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Raven Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 11:49 AM
Original message
Wild weather stories...come on let's hear them!
I've lived through numerous hurricanes, one tornado, one bad flood and the Blizzard of '78. What's your worst weather story. :-)
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curse10 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 11:57 AM
Response to Original message
1. One hurricane, numerous tornados, and several blizzards
We were out of school for a week with a blizzard in 84. The snow was taller than my dad! (He's 5'11"). No power. Had to use the coleman camping stove to cook. My brothers and I all crawled in to one sleeping bag because the heater wasn't working. During the day we built blanket and pillow tents and hung glo-worms (does anyone else remember those?) for lighting. :-)
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Don_G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 11:59 AM
Response to Original message
2. I Came Within Half-A-Mile Of A Tornado Once
And have escaped being hit by lightning by 50 to 100 yards six times.
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Raven Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 12:02 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. God! Remind me not to stand next to you!
:-)
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Don_G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 12:14 PM
Response to Reply #3
7. Well, Not In A Thunderstorm Anyway
:)
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Raven Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 12:24 PM
Response to Reply #7
10. But seriously, Don
you hear stories of people who have been hit by lightening multiple times...what do you think causes your close calls?
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Don_G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 12:43 PM
Response to Reply #10
15. Since There Hasn't Been Much Scientific Research
Bad luck and a job that keeps them working outside in all kinds of weather. I used to be a Telephone Installer/Repairman for example and several times I was 35' up a telephone pole.

Never did fall off, but I jumped off on those occassions...got treed by a friendly Beagle too.
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MuseRider Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 12:55 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. I took care of one
of those guys! He was way up a pole and got a blast of lightning. Blasted his boots off and there were holes in the bottom of his feet where the lightning passed. He was in the ICU for a couple of hours then he died. Man, he took quite a hit. Be careful.
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efhmc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 12:07 PM
Response to Original message
4. I was going to say that I am from Texas so don't get me started but I've
Edited on Sun Sep-14-03 12:10 PM by efhmc
never done the blizzard thing (never lived that far north) so I guess you win. Did want to add that during Alicia in Houston, my husband and I went outside to secure a tree and I began to feel the wind lift up my feet and decided it was time I was inside. Kind of fun really but my daughters looking out the window made me feel guilty.
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Raven Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 12:14 PM
Response to Reply #4
8. I think the east coast gets a little bit of everything
and for some sick reason, that's why some of us like living here!
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corarose Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 12:12 PM
Response to Original message
5. The Blizzard in Chicago on my way home from work
Edited on Sun Sep-14-03 12:31 PM by corarose
It was the early 1979 and I was a teenager. I worked as a part time bank teller and the blizzard hit when I was at work.
I worked in Skokie and I lived in Chicago right off of Irving & Pulaki and when I got off of the expressway the snow was so deep that I got stuck on Karlov or Keystone I can't remember the name of the street but we lived on Kedvale and it was one street west of my block.
I was stuck right in the middle of the road in my Red 1976 AMC Pacer.
A man came by and he told me If I paid him $25.00 dollars he would shovel me out all of the way home and he had a regular shovel. He got in front of my car and he shoveled the snow out in front of my car for two blocks all the way into our parking spot in the back of our condo.
$25.00 dollars was allot of cash back then but I paid it so that I could get my car home and I didn't have to walk in heels which would have been impossible because we had snow up to your waist.
My Mom was so worried about her BABY getting home that she was looking out the window and she couldn't believe her eyes when she saw a guy single handily shoveling in front of my car. She laughed at the scene because it was funny.
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DrBB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 12:14 PM
Response to Original message
6. Force 4 or 5 tornado went right over my house
I was about ten, on Lake Minnetonka in Minnesota (outside Minneapolis). For years I thought it was two tornadoes because it was big enough that one wall went over us, the sound died down, and then the other wall went over. It basically hit the lake bank in front of our house and "hopped," landing in a housing development behind us, leaving us unscathed, though I think twelve people in all died that night.

Here's what I recall:

Watching Johnny Quest while the light outside went all greenish yellow and strange. My older brother and sister outside, picking up the big hailstones that were falling. It was about 3:30 in the afternoon, maybe later, but my dad was still at work. My mom came running around--somehow she'd heard tornadoes were on the ground and we had to go to the basement. So down we went. After a while, my mom sent my older brother up to get blankets; he later described to me what he saw through the three big picture windows overlooking the lake. Across the lake, about 2.5 miles away, it looked like the whole end of the cloud had come down onto the ground. A huge black wall, and houses and trees disappeared into it, then came flying out in pieces.

The lightning was continuous, strikes coming down within yards of our house, yet the noise that came swallowed up the thunder so you couldn't hear anything but that roar. The house itself I suppose you'd call a mansion--big H-shaped thing (we were very well off at the time), of brick and stucco with foundation walls about three fit thick. It was vibrating, like paper in the wind. My little brother and sister were toddlers at the time. My mother was holding them both in her arms and I remember looking up and seeing her as the lights went out. She was screaming the Lord's Prayer at the top of her lungs and when the noise came it swallowed her words too--just her mouth moving, the roar, continuous lightning, the horrible vibration and the lights going out. Then it faded, only to start again what seemed like minutes later.

It's only in adult life that I realized how utterly terrified my mom was.

At ten, I thought it was the coolest thing that had ever happened to me.

After it passed, we waited, and when it seemed like we were going to be okay my mom sent my older sister and me up to listen to the car radio and see if there was any news. We listened to a farmer calling in to report the tornado that was heading toward his house. I can still hear his dry, unimpressed voice calmly saying "Now it's coming across the field. Now it's heading for the barn. Barn's gone. Now it's heading this way. Looks like it's coming right up the drive...." and all the while the announcer saying "That's fine, you'd better hang up now, better go to your basment, guy, come on now...."

The next morning, our yard was covered with household refuse, and the lake--Lake Minnetonka is a big lake, several miles across in the bay we lived on--you couldn't see any water. It was completely covered with household junk--clothes, wood siding, furniture, you name it--with this snakey s-shaped trail where these guys in a boat were putting along, picking up stuff and looking at it. We found a checkbook on our front lawn that belonged to a friend of my parents across the lake. We were able to return it to him.

We came out of it unhurt and largely undamaged, except for the boat platform in front of our house, which had been yanked out and tossed a quarter mile or so down the lakefront. It was fixed in the bottom with six big concrete pilings sunk six feet deep into the bottom. The tornado had not pulled the deck off of the pilings as you might expect. It had sucked those pilings right out of the ground and tossed the whole thing down the beach like a piece of kleenex.
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Raven Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 12:21 PM
Response to Reply #6
9. What a story!
Your describtion of your mother and the noise gives me the chills. I remember the noise...like nothing I ever heard, before or since.
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DrBB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 12:35 PM
Response to Reply #9
14. Help Me Rhonda
The next day our school was open, but because we were in the disaster zone we didn't have to go. We drove over to my grandmother's house in Crystal Bay to make sure she was okay--a couple of houses had been demolished over there. The Beach Boys' "Help Me Rhonda" was the big song that summer, and it was on KDWB as we drove. I always have the strongest association between that song and this experience. Funny how memories glom on to a piece of music--part of what music is for, I suspect.

The problem with saying "it sounded like a freight train" is not that it's inaccurate--it did sound a lot like that, if you posit that the freight train in question is going about 120 mph right over your head as you lie between the tracks. But because that's what everyone always says (or a jetplane taking off), it doesn't really convey the experience. Actually what impressed me the most even at the time was not the sound, which was stupendous, but that vibration. This was a big house, and we were deep down in a very substantial foundation, and it was just shuddering.

I've experienced blizzards (lots) and hurricanes (two or three), but this one is still tops. I always wished I'd been the one sent up to get the blankets so I could have seen the thing. And like I say, it was only a couple of years ago, watching a tornado program on Discovery (I'm addicted to 'em!) and hearing someone describe a force 5 tornado that I realized it hadn't been two separate twisters going over us that night; just one that was so big the walls were about a mile apart, so there was a noticeable calm in the 'eye' before the second one came over.
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LanternWaste Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 12:25 PM
Response to Original message
11. The Texas heat wave of 1980
The Texas heat wave of 1980. 21 days of temperatures posted over 110. And it was my first year in the high school marching band and the morning summer practices were...well, horrible. At least the girls got sweaty, so I guess it had it's advantages...lol
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Raven Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 12:29 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. I hadn't thought of a heat wave as a wild weather story but
it certainly is...and a deadly one. I can't believe you had band practice! :eyes:
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BrotherBuzz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 12:29 PM
Response to Original message
13. Well, how about the one I missed.
I was visiting Albuquerque, N.M. (01 Jan. 82) and watching national news covering the floods in my home county of Marin, Calif.. Very uncomfortable feeling when they showed helicopter footage of the industrial area of San Rafael under water. Clearly visable was my cabinet shop under three feet of water and I was powerless to do anything at the moment. Just an empty void of emotions. Theft, fire insurance - sure. Flood insurance? Nah! 1982 was not a pleasant year for me and I still want to blame Reagan for it 'cause so many people said he was God.
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MuseRider Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 01:05 PM
Response to Original message
17. Well, being from Kansas
I have some tornado stories. I was in Junior HIgh when the 1966 F5 tornado hit Topeka. I stood outside and watched it, and about 13 other smaller tornados. Was quite a storm and made Bill Curtis into a national star. It was at that time the most massive ever recorded but I think there have been one or two since then that have beaten the record, probably Norman OK.

The strangest thing was about 10 years ago we were sitting on the deck on a very nice summer day. The sky was clear. All of a sudden we heard this roaring noise, not too loud. We noticed our tree about 10 feet away start to sway and blow around then all of a sudden the wind came up, very powerful. Branches from trees broke off and spiraled up into the sky. We took the kids inside and watched it go for about 3 miles (we live on a hill). Large dirt clods from construction sites would just lift off the ground and skyrocket in spirals hundreds of feet into the sky. It was really cool. I went upstairs and everything in the kids two rooms had blown out of the rooms and across the hall. I forget what this is called but it was certainly strange.
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WannaJumpMyScooter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 08:21 PM
Response to Original message
18. The sea is full of weird weather, and so am I
Once while patrolling a sailing regatta in NY harbor, the entire western sky over NJ just turned black. I turned on my radar real fast and took a fix.
Before I was done, we were in FOG... I mean fog that you could not see the rail from the control station in a 41' boat.
Then the wind hit.
The radio was full of maydays.
Several of the racing sailboats were capsized or dismasted. They could not get their sails down fast enough. There were people in the water all over the place, small boats were capsized right and left.
And we had to respond slowly, looking out for hazards ourselves.
In less than half an hour, it was clear again.
Bizzare.

Lost the roof of my house in 58 in Kansas City, when I was a kid. That was a mess.

Got caught in a freak snowstorm on Mt. Washington, NH on Labor Day weekend 83... I had the right gear and just spent a cold night. Two died that night on the other side of the ridge.

Blizzards... yeah, but I don't worry about them too much. Hurricanes, way overrated as destructive forces, unless you are rich and have a beach house.
Earthquakes... not really weather, but lived in CA in 64 and saw the earth move like waves on the ocean.
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