Worries about tornadoes, and a video of RVs getting blown over

Worries about tornadoes, and a video of RVs getting blown over

By Chuck Woodbury

I have never before spent this time of the year in the Midwest. I never thought anything about monster lightning storms, golf-ball-sized hail storms and tornadoes. We don’t have those in the West. We have earthquakes. But for me, having been in a dozen earthquakes and never having a problem except a touch of motion sickness two times, I don’t even think about them.

But tornadoes! Those really scare me. A tornado watch was issued the other night for where I am near Joplin, Missouri. Gail and I monitored the storm on our iPhones, and our little Midland Weather Radio screamed its siren a few times when the threat got closer. But on this day, no tornadoes touched down. But the storm itself, which threatened to spawn a tornado, came very close to us, within about five miles. It got closest at about 11 p.m. How are you supposed to sleep through that when you’re inside a tin can with wheels?

Then the next day, this video showed up on my Google news alerts. Yikes! 

I’ll be in tornado-land for another few months. Why do people live here? Okay, I know. . . the chance of being hit by a tornado is tiny. . . and this is your home, and. . . yes, I get all that. Still, for someone not accustomed to such dramatic weather, it’s not a 100 percent warm and fuzzy feeling being here.

FOX10 News | WALA



6 thoughts on “Worries about tornadoes, and a video of RVs getting blown over

  1. Jessie Terry

    Question: In high winds from a storm, would it be better to pull the slides in or leave them out on a fifth-wheel? Of course, find solid shelter if possible.

  2. Ray Zimmermann

    Always scares the hell out of me going through tornado alley in the spring; I avoid it if I can, if not I get through there as fast as I can. I really feel for those people who in RVs who have to be there.

  3. Laura

    I grew up in Tornado Alley. I survived the gigantic tornado that flattened Toledo, OH in 1963–it skipped over our house and threw the rest of Toledo into Lake Erie! I will never forget the sound. That’s why you won’t be seeing me at the RVillage rally in Elkhart. Between April and July, the Midwest is closed, as far as I’m concerned. Very considerate of God to make “tornado season,” because we know not to go there then. OK, the gargantuan Joplin storm was in January (how abnormal can things get???) and you just can’t predict weirdo things like that…but we know darn well that April, May, and June are the “normal” tornado months, so we can plan. Birdie, the first commenter above, has excellent advice for how to prepare, if you absolutely must be in the Mysterious Midwest (or Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Florida….) in tornado season. Don’t think you can ride out a twister in a tin can.

    1. Michael McCracken

      Laura, I grew up in Oklahoma in tornado alley. I left there in my early 20’s and moved to Arizona. I don’t miss the cellars I spent time in during my childhood. I stay away from the Midwest during the tornado season. My greatest fear is to be caught in my motorhome and seeing one coming my way with nowhere to run. I want be at the Elkhart rally either.

  4. Birdie

    If you live in tornado alley, you watch and listen for the storm warnings/watches. Always ask where storm shelters are when you change campgrounds and go find them right after setup…..don’t wait. You can’t afford that luxury. Have your emergency bag with meds, water, flashlight, weather radio w/extra batteries, important things like drivers license, ins cards, passport, extra money, water and snacks and rain jacket and shoes at the rig door. If things are heating up and coming your way, pick up the bag and go to the cg shelter before the siren sounds. Sirens normally means ‘imminent’ danger. You should be ready to step in the shelter at siren. My travels thru the tornado alley normally starts mid to end June when most of the severe weather is over. Unfortunately, you might be living in a terrified state for the next 6 weeks. And remember while in those cgs with those folks that you can educate the idiots but you can’t fix stupid.

    1. Michael McCracken

      Birdie, what about being on the interstate unable to turn around and seeing one coming at you? I chose to just stay the hell out of that part of the US during the summer months.

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