Its been bad in this part of the country. There have been 88 tornadoes this year alone in the US. In Missouri and Kansas last week 39 people were lost to storms.
The tornado that hit in OKC last night registered a Force 3 officially. The one in 1999 that hit the same town went off the scale, beyond Force 5. The National Weather Service is debating on a new designation of Force 6 for that storm.
SCALE WIND ESTIMATE MPH TYPICAL DAMAGE
F0 less than 73; mph Light damage. Some damage to chimneys; branches broken off trees; shallow-rooted trees pushed over; sign boards damaged.
F1 73-112 mph; Moderate damage. Peels surface off roofs; mobile homes pushed off foundations or overturned; moving autos blown off roads.
F2 113-157 mph; Considerable damage. Roofs torn off frame houses; mobile homes demolished; boxcars overturned; large trees snapped or uprooted; light-object missiles generated; cars lifted off ground.
F3 158-206 mph; Severe damage. Roofs and some walls torn off well-constructed houses; trains overturned; most trees in forest uprooted; heavy cars lifted off the ground and thrown.
F4 207-260 mph; Devastating damage. Well-constructed houses leveled; structures with weak foundations blown away some distance; cars thrown and large missiles generated.
F5 261-318 mph; Incredible damage. Strong frame houses leveled off foundations and swept away; automobile-sized missiles fly through the air in excess of 100 meters (109 yds); trees debarked; incredible phenomena will occur.
The storm in 99 was believed to have produced wind speeds in excess of 500 mph. The one that hit Tulsa in 93 sucked all the grass off the side of I-244 and after destroying Bruce's Truck Stop even sucked up huge sections of the building's slab out of the ground. Those pieces are still out there by the new truck stop.
Hey KC. Tulsa's a nice town. I was living about 1 mile north of the path of the May 3rd tornado. I was living on the south side of town then when I was in the military. I drove right past that GM plant every day on the way to work as the base surrounds that plant on the north and east sides.
KC, yeah just south of us there was just piles of splintered wood close to where houses used to be and the amazing thing was the vehicles. It is absolutely awe inspiring what that tornado did to cars and trucks. Big full size trucks and SUV's just twisted and crushed in unimaginable ways. Frightning as hell to see what that May 3rd (1999) tornado was capable of doing. Luckly this tornado was much, much more narrow in footprint and, although still strong, not near as powerful as that big one.
I think the most astonishing thing about tornadoes is the way people move on afterwards. Sure, the power to run 2x4s through cement walls and hay stalks through telephone poles is amazing, but the way people pick up and keep going is so much more. I don't think I could do that in the same situation. Mad props to those who have rebuilt their lives over and over again.
I'm from Norman (down here for school), and it was definately a scare to hear about another tornado retracing the path of the May 3rd F5 from a few years ago. My dad was caught in the one last night, which made things even scarier.
As far as the GM plant goes, it's a damn shame. I hate GMs like the next warm blooded human being, but that plant provides a LOT of jobs in the OKC area, and I suspect production there will slow down or stop until they can get things fixed up. A slowdown in a job/money producing industry is NOT something the ailing OK economy needs right now.
my parents live in Edmond.
The tornado passed within a mile of where my mother works and pretty much right through where I spend my time when I'm there. If i'd gotten out of school a week earlier...(shudder)
Edgecat I completely agree...the OK economy is in the crapper already...