Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Big Tornado in a little town

In 1979, an F-4 tornado ripped a path through my small Iowa town 8 football-fields-wide. I was 11. I remember the sky turning green, and watching the massive pale wedge turn black after consuming acres of farmland. I was mesmerized. My mother had to pull me in the house from the driveway, only to later peel me from the windows as I tried to keep watching. It really did sound like a train, not the train whistle, just the rhythmic roaring down the track. By the time she got me and the dog into the basement shower, the windows started buzzing. Then everything was silent. Dead silent. Then the roaring and buzzing again. When all was calm, we went outside to see the damage.

Everybody was on the sidewalks in minutes all telling each other what happened in their house. We all needed to know that what just happened really happened. Our neighbors said they looked out the window and it was right above our house!

Just then my dad pulled up in his brown Ford van. After lots of hugging, he said the tornado destroyed the entire truss building except for the small office where he worked. He saw the hail and went to put his van into the garage. When he got outside, the tornado was just a few hundred yards away and headed straight for him! He left the van and ran back into the concrete building and prayed.

Several homes were leveled in that storm, I forget now how many. There were a few who died, mostly elderly who couldn't get downstairs, or who had no basements. Many tragedies come with a storm like this.

But tornadoes do very curious and amazing things also. In our town, for example, there was a house that was picked up, an RV was set down in the basement, and the house was set right back down again almost perfectly in place. In our house, all the siding was sucked out 1/2 inch... just 1/2 inch! We had to pound every single board back in. There was a large piece of corrugated steel laying inches from our car in the driveway, yet the car had nary a sratch. There are so many stories of these oddities that don't get told outside of the locals. But for those of us who've experienced them, they are forever etched in our minds.

This storm created my fascination with tornadoes. If you share this fascination, you may already know about this website featuring some of the best tornado footage I've ever seen. If not, enjoy!
Tornado Videos, Tornado Stock Footage, Storm Stock Videos

Monday, July 9, 2007

Coming Soon:
This blog will be about my huge variety of interests. I'll post about life observations, eBay, writing, internet marketing, photography, video, YouTube, and whatever else comes to mind.