Author Topic: We just had a tornado rip through 30 minutes ago  (Read 5148 times)

Offline Oil Lady

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We just had a tornado rip through 30 minutes ago
« on: June 01, 2011, 03:14:27 PM »
It was only an F-1. But this is New England and we honestly don't know what to do when this sort of thing happens around here.

Kinda like when us Yankees are watching on the news when Georgia gets a snow storm and we see news footage of cars all piled up on I-95 because most drivers in Georgia have no idea how to drive in the snow ... we generally have no idea what to do when a tornado sails past us here in Massachusetts.

It touched down in the downtown area also. I was JUST getting ready to drive there also. (Fortunately I was running a whole hour late!)

Now that tornado is partnering with a second tornado about 10 miles to the north of it. They are both heading East toward Worcester (pronounced "wuh-ster") and Boston. And supposedly the tornados are getting bigger as they go along.

We REALLY don't know what to do around here when this happens. We're tornado-virgins.

Offline Mr. Bill

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Re: We just had a tornado rip through 30 minutes ago
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2011, 03:57:18 PM »
Boston Herald: Tornado hits Westfield, Springfield

Glad you're okay!

Offline Morning Sunshine

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Re: We just had a tornado rip through 30 minutes ago
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2011, 04:15:52 PM »
They are both heading East toward Worcester (pronounced "wuh-ster") and Boston. And supposedly the tornados are getting bigger as they go along.

ah, Wooster.  and WPI.  thanks for bringing back college memories and the crazy things (G-rated, thank you! ;)) we do there

sorry about the tornado.  aren't there too many mountains in western mass to get a good tornado?  not that you really have mountains, just cute little round green hills, but still, I would think they are tall enough to prevent that sort of meteorological behavior!   :o

Offline TexDaddy

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Re: We just had a tornado rip through 30 minutes ago
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2011, 04:47:28 PM »
...aren't there too many mountains in western mass to get a good tornado? ...
I never met a good tornado.  ;) Actually, in the U.S. only the Rockies come close to being big enough to make tornadoes extremely unlikely. Any mountains significantly reduce the likelyhood of tornadoes, but it is possible for one to form anywhere.

Glad your okay Oil Lady. A tornado, even an F1, is a fearsome beast.

Offline Nicodemus

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Re: We just had a tornado rip through 30 minutes ago
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2011, 04:52:33 PM »
I'm glad that you're OK, Oil Lady!

Offline Andy in NH

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Re: We just had a tornado rip through 30 minutes ago
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2011, 05:27:01 PM »
Glad to hear you are OK.

This was the first time for me here in southern NH, where an event (in this case these storms) caused the Emergency Broadcast System via TV, National Weather Service Emergency / Severe Weather email, and town CodeRED Emergency Notification System via telephone to all come in within minutes.

A quick check of the regional radar showed the worst parts of the storm straddling this little town.  We got a bye this time, but others weren't so fortunate.

Offline Polar Bear

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Re: We just had a tornado rip through 30 minutes ago
« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2011, 05:55:30 PM »
GLad you're ok.  Stay safe up there.

Offline mamabear

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Re: We just had a tornado rip through 30 minutes ago
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2011, 06:24:06 PM »
Any mountains significantly reduce the likelyhood of tornadoes, but it is possible for one to form anywhere.

Yes, this is true. Hence the tornadoes in eastern TN, in the foothills of the mountains.

Oil lady, I too am glad that you are alright. I hope that there is not too much damage, and pray that there were no deaths from the tornadoes up there.

Offline Pathfinder

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Re: We just had a tornado rip through 30 minutes ago
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2011, 06:36:45 PM »
It was only an F-1. But this is New England and we honestly don't know what to do when this sort of thing happens around here.

Kinda like when us Yankees are watching on the news when Georgia gets a snow storm and we see news footage of cars all piled up on I-95 because most drivers in Georgia have no idea how to drive in the snow ... we generally have no idea what to do when a tornado sails past us here in Massachusetts.

It touched down in the downtown area also. I was JUST getting ready to drive there also. (Fortunately I was running a whole hour late!)

Now that tornado is partnering with a second tornado about 10 miles to the north of it. They are both heading East toward Worcester (pronounced "wuh-ster") and Boston. And supposedly the tornados are getting bigger as they go along.

We REALLY don't know what to do around here when this happens. We're tornado-virgins.

Not anymore you're not!!!   ;)

Glad all is OK in your area. We had 2 warnings in eastern ND and SD, and western MN just in the last week. Small funnels set down near here, but not close.

Head for the basement or cellar, have flashlights and batteries pre-staged, along with water and energy bars just in case, and stay the heck away from windows.

Offline Oil Lady

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Re: We just had a tornado rip through 30 minutes ago
« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2011, 07:18:32 PM »
Thanks for all your kind thoughts, concerns and excellent advice.

I just got back from my writer's group down in Connecticut. And it turns out it was NOT an F-1 .... IT WAS AN F-3!!

 :o

It picked up a car and hurled it across a parking lot. It collapsed whole houses. It ripped off roofs and ripped brick walls to pieces, sendiig the bricks flying everywhere. It sent hundreds of trees to their deaths. Thousands of people are without power in and around Sringfield (not me -- lucky duck and nothing more).  Every highway ramp into the city of Springfield is now closed. (I drove back up I-91 from Connecticut on my way home from my writer's group, and the standard giant highway warning sign which allows the DoT to flash really lengthy messages said: "ALL RAMPS INTO SPRIGFIELD CLOSED." And if I recall correctly, there are 7 ramps total that exit off of I-91 into Springfield. I quite fortunately didn't need to use any of the Springfield exits to get home because I live across the river in Agawam.) 

My cell phone isn't working, it has zero bars (I guess the towers are all down).

There are over 2 dozen reported injuries and we are waiting on confirmation of one fatality.

I swear you guys, I almost drove across the river into downtown Sprngfield this afternoon so that I could run off printer copies at the Fed-Ex/Kinko's store on Main Street in Springfield, right near the Springfield City Hall. I needed to make copies of my manuscript to share tonight at my writer's group, but my printer isn't working so I needed to go to Kinko's. My writer's group always meets at 6:00, so I wanted to be in downtown Springfield (just across the river from me) before 4:30 to run off my copies. Then I would head into Connecticut, have a Pink-Slime burger at McDonald's, then head to my writer's group. But I was just running so darned late tonight!! It was already 4:25 and I still wasn't quite ready to go. I was very annoyed with myself. I was ALMOST out the door at about 4:35 when I noticed all the trees outside my window were whipping super-hard and super-fast, side-to-side with really violent force due to the wind. I've never seen those trees whip so hard. (I don't think I've ever seen ANY trees whip so hard!)

I decided to turn on the Weather Channel before walking out the door. The first 30 seconds they were blaring out that loud annoying warning tone and the pre-recorded man's voice said "There is a tornado warning for your area." (And even I know the difference between a "watch" and a "warning"!) I told my dad "There's a tornado in Springfield! He switched on the local news station and the local news was broadcasting live, showing us the funnel as it touched down upon the Connecticut River right beside the bridge, right downtown where I was supposed to be.

The tornado touched down in the water of the Connnecticut River at about 4:30 PM, which was when I was probably going to be right on the bridge (called the Memorial Bridge***). There was a tractor trailer flipped on its side on the bridge due to the tornado. I have never before in my life been so glad to have been late!



(***The Memorial Bridge was built in the 1920's as a tribute to WWI vets. Gorgeous piece of workmanship, and there are four smaller towers rising out of the bridge which have actual ocean mines mounted atop their tips. You know the ocean mines I am talking about -- the ones that float in the water as big round metal balls with giant sharp metal spikes sticking out on all sides. If you watch the news footage of this Springfield/West Springfield tornado on the internet, you can see a very beautiiful Italian clock tower in the forground, and then the bridge in the background as the tornado touches down beside it. Magnificent bridge. I hope that truck driver is okay.)
« Last Edit: June 01, 2011, 07:27:56 PM by Oil Lady »

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Re: We just had a tornado rip through 30 minutes ago
« Reply #10 on: June 01, 2011, 07:37:43 PM »
Growing up in Minneapolis I grew up with tornadoes. My wife is from the East and she has not known what they can be like. She does now. Head for the basement, do not gawk, let someone else take the pictures/videos. Save your life. They are unpredictable. They will uproot a brick house and leave a Styrofoam cup in peace on the doorstop of a house next door.

Thank God you are okay.

Offline NWBowhunter

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Re: We just had a tornado rip through 30 minutes ago
« Reply #11 on: June 01, 2011, 07:42:17 PM »
Glad your alright. I hate being late. But in this case it sounds like a very fortunate delay.

Offline TexDaddy

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Re: We just had a tornado rip through 30 minutes ago
« Reply #12 on: June 01, 2011, 10:53:10 PM »
I just saw this on the tornadoes Oil Lady told us about:

http://www.cnn.com/2011/US/06/01/massachusetts.tornado/index.html?hpt=hp_t1

Offline Herbalpagan

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Re: We just had a tornado rip through 30 minutes ago
« Reply #13 on: June 02, 2011, 04:38:05 AM »
glad you're ok Oillady! I was reading a report from a couple of ladies who were on the Memorial Bridge.  I'm in far western Mass and we had wind and hail, but no twister.  I guess it happens once of trice a generation up here.

Offline Kellib

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Re: We just had a tornado rip through 30 minutes ago
« Reply #14 on: June 02, 2011, 04:17:16 PM »
Wow I can't believe what is happening with all these storms. I am scared for hurricane season

Offline Oil Lady

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Re: We just had a tornado rip through 30 minutes ago
« Reply #15 on: June 02, 2011, 05:52:41 PM »
Internet's down. Power is still on but phone, cable and internet are out. I am "borrowing" someone's Android internet link connection at the moment. (I unexpectedly might lose my connection, btw.)

It seems yesterday's storm was a "super-cell," something we never see here in New England. It qualifies as a super-cell because of two factors. First it's possible that it spawned no less than four separate twisters all concentrated in and around Sprigfield. And second the path of the twister damage stretched for over 20 miles in length. So if it was just one funnel (not yet confirmed if it was one or four), it was a one darned determined funnel that endured far longer than any funnel in all of New England history. If it was 4 separate funnels, a multi-funnel storm cell automaically makes it a super-cell. Again, we never see this around here. The ocassional fluke of a whimp-out F-0 or even F-1 twister might touch down in Massachusetts maybe 2 or 3 times a year at most, and they usually last all of 30 seconds and cut a thin twisty spindly path through a corn field barely 50 feet long and 3 feet wide. The most damage you can usually expect from one of those is it picks on the older trees that were ready to fall anyway. But the storm yesterday threw automobiles across parking lots and flipped trucks on their sides. It flung slate roof tiles like frisbees across the street and embedded those slate tiles into the bricks of adjascent buildings.

"Toto ... I thought we weren't in Kansas anymore."



::ETA::

BTW -- While all this was happening here in Springfield yesterday, there was simultaneously a totally separate storm cell about 30 miles north in the town of Northampton, MA. That storm also sent a funnel down to the ground, but evidently the damage was nowhere near as severe up there as what we had down here. I mention that other cell simpy because I am trying to differntiate between the Northampton funnel and the funnel(s) that we had down here.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2011, 06:01:08 PM by Oil Lady »

Offline rob_ma

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Re: We just had a tornado rip through 30 minutes ago
« Reply #16 on: June 04, 2011, 06:34:33 AM »
I live a bit further east of Springfield (Brimfield area) and had one touch down just over 1/2 mile from the house. No damage here at home just the minor inconvenience of no power, cell service, or Internet. Got Internet back yesterday and power this morning.

Was pretty good on the preps but what was concerning in the beginning was the travel restrictions. Roads out of town were all blocked by fallen trees and no one was going anywhere. We were trying to find a spot that had cell service so we could call over the the next town to check on relatives. Got a few text messages through after a while.

Listening to the local PD and FD on the scanner (battery powered, of course) was a big help that evening. Lots of information about the damage and what roads were and weren't open.

Driving through the area now is shocking with trees all cut off about 10-15 feet above the ground. Two camp grounds were hit hard. You can see the path of destruction go up and over the hills onto the next area. There was a used car/towing shop that was totally demolished and buried by layers of fallen trees. When you drive by you can't recognize anything on the street. It used to be heavily forested around it but now is just like a field brightly lit by the sun. And a few hundred feet down the road a guy is mowing his lawn like nothing ever happened because there is no damage at all.

- Rob