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Tornadoes in Gedunkerland

DecaturHawk

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Just heard of some serious tornadoes in the area around New Albany, IN. Gedunker, everything all right where you are? Any serious damage in your neighborhood?

Similarly on topic: anyone experienced a tornado? How would you describe it, and what happened (any damage, injury, etc.)?
 

JNA

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That storm came through my fair city before moving east to Gedunker.
Temp dropped 15 degrees in 1 hr.
Radar image showed the line from Indianapolis to Dyersburg, TN
 
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Chet

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I was thinking about you guys, Guap, Boiker, et al this weekend. We had a lot of rain but no damage (other than putting a few more poopies in the lake I'm sure).

I've witnessed 2 tornados, in 1983 and 1987 exactly 4 years apart to the day. They took the same path and hit the same (non-mobile) homes each time. Very bizarre.
 

Gedunker

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Is it safe to come out of the basement? 8-!

What a weekend of nasty weather!

Thursday night we had some wicked straight line wind storms about 3 miles west of here that our Redevelopment bookkeeper found herself in the midst of, and ended up having to ditch her vehicle and hide out in a culvert. Other than being shaken pretty badly she was okay.

Friday the power went out in the office about 1:00 and crews were busy trying to re-energize damage from the previous night's storms out in the county so we never got power back during the workday.

Mrs. G and I got a lot of work done on the kitchen and the yard Saturday, so we decided to take it easy Sunday, watch a little of the Indy 500, then go to a birthday party for a friend's 7-year old son in the late afternoon. While we were waiting for the 500 to start (I'm not a big fan, but it is in Indy, so I kind of feel compelled), the weatherman came on TV and said that conditions were very favorable for severe weather and, while they wouldn't interupt the race right then, they would pre-empt it at any minute if they received NWS warnings. Mrs. G and I looked at each other, looked outside where it was mostly sunny and warm and figured they were talking about downstate Kentucky somewhere.

About 3:00pm edst, the weather quickly turned wicked. Tornado warnings were issued for my county, Louisville and the county immediately to the east of us. We grabbed the kids and headed to the basement with a battery operated radio and flashlights. The weatherman was saying that a funnel cloud had been spotted in downtown Louisville moving north toward the river. Another had been spotted from a weather camera mounted on the roof of Jewish Hospital in Louisville moving through Clarksville and Jeffersonville (two towns immediately east of me); a third was spotted on the hills west of our downtown and moving toward my neighborhood. The sky was an ominous color and I watched flashes of metallic green lightning, and winds blowing our trees in every conceivable direction.

Yet more reports of tornadoes throughout the region, but "confirmed" spottings of three north of me and one south of me (by the Gallagher power plant, JNA), which would also head straight toward my neighborhood if the weathermen were right in its east-northeasterly direction. At this point my knees were shaking pretty good.

I was listening to all this through headphones (we didn't want to scare the kids) and I was trying to relay the severity of the storm to Mrs. G without being too obvious. The headphones had the added distraction of amplifying the feedback of the lightning and the incessant beeeep -- beeeep -- beeeep of the NWS warnings. Damage reports kept filtering in of limbs down, roofs off houses/buildings, power outages. Beeeep -- beeeeep -- beeeeep.

About 4:15pm the weather cleared enough for us to head upstairs and survey the property and neighborhood. Aside from a few small twigs from a neighbors tree, we had gotten off pretty lucky. Calls to Mrs. G's family who live in the next town over confirmed they were okay. The weather forecast was calling for a second line of storms to be here about 5:00pm. So much for the birthday party.

At 4:30 or so, the weather turned mean once again and warnings were issued for my county (and others nearby) for the second time. Back to basement for us and the kids. (This time my son cried a bit, but was comforted when he realized he hadn't forgotten his gameboy upstairs. B-) Standing by a small basement window, I watched as high clouds moving east were intercepted by lower, much darker clouds, moving rapidly to the south. This is it, I thought, just as the radio announced funnel clouds in my downtown and at the I-64 bridge. (I'm 6 blocks east of downtown, 15 blocks east of the bridge.) The wind, pouring rain and hellish green lightning were back as I watched the sky. The storms lasted about 45 minutes as the passed over us. We started hearing of a confirmed death in Marengo, Indiana, about 40 miles n/w of Louisville.

By 5:30 we headed upstairs to a clearing sky. Mrs. G called around and the party was still on, so she headed over there with the kids (figuring all they'd been through, they deserved a little fun). I headed over to the corner pharmacy and refilled our battery supply and bought a nifty little LED flashlight to put on my keyring. (I like flashlights, okay?)

The weather forecast was then calling for a third line of storms to move through St. Louis and southern Illinois and make it to Louisville about 11:30pm. Mrs. G and I decided to put the kids to sleep in the family room downstairs so we could get them to the basement more quickly if this final line of storms came to fruition. They both fell asleep about 9:00pm.

Shortly before 10:00 the cable went out. We called our neighbors to see if it was just us, or widespread and they had lost theirs too, but they had an old b/w tv we could borrow if we liked. We plugged that baby in and watched the third line of storms march past JNA and on to us in glorious b/w. (Note to weathermen: not everybody has color tv, dudes and dudettes, so No, I can not see the bright greens indicating rain and bright reds indicating dry sheer and, thus the infamous "hook echo" effect. We got the idea, though).

Just before 11:30 we picked up the sleeping kids and schlepped back to the basement for the third time (with the b/w tv, this time). The storms passed us without as much ferocity as the previous two, and we came back upstairs just before midnight.

The tornado that hit Marengo was confirmed as an F-3; the Jeffersonville tornado was an F-1. According to folks here today, there were funnel clouds spotted very near my neighborhood, but they never touched down.

I've lived here almost 16 years and this was the first time a storm truly scared me. What would I give to wait another 16 years to again be as truly scared?

Thanks for thinking of us. 'dunker
 
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biscuit

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I was extremely busy this weekend and never really had a chance to sit down and watch the news until this morning. Good to hear that our Indiana Cyburbians made it out unscathed.

I've had the opportunity to witness tornadoes on at least four different occasions. The coolest was when I saw two coming over a mountain ridge at the same time.
 

Plannerbabs

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They've confirmed that about 5 tornadoes marched through here Sunday, with one of the biggies missing us by about 5 miles. 8-! No damage, except for huge branches all over the yard and the back yard being flooded. Green sky, etc, just as Gedunker described it. Amazingly, we never lost power, but most of the city just south of us did. It was an interesting evening, not one I'd care to repeat. The worst was when the news choppers zoomed in on a nursing home that had lost its roof. No injuries there, though.
Glad everyone here made it through ok.
 

boiker

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funday sunday

Sunday was a exciting in illinois as well. I was driving westbound on I-80 towards an increasingly darkening sky in the late afternoon. My kids were with Grandma and Grandpa in a small town when there tornado sirens went off. We were headed there. They told us to just forget it.. the party is over since the storms rolled through. A tornado damaged a couple houses about 4 miles south of them.

We needed to hit an exit, the closest of which was still 8 miles towards the storms. We took the exit which lead us south to the little town of Utica, which a month previously had be creamed by an F-3. It was rather discomforting to drive through Utica..in a river valley with lot of familiar buildings gone... as the shelf cloud and gust front of the storm started to pass through. As I hit the bridge over the Illinois River I got slammed by 60-70 mph winds. My wife and I were loving this....really. I havn't been on a storm chase in a long time and our trip to our parents was turning into one. We continued driving south parralleling the gust front. A tornado warning went up for the area we were in. I noticed rapidly moving clouds overhead and noticed the rain had lightened up. I floored it to get south of the circulation before it spit a funnel out. We turned east and drove about .5 mile south of the circulation for about 5 miles. Little funnels would form, then quickly die. Nothing came remotely close to the ground. We were in farm country, with cell phone in hand and I was ready to report any touchdowns. The wall cloud circulation looked ominous but didn' t produce anything. Lucky for the farmers out here.

After I got to my parents I found out the wall cloud did produce a short lived, weak tornado breifly further east of where we followed it.

No damage in my area, except for tree damage from the winds. The rivers are all over flood stage so significant flooding is expected over most of Northern Illinois and later this week as the water moves downstream flooding will occur in C. Illinois along the Illinois River.
 

NHPlanner

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Glad to hear everyone made it out unscathed! :)

I don't miss that aspect of living in Indiana.....I'll take the nor'easters over tornados anyday! ;-)
 

JNA

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Sunday was pretty wild.
The worst of the storm front hit our area after 8 pm.
There was a light breeze then it felt / looked like somebody turned on a fan to 11.
Great lightening show, rain came down in strong sheets.
Damage - Towns of Darmstadt (F1) and Newburgh (F2)
MANY Trees, poles and wires down, scattered power off. and roofs too.

As a EMA Volunteer I helped out with a windshield survey of damage.
Interesting experience :-0
 

DecaturHawk

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Glad to hear that everyone's OK. It seems like it's been a bad year for tornadoes. We were on our way back to Decatur last weekend from Chicago and pulled over on I-55 about 3 miles north of Chenoa. The radio said that a tornado had touched down on US 24 and had traveled east through Chenoa. Had we not stopped when we did, we would have driven right into it. We saw a high funnel cloud, but thankfully, it did not touch down.

Just before that, I spent two days at the Illinois APA State Conference at Starved Rock State Park, just south of Utica, as Boiker describes. Some very nice bars were damaged or destroyed, but they are quickly rebuilding. Our chapter Pro Bono group has decided to offer services to Utica if they desire. If you've never been to Utica or the Starved Rock area, you owe it to yourself if you're making the long drive along I-80 to stop there. I-80 is the typical Midwest interstate: fairly flat, with miles of uniterrupted farm fields. As you pass Utica and Ottawa, you wouldn't know that just a few miles south in the Illinois River Valley is a beautiful, variegated landscape. Definitely worth the trip.
 
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