You might also like

Monday, April 16, 2018

I live in a mini tornado alley



I didn’t make that up; I do live in a mini tornado alley. More often than an actual tornado is the warning that conditions are favorable for a tornado to form. If one does form, the population has been alerted to take precautions, to get to a place of shelter.

Folks who live in mobile homes are advised to seek alternate shelter. Yeah, right! Actually, I do have an alternate, the old house. Kay knows I will come right through the basement garage door, probably with one neighbor.

The all night rain Saturday, that was a quarter inch in the rain gauge in yesterday’s blog, never quit. It rained harder and harder. It got colder and colder. The wind blew, fiercely. Sometimes we could hear the rain had become pellets of sleet, sometimes it was just rain.


Laura and I went nowhere, except to poke our noses out for a minute and gauge the depth of the bitterness. She did laundry, I cleaned the kitchen. We read. She watched television. Simultaneously, we jumped from our chairs to the sound of the tornado warning.

I went to the door and tested it against the wind. Howling wind. I dared not open the screen door. I called my neighbor. “Tornado warning, and I’m not leaving. You get in your master closet in the bedroom!”

“I thought we should get in the bathtub!”

“No, no Cathy. The bathtubs are on outside walls, and beside, they’re very light weight. Get in your closet!”


“I’m going to text Dan, where should we hide.”

Dan is the maintenance man. He doesn’t live here.

A minute later, a text in the depth of our master closet. “Dan says hide wherever we want. I’m in the closet.  What are those sirens?”

The tornado sirens are mounted about a mile north. They were loud. The all clear came twenty minutes later. Laura and I had been watching the progression of the front on our phones. I’m going to find a local radar program for my tablet. Street by street radar!

This will be our third summer here. There was a “take cover” warning the first summer, and none last year, as I recall. This year I need to be more serious and learn some things. On the internet I find there are two wind zones, areas that suffer hurricanes and all other. That’s no comfort.

Mobile homes must be stabilized and fastened to the ground according to the wind zone and type of manufacture. I see that all mobile homes must meet hurricane standards. That’s good.  I also find to be sure we are tied down safely, I should contact my local building inspector for an inspection. I jotted the phone number on my desk pad, and that will happen soon.


Three and three quarter inches of rain, yesterday and overnight.



27 comments:

  1. Hari OM
    .... yikes.... options for digging down??? YAM xx

    ReplyDelete
  2. We don't have as many tornadoes as you do, Joanne, but we had at least two warnings last year where my husband, myself and the cats went to hide in the basement. I am always so frightened. You are right to put together a plan and get advice on how you and Laura can be as safe as possible.

    ReplyDelete
  3. anchored or not, I'm pretty sure that manufactured home would rise right up. should we start calling you Dorothy?

    ReplyDelete
  4. I hope that’s the last of the tornado warnings for this year, Joanne. Though the way this year is going weatherwise...

    ReplyDelete
  5. Our siren is less than a mile south of our house. Nearly every Spring, it goes off several times. Sounds like it is in our back yard. Tornadoes are frequent here in "Tornado Alley". No kind of house is safe when a tornado comes through, I have read of people being killed in their bathtub by falling debris. A few lucky people have their own shelters, My opinion does not count, but wouldn't it be nice if all public schools had basements that could provide shelter? Yes, we have clay soil that makes basements not practical for homes here, but the malls
    and huge skyscrapers certainly have basements!

    I am glad you made it through the storm. And all that rain! Now it's time you had some sun!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I would be frantic facing a possible tornado. The most we ever get is the odd hurricane. Those are scary enough. I lived my teenage years in a mobile home, and wind was a scary thing there. Nothing was tied down; it just sat on posts. We no longer own that place but it's still standing - on the posts - 45 years later.

    ReplyDelete
  7. That's far too exciting. Tornadoes, cyclones and hurricanes are supposed to happen to other people a long way away, not to us.
    I'd certainly have the building inspector check it all out as soon as possible.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I was not happy to learn there was no basement when we moved here. Back in MN we had a nice basement and after all the kids left we turned one room into a second master bedroom. If there was anything iffy about the weather, we could just sleep there. I miss that! Be safe!!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I thought people were supposed to go down to the basement? Assuming they have one, of course.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I would have gone to the basement, I always thought that what they were for but we don't have basements here, then we don't have tomadoes here lately we are lucky to have rain.
    Merle.........

    ReplyDelete
  11. Glad you're safe and sound.We've got high winds here as I write,but nothing like that

    ReplyDelete
  12. Tornadoes are scary stuff. We lived through many a hurricane in New Orleans, but tornadoes are a whole different ball game. We get watches and warnings a lot here, but except for the ones that came through Garland and Rowlett the day after Christmas 2015, we've been lucky. You and Laura really need to go to your friend's basement - if there's time. If not, go to whatever enclosed space is in the center of your house
    - closet or bathroom!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Glad to hear you're taking steps to keep yourself safe.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Glad you're ok, tornadoes are scary indeed, even though mobile homes are strapped down I think the wind can get under them and lift them up; if you have time a basement is safer. I saw an experiment on TV and plywood reinforced rooms are safest; so if you want to reinforce one of your closets with plywood it would be stronger for future possible tornadoes. When we lived in arkansas which was famous for tornadoes, they called the underground shelters "fraidy holes". We got about an inch of rain pelting the sides of our home and lots of wind and today it didn't get over 39 for a high, ugh, hope this is the last of all this cold.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Wow...you really don't need that kind of tension in your life. So scary. Glad to hear everything is okay.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I watch like a hawk when the watches come out.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Knowing how unstable mobile homes can be, I'm never going to live in one, even though I'm nowhere near a hurricane or tornado area. I worry enough when our winds are gusty enough to bring down big tree branches.

    ReplyDelete
  18. We lived in the Canadian tornado alley, just to your north: north of Erie, south of Lake Huron. I had students whose house was flattened.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Bad tornadoes here in OK and the weather people are pretty good at giving early enough warnings. Perhaps you could go to the library at such times as they usually have a basement. The people most injured in OK are in mobile homes and cars (do as I say, not as I do).

    ReplyDelete
  20. Coming from earthquake country, I have no fear of the ground shaking, but I should. I do, however, have a fear of tornadoes even though they'll never mark my doorway.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Most of the mobile home parks around here have tornado shelters. I don't have a basement either. We just get in the closet. Lots of tornado warnings but I've only seen one in my entire life.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've been through two actual tornadoes, Paula, the last, about thirty years ago, went through less than a mile down the road. We had a tornado here in my county in this current incident, but about fifteen miles south.

      Delete
  22. And I thought our winter was bad. Keep safe.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I lived in Oklahoma for three years with my grandparents but it wasn't until I much later settled in Massachusetts that I experienced a tornado. It traveled by only about 1/2 mile from my house in 2011. Never mind flat land - this one crossed a river, devastated a bug chunk of Springfield, cut across our town, up our mountain, down the other side, and laid waste to two more towns.

    (Love the metamorphosis to dresses!)

    ReplyDelete