Tuesday, May 21, 2013

In our prayers

My patients in Oklahoma have been hit by tornadoes. The severe weather in the midwest is continuing for the second day.

and no, it is not due to global warming: It is normal weather in tornado alley...

the problem is that the funnels can appear before the radio announces it...we used to keep an eye on the weather channel maps (usually the local stations kept the maps in the corner of the programs) to know if we were in the danger zone, but the joke is that in small towns and rural areas, you just go outside and look for funnels, while you get the kids in the shelter.

Our house was brick, but not good enough for a larger tornado: the public shelter was downtown three blocks away, and the ground water meant we didn't have a basement, but Lolo was slow, so the neighbors left us hide in theirs, along with six kids, three women, two dogs and a cat, while I stood out at the entrance with the three husbands. Quite scary, sinceit was hailing and raining and we couldn't even see across the street.

all of a sudden, in the hail storm the sky/air turned green, and we heard a noise, and closed the door; a minute later the hail had stopped and it was only lightly raining. The smallish tornado hit half a mile up the street, luckily missing the high school and the hospital. But the very huge tornadoes are too large to "see": they can be half a mile wide.

Ironically the only tornado I ever "saw" was while with the National Guard in North Dakota, where we watched one form, and we busy taking photos when the local NG chased us into the shelter. Why weren't we in the shelter? Because no one told us where it was, so we figured to stay in the clinic's inner corrider....No, that one didn't touch ground.

The ground water problem keeps a lot of folks from having a basement, so the shelter is a concrete box in the ground. If you are rich, you can build a "safe room", but the average safe room costs more than what I paid for my home...

last night, I was keeping an eye on the reports on FreeRepublic, who has "real time" reports from the right wing freepers.

The folks in Oklahoma, Texas and Kansas and the other states hit by the supercells are in our prayers, especially the families of the schoolkids killed or injured in Moore OK...

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