Major Tornado in Oklahoma City

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On 5/21/2013 11:31 AM, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

It was a little over 20 years ago that I saw my first and only tornado here in Delaware. My son was driving on the road with me and we looked to see a scene out of the Wizard of Oz taking place only a few hundred yards from us of a tornado taking out a school gym.
Son asked what to do and I said, "Floor it." Tornado was coming at us but we avoided it. Besides the school gym, only a mile from where I live, there were 6 houses made uninhabitable. Fortunately no one was hurt. Tornado was pretty narrow in that houses damaged that I saw were not even next to each other.
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I have yet to see anyone in the media talking about what could have been done to prevent at least some of the loss of life. Within hours of the Newtown CT school shooting, all the pumdits, politicians, etc were calling for more gun regulations, without any evidence that what they were proposing would have made a difference.
In the cases of tornados and schools, I don't think any have true tornado shelters. I think most just rely on some sections of the building being built stronger than the rest? But, how smart is that in an area that is prone to frequent tornadoes? They apparently had plenty of warning, but not true shelter to go to.
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On 5/21/2013 1:24 PM, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

They would need an actual shelter. I understand that there is no construction that could hold up to a 200 mph wind. I'd probably get in my basement and stand under house's steel beam.
You see these tornadoes on TV and think you could out run them, which you can but in real life, during a storm they might get right on you. We had a near tornado a couple of years ago. I looked out to dark sky and saw a flutter of strange leaves coming in. The turbulence came near the ground about a mile from here and brought down several trees in a development. One house with two Cadillacs in garage was completely destroyed. People were OK but Cadillacs destroyed. No one knew what was coming. They did not call it a tornado because funnel did not hit the ground but wind damage was bad.
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On 5/21/2013 12:11 PM, Frank wrote:

I am surprised schools do not have a safe shelter. Probably will be a lot more common in the future. They could also be a community shelter. A school at least half-way north in MN was recently destroyed by a strong tornado. The rebuilt school has a FEMA rated shelter.

You can build to protect from any wind speed you want. FEMA has provided subsidies for shelter rooms good for 250 mph wind. A lot of shelter rooms have been built. Some people whose houses were destroyed rode out the tornado in shelter rooms. Some included neighbors. That must be one reason the death toll was so low.

Low down in a corner would likely be safer. NWS recommends under workbenches. There are few, if any, basements in Moore. Reports said only 31% of US houses have basements. If there is no basement, shelter rooms can be built on the first floor and aren't that expensive for a new house. Small rooms underground are also built.

You want to drive at right angles to the path. With 15-40 minutes advance warning, and knowing the approximate path, driving out is practical and in this case safer than staying. One person drove home from work, picked up the family, and drove away. The tornado wound up a few blocks away from his house. He was an emergency responder, drove home, and walked to one of the destroyed schools.
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On 5/22/2013 9:56 AM, bud-- wrote: ...

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They do now; drove thru OKC yesterday on way back home from TN and listened to much local radio coverage on way thru...they said that particular school was built in 70s and was typical of the time which would be just light industrial-type construction of block walls w/ welded roof trusses.

TA&M has done a bunch of work on safe room construction and has quite a bit of online footage of test projectile shots, etc., ... We did some support work at ORNL for the defense facilities at the DOE plants in Oak Ridge while there to protect nuclear processing facilities there. Many of the production buildings there are still from Manhattan project days or the Cold War buildup in the 50s and were, of course, built either as "temporary" structures in the beginning or to simply meet the present need in the 50s. So, 60-70 yr later they're still hollow clay tile infill walls between columns on as much as 20-ft spacing and 20 to 60 ft tall. Needless to say, they wouldn't take much--fortunately likelihood of large tornadoes there is very low altho there were several small ones within a couple of miles of the facilities during our 25 years there so like almost everywhere in the US they're not unknown...
Anyway, as noted elsewhere it's possible to do quite a lot w/ only a relatively small amount of effort--it's just that a tuabafor wall w/ some sheathing and a layer of sheetrock is essentially invisible to a missile approaching at 100+ mph w/ a small cross section in the forward direction (another tubafor, iow).

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In the basement, that's probably better agreed, altho against the approaching-direction wall under a solid beam would be pretty good _if_ the beam support is secure. If it's on a block wall that's above grade maybe "not so much". One of the big problems in conventional basements for storm cellars is they're not designed for egress in the aftermath.
Don't know about Moore, specifically, how it was generally developed. If much of it was tract housing wouldn't be surprising as they were generally built as slab for low initial cost. In local town in SW KS generally homes are and have been built w/ basements precisely for that reason since very early on--the farmhouse we're in was built by g-father and started in 1915 within the year after homesteaded the home place and they lived in the basement after it was roofed over while finishing the rest. Some tract houses built in the late 50s thru early 70s in town were built on slabs, however, owing to them being built during the early gas expansion phase when quick 'n cheap was more important than other considerations.
Generally, in conventional housing basements are better if below grade and not just half-depth so still can collapse a block wall, say on top of you. In an EF5 like Moore, above ground w/ conventional construction there's a pretty good chance it'll just level it to the main floor. That's what happened in Greensburg, KS, a few years ago, and what appeared in what footage I've seen to be the case in quite a few cases in Moore.
There are a fair number of just storm cellars on some of those. All the schools have been at least modified to have solid walls added as infill where were initially just block walls and roofs over those areas also strengthened.
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On 5/22/2013 9:35 AM, dpb wrote:

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Also, don't know OTOMH what water table levels are in the area...some areas in central KS have fairly high levels during wet weather so that's a reason, too...
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That's certainly not unique to the area. The population density of basements more closely relates to frost line and terrain - if you've got to dig a hole anyway, might just as well make it a basement.
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On 5/22/2013 1:33 PM, snipped-for-privacy@attt.bizz wrote:

Maybe, but certainly don't think that's a real generalization solid generalization. Where we were in VA that it was such a pita to deal w/ the water problems w/ basements was probably the #2 reason; the most common was the excavation cost of there being so much rock in so many places it was simply cost-prohibitive. OTOH, in TN it was pretty common in current construction even though a lot of limestone 'cuz it was pretty easy digging even that deep despite it and water generally wasn't an issue.
OTOH, in much of FL and in TX where grandparents are it's all water-table--it's only a few feet at most to standing water in dry weather and when it's wet need rocks to hold it in the ground to keep from floating it away... :)
Had a rental house in VA (Lynchburg, actually) that was full basement on level lot. When it got wet in rainy season, water came thru the slab floor in every minute crack and one could hear the floor flex from the pressure. I was right young pup back then and having grown up in dry country and not ever experienced such a phenomenon plugged and caulked all the places after one episode w/ wet-setting patching. The next time it rained for a week it did actually crack the slab in new places as well as reopening some of the existing simply from the static head of water higher than the floor level all around the house. Pretty amazing it was... :)
In the end, I think a big thing is whether it just becomes more-or-less standard practice in an area and whether that happens is generally related to all the above factors and what's gone before in the area...
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wrote:

I heard on the news that for one school they paid over $1 million for the shelter. This week the budget would pass, last week, probably not.
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On 5/22/2013 12:40 PM, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

My observation in some of the ones done in KS is that they've made whole large sections into shelters at such price tags when a smaller area of adequate size for the population of the school could have been done for much less.
Sometimes, however, they do have a dual purpose of serving as shelter for surrounding neighborhoods as well, not just the school itself. A lot depends on the individual locality situation, obviously.
And, of course, the point about what will/won't pass a bond issue vote is very dependent on the timing wrt to such events altho Moore and the OKC area particularly has had such a history one would think it would be a pretty easy sell.
Greensburg, KS, was wiped out almost entirely May 4, 2007. It was estimated at 1.7 mi in width while the town was barely 2 and it made almost a bullseye hit. Only a little towards the easternmost end of town was relatively unscathed. It's track length was also in the 22-23 mi range, very similar to Moore. Interestingly, it was the first EF5 after the enhanced Fujita scale was introduced and the first of the F5 classification since the May 3, 1999, in Moore.
I drove up to Greensburg early that next morning (it's only about 100 mi) and came up a county road from the south that wasn't yet roadblocked and got into town and spent most of the day helping folks gather up enough personal belongings out of the rubble to get them through a few days. Somewhat like this outbreak in OK this past weekend, it also followed up there w/ a lot of rain the next several days to make things more of a pita for early cleanup efforts.
A fine older gentleman from our local church was injured severely in it in his daughter's home when a beam fell and hit him and he unfortunately didn't make it, passing away in hospital in Dodge a week or so later.
And, on the other end, out here in the western quarter of the state we're just drying up and blowin' away in sustained D4 drought classified as "Exceptional" and the most severe category they keep. We've not had a good t-storm and real relief since spring of 2011--just a few spotty showers here and there. All had here over the weekend was just enough sprinkles could see fresh tracks in the driveway when we got back home last night.
But, it rained on us every day we were gone from E OK, AR, TN, going and then at least some every day in TN and drove in heavy rain from Forrest, AR until almost Shawnee, OK, yesterday before finally cleared it. The initial front went thru Forrest about midnight w/ pretty good t-storm but nothing severe and then the second wave hit there just as we were getting on the road yesterday morning. Dodged cells and heavy downpours to steady rain all the way except for a twenty minute stretch just before Little Rock. Kept wishing (and still do) that could drag it home w/ us...
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The newer schools have storm shelters. OK is in the process of adding shelters to the older schools, like the one that was flattened. These things don't happen overnight.
One woman was just saying that she'd built a storm cellar in her garage floor within the last year. She said that she was going to rebuild and that the shelter was going to be the centerpiece of her new house.
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It's rare that we get them, but we've even had tornados as far north as Winnipeg. One tornado in 2007 was classified an F5 because it tore two large houses off their foundations and threw them around.
That one was in the town of Elie (pronounced "ee lie") which is west of Winnipeg.
'2007 Elie, Manitoba tornado - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia' (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elie,_Manitoba_tornado)
A few years ago there was a tornado in a campground in Alberta that killed some campers.
When I was a kid, we had a super strong wind here one day which I don't know if it was actually a tornado or not. The only reason I remember it was because I remember our teacher telling us that if we find ourselves in a wind like that again, the best thing to do was to try and find a ditch to lay in so that we were protected by the ground on each side of us.
--
nestork


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Folks were heating with wood and coal back then. Lots of carbon dioxide into the air. . Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org . .
The worst tornado in the US was back in 1925. Killed 695. Did global warming cause that too?
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On 5/21/2013 9:07 AM, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Retroactively ;)
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I wonder. Is the Obama economic depression due to global warming? . Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org . .
The global warming alarmists blame everything on global warming. All the storms like this have happened in the past. Build in a hundred year flood plain like on the Jersey shore or in a tornado alley, eventually the statistics will catch up with you.
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On Tue, 21 May 2013 12:24:17 -0400, "Stormin Mormon"

Yes.
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Global warming, and it's more recent renames of "Climate Change" and "Climate Disruption" is a dead horse that only fools continue to flog.
<http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/052013-656858-science-news-undermines-climate-change-claims.htm Five Reasons The Global Warming Scare Is Fading
Climate Hysteria: The unraveling of the global warming scare continues thanks to several recent important pieces of science news. The alarmists who have hyped fear for decades should be ashamed of themselves.
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