Of course, it could be too that the psychology of the residents themselves doesn't take this stuff seriously. In Oklahoma we really are cats on hot tin roofs about storms. People need more warning, but they also MUST HEED THEM when they come.

Last I checked, we had 4? tornadoes last night - two of them long-track wedge tornados of F4 or higher, and the current death toll is 6. The point is, it isn't in the hundreds.
I asked DH about what you said and here is his response:

"The problem is people get used to the sirens and don't do anything when they sound. The weather service has said 20 mins was excellent time and is much better than years ago when they would have had maybe 10 mins notice. The other problem is the tornado went through some of the older sections of town. The houses were probably very flimsy and didn't have basements."

DH's mom's house does not have a basement either but only a crawl space, so she rode out the storm in a neighbor's basement.
I agree with LS's DH. I'm from Missouri, and growing up here, you hear the sirens going off so often that it's really easy to ignore them. They also test them so often that I've almost learned to tune them out completely. Now if the weather looks bad and I hear the sirens, I will check to see what the warning says. But I don't immediately assume that I need to get to the basement. I know it's better to be safe than sorry, but it's still hard to really blame people.

I would guess that a large part of the death toll & destruction is in the nature of the storm and its location as well. Some tornadoes/storm systems just allow for more advanced warning than others. Some develop so quickly, that advanced warning is not possible. I know that Joplin has been under tornado warning a number of times since this happened, and we've had strong storms all over the state all week. But none of those caused the level of destruction because the details were different. This particular tornado tore a path through a populated area, destroying the hospital, high school, churches, etc. And it sounds like it came on more quickly than anyone had thought. I read that the hospital heard the warning that they were expecting to be hit in 20 minutes, and the windows were being blown out 5 minutes later. I guess I just don't think anyone is to blame, and that this tragedy occurred mostly due to circumstance.
You'd be hard pressed to convince me that you guys hear sirens more often than we do here in Oklahoma. We have more tornadoes per square mile than any place on earth. I'm still thinking you guys don't get nearly enough warning - probably due to inexperienced weather men rather than hardcore meteorologists with the most expensive and advanced toys, and the psychology of the people. That's not blaming, it's a simple fact. Even in a place like this - home to the National Severe Storms Lab, where of all places the people should know better, this happens. But not as often, for the obvious reasons. To again put this in perspective, the May 3rd F5 tornado - one of nearly 60 - ploughed through a HIGHLY populated area: almost a thousand homes were scoured down to the foundations, and hundreds of others were badly damaged - and that was just ONE tornado's worth of damage in the metro, and yet only 41 were killed statewide that day. SOMETHING was different, you have to admit. (I have to add here that a friend of mine - currently going back to school for a meteorology degree - commented that a friend was in Dallas (don't recall if she said it was recent or not) and the TV cut in, said there was a tornado on the ground in Dallas and then went back to regular programming. WT....??? Her friend was totally freaked. That would NEVER happen here.)

http://www.latimes.com/health/boostershots/la-heb-joplin-tornado-missouri-20110524,0,1869581.story

I know I admit I get mightily annoyed when they blow sirens all over Oklahoma county, for a tornado say, on the eastern edge. (The county is 709 square miles). The "cry wolf" syndrome tends to come to the surface. But our guys on the whole are pretty good, and don't cry wolf very often, maybe because they know they'd be lynched more quickly if people died because they DIDN'T than were annoyed and inconvenieced because they DID. Add to that the fact that our "weathermen" are rockstars around here.

As I said, we had HOURS of notice. The local stations start the drum beat via the news that morning, and a the real coverage begins at about 2 and prempts everything on EVERY local station until the storms are literally out of the broadcast area. Every station has chasers EVERYWHERE, and tornado tracking down to the street level - with graphic maps superimposed on the radar. "The tornado is now crossing Waterloo Rd!" They have time estimates and track vectors for each cell(not tornadoes but each CELL), that change by the minute in realtime as the storm develops, with estimates of it hitting this community in 40 minutes, and that in 28, etc. They even tell you where the hail core is. You'd have to be near comatose to get caught with your pants down weatherwise here, especially now. (And in last year's epic hailstorm, I was complacent and got my car HAMMERED because I wasn't paying attention, so I know - with much chagrin - of which I speak)

Obviously there will be deaths, but dang! this year has been OTT. Maybe there's really no way around it, when in so many of the places, people just never give it serious credence, and in fairness, something like this season happens what? every 40 years or so? But still, very tragic in light of how well these things are predicted anymore.

Believe me, I'm NOT blaming. No one understands this better than an Okie. We remember the devastation very well indeed.
http://www.srh.noaa.gov/oun/?n=events-19990503-damage-mb
http://xpda.com/mooretornado/
I know you guys get a lot of tornadoes in Oklahoma and I wasn't trying to say otherwise. I just know that where I've lived (and I've lived all over Missouri) people don't get too worried when the sirens start going off. Kind of like TG said, you hear them so much that it becomes a "crying wolf" kind of thing. Maybe because OK tends to get more damage from storms regularly, you guys take the sirens more seriously even if they do go off a lot.

We had a number of tornadoes on the ground today in the KC metro, and our news stations started covering each cell and giving time trajectories for each one. It was a system that could produce tornadoes with barely any warning (and did) which is why everyone in the area was told to get to a safe area. Part of the problem was that there were so many separate cells that it was hard to follow where they all were. And the worst one ended up touching down in Sedalia (I'm too lazy to Google map it, but I'll guesstimate that it's 75 miles east of KC). The news then started focusing exclusively on that for a while, and those of us in KC were left wondering what was going on back in the metro.

Anyway, I don't disagree that some deaths could probably have been avoided if people took the warnings more seriously. I'm sure that's true. I mean, people were more on edge today during the tornado warnings in KC because of what just happened in Joplin. But a lot of people were still going outside to look around while the sirens were going off. Still, if you look at the pictures of Joplin, I think it's pretty evident that there was going to be a significant loss of life no matter how much warning they got. I mean, areas that you would consider to be safe were even destroyed. I also heard that the sirens were being drowned out by rain and hail.

My mom doesn't have the internet and she usually doesn't have the tv on, so if severe weather hit, she'd only be tipped off by the sirens. So if something like this happened where she lived, I could see her not knowing that she needed to get to the basement, no matter how much warning there was. I bet a lot of people (especially older people) are in similar situations.
 

Logan Sapphire

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It's my understanding that NSSL sends out alerts to the local weather people, so they should all be getting the same info that the NSSL is sending out and that local weather people aren't the ones responsible for thinking there should be an alert. Now I suppose one could argue that the weather people don't do a good enough job publicizing alerts, but my DH tells me that b/c Joplin is so close to OK (30 miles), northeast OK news stations service Joplin and vice versa. So if NE OK is getting an alert, so is Joplin.

I'm sure some of it does have to do with the crying wolf syndrome and people become complacent and used to hearing sirens being tested, etc. It's probably similar to a fire alarm- I'm sure not many people can say that they evacuate every single time they hear a fire alarm, even though you should. My sister's dorm in grad school had a fire alarm go off 3 times in one night- it was a prank, obviously, but not many people left the building all three times.

The other thing that might make a difference is that Joplin is built on top of old mine shafts. It's literally impossible for many people to have basements. Now one can argue the foolishness of having built a basement-less house in Tornado Alley, but that's what those folks had to deal with during the tornado. I'm only familiar with Joplin and not so much with the rest of the midwest but do most other midwestern homes come with basements? My best friend also lives in OKC and her house does not.
 

ksinger

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Messages
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Logan Sapphire|1306367925|2930310 said:
It's my understanding that NSSL sends out alerts to the local weather people, so they should all be getting the same info that the NSSL is sending out and that local weather people aren't the ones responsible for thinking there should be an alert. Now I suppose one could argue that the weather people don't do a good enough job publicizing alerts, but my DH tells me that b/c Joplin is so close to OK (30 miles), northeast OK news stations service Joplin and vice versa. So if NE OK is getting an alert, so is Joplin.

I'm sure some of it does have to do with the crying wolf syndrome and people become complacent and used to hearing sirens being tested, etc. It's probably similar to a fire alarm- I'm sure not many people can say that they evacuate every single time they hear a fire alarm, even though you should. My sister's dorm in grad school had a fire alarm go off 3 times in one night- it was a prank, obviously, but not many people left the building all three times.

The other thing that might make a difference is that Joplin is built on top of old mine shafts. It's literally impossible for many people to have basements. Now one can argue the foolishness of having built a basement-less house in Tornado Alley, but that's what those folks had to deal with during the tornado. I'm only familiar with Joplin and not so much with the rest of the midwest but do most other midwestern homes come with basements? My best friend also lives in OKC and her house does not.
Most homes in Oklahoma don't have basements, due in part to the cost, but due mainly to the fact that many parts of OKC at least, are built on darn near solid red clay, which expands and contracts too much for long-term integrity of a basement. I'm sure it CAN be done now in newer houses and has been in much older houses, but for the most part, nope. I did however, spend a whole buncha time in a cellar as a kid. Damp, cracked, leaking, spider-ridden. Good times. ;)) :rolleyes:

ETA - nowadays, yes I'm sure the NSSL and NWS declares alerts, but honestly, our local weather guys jumped out in front early in storm prediction and especially in giving alerts, with one of them issuing his own warning BEFORE the NWS. They pioneered quite a bit of the stuff that is commonplace today - like storm chasing and the like. Honestly, I would and HAVE given much more credence to our local TV meteorologists than the NWS alerts. In the end, they have the same training as the guys at the NWS plus the practical day-to-day experience with our weather, which trumps any model IMO.

As for the alerts, well, the NWS can send them out all day, but if they aren't communicated properly and seriously by the media outlets, there isn't much more they can do, really. I know we have people in our office from India, China, Vietnam, Malaysia, etc. and they were like "So I heard there might be a few storms with maybe a tornado?" We're like, "Not maybe - LOTS of severe storms and there WILL be more than one large tornado, guaranteed." But without US telling them quite forcefully, I don't think they'd have paid any attention at all.
 

Dancing Fire

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stay safe :!:
 

monarch64

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I'm in south central Indiana and we had a helluva day/night here. Lots of tornado activity, some touchdowns, etc. We just bought a new house, and were there most of the evening...when we finally left at 11 p.m. to go back to our rental (after the sirens had stopped and the winds and rain had also ceased) we got closer to our current neighborhood and it was in pretty bad shape. Our rental was ok, but all 4 huge, mature walnut trees in the backyard were completely uprooted. One was grazing the back of the house. Pretty terrifying, and our beagle had been inside by herself for the few hours this evening when we were gone (I felt so awful for her, she must have been freaking out!) No power, so we quickly retrieved some essentials, called the landlady who came over to assess the damage with her teenage daughter, took a look around the backyard (it was still lightning so we were quick about it) and hightailed it back with the dear doggie to the new house. We're sleeping on air mattresses tonight but we have power here (only 3 miles away from our rental) and hope that's the end of the tornado activity.

My hometown, where my parents and many family members and friends still reside, was also hit this evening. No one is hurt, but many houses were damaged.

We have sirens here...I didn't grow up with them because they weren't instituted here until maybe the late '90's but we definitely pay attention.

Hope everyone else across the midwest is safe.
 

ksinger

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 30, 2008
Messages
5,078
"and our news stations started covering each cell and giving time trajectories for each one. It was a system that could produce tornadoes with barely any warning" (they ALL produce without warning - the trick is already being hunkered down if the storm is LIKELY to produce them)

"she usually doesn't have the tv on"

"people don't get too worried when the sirens start going off"

"We have sirens here...I didn't grow up with them because they weren't instituted here until maybe the late '90's" :-o

"So if NE OK is getting an alert, so is Joplin."

Well, pretty much all the responses since my bemusement at the death toll, have confirmed what we here in Oklahoma have been thinking about it: the systems aren't in place, if they are they aren't utilized properly and in the most timely manner, and the psychology of the populace is such that those warnings frequently get ignored, and I don't see that the populace has the weather sense for storms that we MUST have - (everyone in Oklahoma is an amateur weatherman - it's required). Not a surprising thing, really. It's hard to get womped up all the time for something that happens pretty infrequently. It would be similar to trying to get ready for a meteor strike. But it also supports my assertion that most of the deaths were preventable.

Monnie - as a homeowner in the bullseye of tornado alley, I am very relieved for you! I know that worry all too well. I never got too spun up in the past over tornadoes - never have feared for my life from them because I know how to avoid them - but after I became a homeowner it became damn serious to think about having my home scraped off. Spring here is just a nailbiter the whole time.

I just read the death toll is rising again for Joplin. Just insane and so sad. This SO did not have to happen like it did.
 

Logan Sapphire

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 5, 2003
Messages
2,389
I just wanted to say that I realized I should not speak for Joplinites- I wasn't there when this happened and I don't know if they ignored the sirens or what. All I know is that my MIL sought shelter as she was instructed to do and was fortunate enough that the tornado missed her house.
 

OUpearlgirl

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 26, 2007
Messages
3,081
For Oklahoma's tornadoes on Tuesday, my boss closed our shop early. I went to the University of Oklahoma library, where there are two levels of basement. I, along with 450 other people (and some pets) sat for hours, waiting for this storm to pass. Somehow tornadoes narrowly missed us, but it was interesting to see people react that way. Usually I just go to a bathroom or closet.

The coverage kept insisting that this storm was extremely likely to produce not just tornadoes, but violent, large tornadoes-- and they were right. I think the destruction in Joplin encouraged many Oklahomans to really take this seriously.

My heart goes out to every family devastated by loss of life, property, or any damage. It is such a nightmare.
 

nfowife

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 15, 2011
Messages
544
I am from Florida, land of hurricanes. But for those, you have days and days to prepare and it usually ends up just being a big thunderstorm.

I was amazed when we moved to Northern Oklahoma a few years ago, and all the warnings in place. They can tell you what street the storm is on and when to take cover!! It is amazing!

I now live in the Oklahoma City metro area, and fortunately our house has a tornado shelter in the garage floor. Unfortunately for us, this time the door has gotten jammed on something and I couldn't get it open :errrr: . Since we knew the storms were headed here the day before, I went out the morning of to open/air out our shelter and vacuum it and stock it with stuff. That's when I discovered it wouldn't open. I called my DH who was out of town and he couldn't help so one of his friends came by on his way home from work around 3:00. Couldn't get it open. At that point i was packed and as soon as we knew it was a no-go we (me, my 6 year old, 4 year old, and 5 month old) hopped in our car and drove to a nearby friend's house. There were 4 moms and 9 kids packed into an 8 person tiny shelter. We were sweating bullets! We went in twice for 30 minutes and then about 15 minutes when the sirens went off. We all had our phones and the radio so we knew when it was okay to come out.
DH is now home and his #1 priority is to get our shelter functional again.

My heart goes out to the families in Joplin who lost their homes, the local families who lost their homes here in OK and especially the family in Piedmonth still missing their 3 year old: http://www.koco.com/news/28013746/detail.html
 

dragonfly411

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 25, 2007
Messages
7,378
I'm keeping all of you guys in my thoughts. These storms are just out of this world this year.
 

Gothgrrl

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
May 27, 2006
Messages
1,671
Also from Indiana. The sirens went off at 2 different times. Nothing was happening, seemed like a normal day. Later hubby and I were sitting in the backyard when it started to get cloudy and cool. I went in....soon after he comes in and says should go to the basement. After 10 minutes we went back up. I guess we had some severe winds, because our power was out and there was tree branches and what not all over the yard and our block. Some of our tree limbs are hanging. I wonder why they didn't sound off the siren then. I know the day they test it, so I don't get worried. But often I hear it going off. What is that about? Can some tell my that happens?

Oh and I got the NOAA radio within 1 week upon moving here,
 
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