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  1. #1
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    January 17th, 2005
    I wanted to post last night about this, but I'm glad I waited. Last night, the washington dc metro area had a series of tornados come through...The city of La Plata in Southern MD was the 'epicenter' of the damage.

    I was able to fly over the air today, and was amazed by the damage. A friend was on the ground today, and took some awesome photos. I will try to get them up on our site in soon.

    What amazes me is some of these pictures show entire houses destroyed, but a wall would be remaining, or furniture intact, exactly the way it was. I'm looking at a picture of a single wall standing, and on that wall is a collection of coffee mugs hanging from little hooks...entire house is destroyed except for this wall off coffee mugs...I see a spot where it looks like only 2 mugs from the collection are missing.

    Another picture shows a the remnants of a walls or's a foundation with the fridge, oven, wooden cabinet with a microwave...and a kitchen table (all chairs are still sitting at the table). The homeowner says that it is the way the furniture was when they went into the basement...everything is in place sitting just on the foundation.

    There is a story of an elderly couple that went into a closet...they heard lots of noise and felt the house shaking...when they came out of the closet, it was the only part of the house standing...nothing else... Maryland has never had an f5 tornado...something like only 2 f4's ever recorded...One of those killed 16 children n La Plata in's just unreal...

    I'm only 28, and when I was a child, tornados here were unheard time went on, we started seeing small ones...take a few shingles off the roof or break some limbs.

    This past september, 2 sisters were killed when their car was hurdled over a 4 story dorm building in College Park, MD.

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador
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    January 17th, 2005

    My mom's house was taken out in the big 1999 tornado that was at least an f5 and maybe more powerful. Nature is quite interesting in how she works. While searching through the rubble we found mail from 10 miles away that was sucked up from the immense inflow of the storm. Every cabinet door in a couple of rooms that were left standing had been opened and debris thrown in. However, not one glass was disturbed. The damage was incredible. It looked like a war zone but the most fascinating thing that I saw was that every light bulb in a lamp or fixture was intact.

    Here in Oklahoma though we have a great warning system as most of the storm research is done here and all of the cool new weather toys are doled out to the TV stations and they can predict the storms faster than the National Weather Service. Thankfully, only a few lost their lives. Most of those deaths occured from people under overpasses who didnt heed the warnings until it was too late. That particular day we had over an hours warning that it was coming and to get moving.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    January 17th, 2005
    Tornadoes would be marvels of possibility if they weren't so deadly.

    In my area we have only had about four tornadoes in my life. The last one was about eight years ago.

    It was very strange. A little sprinkling of rain, no warnings or watches on the news, then suddenly everything turned green. The wind went from about 10 miles per hour to God only knows, the pine trees in my front yard bent just above the ground and the top twenty feet laid flat on the ground. The funnel went right down the highway into town.

    No time to even think or take cover. Hit the floor when the windows broke. The thing went into town toppled trees, caused minor damage and then destroyed half of the elementary school (it was summer and unoccupied).

    All that and no other major damage, no injuries. One tree picked up and thrown about, the next untouched; one house damaged, the next not. Almost unbelievable.

    I'm embarrased to admit that up to that point I had always wanted to see one. The others had been when I was a little kid. Uh, never again if I have anything to say about it, which I don't.

    My prayers go out to anyone who has suffered from this type of catastrophe.

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador
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    January 17th, 2005
    We will be going up in the plane to today to get some photos from the air...something to see to beleive. Dr. Evil, when you mention, OK, you almost expect it happen, and I gather it's almost a way of life. In my previous post, I mentioned they were a very rare thing when I was a kid....we are now getting several a year, and they are getting dangerous. Like Planet Exodus, I always thought it would be 'neat' to see one...I think I would rather watch it in my traffic cameras when I'm working (which is what we did on Sunday).

  5. #5
    ABW Adviser Panel Dynamoo's Avatar
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    January 18th, 2005
    Opposite the Slough of Despond
    Wow.. take care you guys. I've seen about the twisters on the BBC News.. terrifying stuff.

    In the UK we sometimes (rarely) get "mini tornadoes" which are pathetic compares with a proper one.

    Weather like that makes the constant drizzle seem bearable!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    January 17th, 2005
    In the UK we sometimes get a bad storm. I think weather patterns are changing a little.

    Two months ago there was a brief storm, but it was stronger than the local authority had planned for. The trees on my street swayed so much the paving stones came up a little and as I was looking at the nearest tree and plotting its trajectory to my living room there was this tremendous bang across the road. An 8ft wall had collapsed onto the street.

    I ran out and met my neighbor whose garden wall it was and we started piling all the bricks up until we had a big enough pile to see there was no-one underneath the wall.

    I had a look at the cement theoretically holding it together. It was substandard and flaky - too much sand in the mix. Then we collected his garden shed from where it had flown, and put it out of the wind.

    I called the council, who had built the wall fifteen years ago and asked them to send out a surveyor to look at their other walls on Courtauld Rd. Then I phoned again. Then I phoned a third time and said if they didn't get someone out here *today* my next call would be to the local newspaper.

    That worked. Kind of. A man from Islington council came round and there was this massive argument and he started having a go at my neighbor for illicitly demolishing the wall!

    Dunno what to do now. There are other dodgy walls still standing with even less structural support than the collapsed one, and children go right past them coming home from school. Its only a matter of time before some get killed and Islington council will then claim to know nuffin' about nuffin'.


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