Deadly tornadoes hit the heartland yesterday and last night in Kansas, Missouri, and Minnesota. This morning, there are reports of at least 89 people dead in Joplin, Missouri, and one fatality in Minneapolis. A 53-year old man was killed in Reading, Kansas. KMBC.com has a report and video of the damage caused by the Kansas tornado.
Here’s a YouTube video of the Joplin tornado from a storm chaser. You can detect the fear in his voice as he reports. He’s pretty brave to be out there in the first place. Brave or crazy.
Following so closely on the heels of the April 27 tornado outbreak that left so much death and devastation in its wake, particularly in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and Smithville, Mississippi, it seems likely that we’ve entered an era of strong tornadoes and lots of them. I’ve got a video of the Tuscaloosa tornado for you that certainly speaks to the shock and awe that a major tornado can cause.
A couple of things struck me while watching the Tuscaloosa video below. The tornado moves ever so slowly, and what almost looks like “tentacles” flare off of the tornado wedge itself. Also, it struck me that there are people down there on the ground, beneath that horrific storm. One can only imagine what they were experiencing.
Something else that I found interesting was that cars and trucks seemed to be going in both directions with what seemed like little regard for the tornado. You’ll see one driver of a small car tap his brakes, as if to get a better look, and then finally, finally, an 18-wheeler stops to size up the situation. Then a car driver stops and actually gets out to look at the storm. I’m not sure what I would do in this situation. Drive away as fast as possible? Try to get somewhere, anywhere, to get to safety. I know I’d be doing a lot of praying, no matter what.
When we lived in Memphis, a very small twister went between our house and the house next-door to ours. We weren’t home at the time, but a neighbor came out when we got home and told us what happened and how frightened she had been. There was a small amount of damage to the trees and shrubs around, but nothing compared to what a larger twister can do. We were lucky. There have been deadly tornadoes in Memphis and the surrounding areas. Some of those deadly tornadoes were not far from our house at the time. Seeing the damage tends to give one a healthy respect for the power of major storms.