PDA

View Full Version : OT: Terrible storm strikes Oklahoma



topct
05-20-2013, 06:53 PM
Sad situation.

flylo
05-20-2013, 07:23 PM
Anyone on the forum near there?

sasquatch
05-20-2013, 07:51 PM
Damned scarey things, tornados,, in 30 seconds or so, you lost all your'e posessions!!

Billy Hill
05-20-2013, 08:29 PM
Yeah, tornados are scary. I've got friends in Texas (got side-swiped by last week's storm) and fiends who have family in Oklahoma. I'll take earthquakes, thank you. I'll probably regret saying this, but after nearly a half century of living on or near San Andreas, it's taken it's toll but nothing like living in tornado-ville.

Only way I'd even consider living anywhere near there is in a dome-type house built to withstand 200+ MPH winds.

LKeithR
05-20-2013, 08:34 PM
...Only way I'd even consider living anywhere near there is in a dome-type house built to withstand 200+ MPH winds.

That's something I've never understood. Tornadoes have happened there for a long time; why haven't building codes changed to reflect the risks involved? Houses built half in the ground or with earth banks around them would be a lot more tornado resistant...

vpt
05-20-2013, 08:44 PM
I agree! If I lived in a nature destruction zone my house would be built to take the weather.

I wonder though, would a tornado move a heavy lathe or mill or the like? I understand they move buildings and cars but they are big and face allot of the wind. A heavy mill or lathe is allot of weight in a small package.

mike4
05-20-2013, 08:49 PM
The destroyed school is tragic , I feel for the parents as I have kids also,

Michael

Highpower
05-20-2013, 08:51 PM
I'm waiting to be hit by the same storm front within the next 3 hours.

Apparently Oklahoma is all bedrock? The news stated the only way to get a basement in OK is to blast with dynamite?

Billy Hill
05-20-2013, 08:57 PM
That's something I've never understood. Tornadoes have happened there for a long time; why haven't building codes changed to reflect the risks involved? Houses built half in the ground or with earth banks around them would be a lot more tornado resistant...

They do it for earthquakes here in California. It's a heck of a price increase but seems to be worth it. Can't imagine it would be that expensive to make a round or partially buried house. Wind just loves it some big box shapes with overhanging eaves and other things sticking up trying to catch the wind.

CCWKen
05-20-2013, 08:58 PM
Tornadoes can happen anywhere. Are we all supposed to live in caves again? Why do we allow building within 150 miles of any coast? Why do we allow building in any 100 year floodplain? Or 500 year floodplain for that matter. Why do we allow cars to travel faster than 20mph? We all take risks. That's why there's so many insurance companies. Yeah, bring on more government control! That will fix everything. :)

SteveF
05-20-2013, 09:04 PM
That's something I've never understood. Tornadoes have happened there for a long time; why haven't building codes changed to reflect the risks involved? Houses built half in the ground or with earth banks around them would be a lot more tornado resistant...

It does reflect the risks involved. The chance of getting your home damaged by a tornado is EXTREMELY remote. Bet if you looked it up the chance of a house being damaged because of a fire caused by a cigarette is much higher. I used to live in "tornado alley" and never worried about it.

Steve

Billy Hill
05-20-2013, 09:15 PM
Tornadoes can happen anywhere. Are we all supposed to live in caves again? Why do we allow building within 150 miles of any coast? Why do we allow building in any 100 year floodplain? Or 500 year floodplain for that matter. Why do we allow cars to travel faster than 20mph? We all take risks. That's why there's so many insurance companies. Yeah, bring on more government control! That will fix everything. :)

LoL, easy there Ken. I've been in several tornados here in Ca. It's fun to run around the schoolyard trying to stay in the middle of it. I've also been in 2 large earthquakes. Stiff houses don't stand a chance in an earthquake just like square houses don't stand a chance in high winds. And that can and should be done without being forced to do it by .gov. They're ruining everything.


It does reflect the risks involved. The chance of getting your home damaged by a tornado is EXTREMELY remote. Bet if you looked it up the chance of a house being damaged because of a fire caused by a cigarette is much higher.

Steve

Apples and oranges. We're talking about natural disasters destroying houses, not stupidity. Stupid kills way more people than anything else. Period.

Let's narrow down the field to a range of what might actually happen in the two scenarios... IF your house is hit by a large tornado in Oklahoma it would likely be destroyed. IF your house is hit by a large earthquake in California it would likely not be destroyed.

Taking the flat surfaces and protruding edges off the house is all that's needed to make it withstand very substantial winds. Just like making houses out of wood instead of bricks and stones make houses withstand substantially more ground shaking.

Dr Stan
05-20-2013, 09:34 PM
We're on the phone with friends from OKC who report they are OK. Lots of destruction all around them and it is currently considered worse than the 1999 tornado. Real scarey stuff.

Tony Ennis
05-20-2013, 09:43 PM
Seeing a report that 24 3rd graders are missing.

J Tiers
05-20-2013, 09:55 PM
Tornado damage is pretty much never anything but a big disaster, often with death and hardship. There isn't anything much to be said about it but that, you can't control it, and nearly any house or structure can be destroyed. Heavy stuff is often thrown around in ways that seem impossible, although I have never heard of a flying K&T horizontal, they are really dense and heavy.


IF your house is hit by a large earthquake in California it would likely not be destroyed.



But you might not ever be "allowed" to go back to it, to salvage stuff. So it may be "effectively destroyed" by the quake. Even if you are allowed to go back, the delay may cause most everything inside to be destroyed by rain etc before you are allowed to get at it again.....

Your stuff isn't important to the local authorities, they have other things on their minds, like not having hordes of "bubbas" getting themselves buried trying to get stuff out of their collapsing houses, causing a new wave of injuries and requiring even more rescue efforts.. It's hard not to see that point of view, even though it seems harsh to tell people to just "forget about" their houses and stuff.

Also.... quake-proof design often isn't really intended to make the structure "withstand" the earthquake.... it is intended to prevent it from collapsing on you during the quake, even though it may be totally destroyed as far as being a useful structure. Very possibly it will have to be torn down anyway. Frame houses are like that... they may not actually fall down, but they frequently cannot be salvaged either, and will probably be deemed not safe enough to let the residents go back to.

TGTool
05-20-2013, 10:38 PM
I'm about 70 miles north of the Moore tornado today and 35 miles from the Carney tornado yesterday. I had an AT&T tech here this afternoon trying to troubleshoot a DSL problem. It was giving him fits, and as if that wasn't enough, his wife was trying to get his kid from school in a SW OKC suburb but of course everything was locked down until the weather settled so she was fretting and sitting on her hands. At one point AT&T messaged all the techs in the field to call in and verify if they were still alive and safe. AND his National Guard unit was trying to call him in for duty on communications as the tornado tragedy developed. Tough day all around even a long ways from the center. I haven't heard yet from the people I know there and it may take while.

barts
05-20-2013, 11:58 PM
Perhaps the building code there should require a "tornado room". Yes, the rest of the house might get destroyed, but a shelter tied to the foundation (or dug into the back yard) would save lives. The California codes for school construction are very strict with respect to earthquakes; the legislation is called the Field Act. From wikipedia:


As of 2010, the Field Act currently applies to the design, construction and renovation of all K-12 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K-12) school buildings and Community College (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Community_College) buildings in California. Although there have been attempts to make private schools comply with the provision of the Field Act, they are currently exempt. The DSA remains the primary enforcement body, and also provides limited review of university buildings, primarily for disabled access issues. Since 1940, no building constructed under the Field Act has either partially or completely collapsed, and no students have been killed or injured in a Field Act compliant building.

Perhaps similar legislation (at least covering schools) is needed there.

Yes, this is the evil government telling you what to do... but sometimes that's necessary, and why we have building codes, fire codes, seat belts in cars, etc... when one person's economic interest is in conflict with another person's safety, choices need to be made.

- Bart

wierdscience
05-21-2013, 12:09 AM
As a reminder of the energies involved in these storms,consider the Truck found near Joplin,Mo after an F5 hit there-

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/0903/wierdscience/JOPLIN2.jpg (http://smg.photobucket.com/user/wierdscience/media/JOPLIN2.jpg.html)

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/0903/wierdscience/JOPLIN.jpg (http://smg.photobucket.com/user/wierdscience/media/JOPLIN.jpg.html)

IIRC that truck was something like two miles from where it ended up.

Evan
05-21-2013, 12:40 AM
Tornadoes don't happen everywhere. It takes flat land for a funnel to build up. It's cause by horizontal rolling wind that then turns vertical. That "rolling wind" is caused inside the thunderstorm by vertical wind shear. As far as I know there has never been a tornado recorded in our area. It is much too hilly and mountainous. That produces mechanical turbulence that breaks up the wind cells. We have seen powerful "dust devils" that can lift fairly heavy garbage high in the sky but that is a different phenomenon. It doesn't happen together with a thunderstorm.

We do get some very powerful "straight line" winds in BC. There have been massive timber blow downs with areas exceeding a hundred square miles. The coast exceeds hurricane force at least a dozen times per year without seeing a hurricane at all.

taydin
05-21-2013, 05:02 AM
I have heard about many devastating tornadoes in OK. What I don't understand is, why not declare that area dangerous for urban development and forbid new housing projects? What is it about OK that attracts people to live there? Or is it that these are poor families that don't have a choice and have to stay in that dangerous area?

SGW
05-21-2013, 05:50 AM
Every place is dangerous, one way or another. Isn't Turkey on an active fault line? You pick your risk. I wouldn't be surprised if people in OK wonder why people live in Florida in the path of hurricanes, or why I live in Maine with winter blizzards. Then there are volcanos. If the Yellowstone cauldera ever blows again, probably no place in the northern hemisphere will be safe from the fallout.

vpt
05-21-2013, 07:31 AM
The schools are very sad.

SteveF
05-21-2013, 08:01 AM
I have heard about many devastating tornadoes in OK. What I don't understand is, why not declare that area dangerous for urban development and forbid new housing projects?................

Oklahoma is about 70,000 square miles, the area affected by the tornado is about 7 square miles. Unfortunately, this 7 square miles just happened to be in a heavily populated area. So you are suggesting the government ban development because .01% of the state got damaged? :rolleyes:

Also, go look at a tornado map, most of the US (read that as "an area bigger than Turkey") has been hit.

Steve

J Tiers
05-21-2013, 08:04 AM
I have heard about many devastating tornadoes in OK. What I don't understand is, why not declare that area dangerous for urban development and forbid new housing projects? What is it about OK that attracts people to live there? Or is it that these are poor families that don't have a choice and have to stay in that dangerous area?

That would virtually mean declaring that nobody could live anywhere from east Georgia to somewhere in Utah in the US. In other words, it would be about like declaring that nobody could live anywhere between Afyon and perhaps Trabzon.

Some areas do get more tornados than others, but they are fairly common from the southern part of Minnesota down through Arkansas, and anywhere from Georgia into Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas and up into Nebraska.

SteveF
05-21-2013, 08:14 AM
...... In other words, it would be about like declaring that nobody could live anywhere between Afyon and perhaps Trabzon.



Overlay Turkey on a map of the US, it only makes it from Amarillo TX to just past Nashville, TN. It would be like declaring no one could live anywhere in Turkey.

Steve

Rustybolt
05-21-2013, 08:38 AM
Andy. Depending on wind velocity they can move and lift anything.
About 20 years ago we had a small super cell move in near here in an industrial park. The small(5000sq.ft.) tool and cutter manufacturer I used to sharpen some of my stuff got hit . It removed the roof and three walls. The only wall left standing was the front. It picked up about half of his machinery including a big cylindrical grinder. That grinder was found in a parking lot next door. Some of the smaller T&C grinders were found in a pond about 100 yards away.
Once the the rotating air starts to pick up debris, the debris starts picking up heavier stuff and moving it along.
It isn't the wind that kills you. It's your neighbors roof that the wind picked up and dropped on you that kills you.
Let's give a little prayer for the folks in OK.

J Harp
05-21-2013, 08:56 AM
Domed structures wouldn't necessarily survive a tornado either, unless they were built as pressure vessels. Many buildings are destroyed when the quick reduction of atmospheric pressure in a tornado causes them to explode.

The video of yesterday's tornado showed many vehicles still on their wheels, but surrounded by the debris of buildings.

Mike Hunter
05-21-2013, 10:46 AM
I think it’s interesting that folks want the Government to solve the problem with more regulations.

Here’s a quick map of average tornadoes per year by state: http://www.spc.noaa.gov/wcm/ustormaps/1981-2010-stateavgtornadoes.png

Every state in the union has had tornadoes to include California and New York, so I guess we all need to leave the United States, or at least all build tornado safe rooms.

Back in April 2011, I flew from St Louis, to Baltimore MD, and drove up to Edgewood, MD. During the trip I heard the news that tornados had hit Birmingham AL, when I got up to Edgewood, MD the tornado sirens were going off.

Like 90% of the earthquakes in CA, most tornadoes don’t do much damage, majority are mild F1/2, don’t last long and occur in non populated areas, most of the time folks don’t even know they occurred. When a large strong tornado occurs in a populated area, it definitely causes damage.

The Joplin tornado that occurred back in 2011 had enough force to suck the sewage from the city’s sewer lines and private septic tanks; the hospital’s foundation was damaged to the point where the hospital had to be condemned. Don’t think little round dome buildings would have fared too well.

Evan
05-21-2013, 11:43 AM
Have a look at houses on Guam. They don't look much different than usual. Until you look real close. Most are built of concrete cast with exterior patterns that look like wood and with steel shutters on the windows. The roof is attached and will not blow off. They survive typhoons just fine.

Severe weather is becoming more common as weather is fueled by heat. The Atlantic is on a warming trend for reasons not yet clear. A 1/2 degree C rise is now found to be correlated with a 40% increase in hurricanes. It also results in increased weather activity in general including thunderstorms as the evaporation rate of the water increases. We can expect violent weather to become more common everywhere.

lynnl
05-21-2013, 12:00 PM
Have a look at houses on Guam. They don't look much different than usual. Until you look real close. Most are built of concrete cast with exterior patterns that look like wood and with steel shutters on the windows. The roof is attached and will not blow off. They survive typhoons just fine.

.

I was stationed on Guam from 1982-84, at Andersen AFB. The military housing was indeed cast concrete construction, but the vast majority of the local population lived in pretty flimsy structures with simple tin roofs. The philosophy was "let it blow away; it's cheap to rebuild."

The housing on Andersen had flat roofs with thick (3"-4") foam insulation laminated over the concrete slabs. My house had a veritable jungle growing on the roof, with coconut palms 10 to 12 feet tall that had taken roof in the foam and buildup of decaying plant matter. All that vegetation kept it nice and cool inside. :)

Mike Hunter
05-21-2013, 01:33 PM
One of the things I believe about natural disasters it that they actually occur naturally. Japan will still have tsunamis and earthquakes, the South & mid Atlantic will have hurricanes, the South/Midwest tornadoes, and the west coast/Hawaii: earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis.

Sometimes there is not much you can do about it.

Yes we can allow the government to mandate that everyone’s house must be designed and constructed to survive a tornado. But keep in mind, that the tornado that hit Joplin a couple of years ago actually ripped the asphalt off roads and out of parking lots. Can you afford to build a house to withstand that kind of force?

TGTool
05-21-2013, 03:40 PM
I'm reminded of a an argument (discussion?) I had with an old guy a couple years ago over the Toyota safety recall. He was chastising Toyota saying they ought to spend whatever it took to make the cars safe. I was saying, wait a minute, there's got to be some decision point somewhere. Of course cars could be designed to protect occupants for ANY kind of incident the vehicle encountered. It's possible to do. But the car might not be affordable to purchase, it might get ten miles to the gallon with all the protective equipment, it might not fit on the road.

Same thing for houses. Fire, flood, earthquake, tornado, meteorite protection? Nice, but I'm not sure I've got that kind of money unless I win the lottery and contract NASA to devote it's full attention to my housing problem and then the lottery might not be enough. The reality is that risk taking in life is unavoidable. You can improve your odds by not taking foolish risks, and improve your odds of surviving unexpected situations well by living a life of calculated risk taking. That leads to deep life experience you can call on when needed. Some might call it wisdom.

Evan
05-21-2013, 04:10 PM
Can you afford to build a house to withstand that kind of force?

No. That isn't necessary. Not attaching the roof with $25 worth of galvanized straps is inexcusable. That will hold it on in most tornadoes. If you cannot depend on the contractor to do it then you make it a legal requirement. We already have building codes for a good reason, you cannot depend on the contractors unless they are forced by law.

Wishing the government would go away and leave you to your own devices might work for you but it will not work for the great majority of the population. The reason air bags were invented is because people refused to wear seat belts. People like my grandsons get tired fast of cleaning up body parts on the highway. One is a paramedic and the other is a fireman/emt. Both are first responders. They will be first on the scene when another big tornado hits Edmonton someday. If a roof comes off and crushes a child how do you think they will feel if it could have been prevented by a few dollars of metal strapping?

Even in the Oklahoma tornado I guarantee that some lives could have been saved by stricter building codes dealing with such events and preventing structural failure.

I have looked it up and foundation tiedowns and roofing straps are not required in Oklahoma City. Altogether they would cost about $200 to $300 and are estimated they would have saved as much as 85% of the buildings from destruction.

http://science.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/05/21/18389359-tornado-proof-homes-up-to-85-percent-can-be-spared-expert-says?lite



Homes in the direct path of the monster tornado that roared through Oklahoma City suburbs Monday were all but certain to be destroyed. Yet inexpensive construction techniques could have kept up to 85 percent of the area's damaged houses standing, according to a civil engineer.

Mike Hunter
05-21-2013, 05:29 PM
"But there's nothing remotely affordable, he added, that can withstand an EF-3, EF-4, or EF-5.”

Yup interesting article, esp if you read the whole thing; I believe that they got hit with an EF-4.

Bottom line is that 99% of the houses in the US will never experience tornado force winds, yet you feel it's the government should dictate that they are capable of this?

I live in a tornado area, we live with it, and my guess, if an F-4 or F-5 tornado hit my house, there is no amount of $25 strapping that will stop it from getting completly destroyed, heck it would possibly suck my basement up.

Look at the damage to that school, that was not a stick structure, it was concrete and cinder block, but when a 4000 lb SUV comes flying thru a wall, even concrete gives way.

vpt
05-21-2013, 06:27 PM
I never mentioned the government mandating something or making more laws or rule. I was saying if I lived in a place like tornado alley I would have a basement or storm shelter. I wouldn't wait for it to be a law before putting one in.

If you live in tornado alley and don't have an escape area that is your own dumb fault. Survival of the fittest/smartest and all that.

Evan
05-21-2013, 07:54 PM
"But there's nothing remotely affordable, he added, that can withstand an EF-3, EF-4, or EF-5.”

That means a direct hit. There is always a much larger zone outside the core that will experience all sorts of intermediate wind speeds where the simple and low cost improvements will make all the difference. That is where the most damage occurs since the core area is much smaller.


Bottom line is that 99% of the houses in the US will never experience tornado force winds, yet you feel it's the government should dictate that they are capable of this?

No. Just the much lesser winds outside the core of the tornado. The price to do so is dirt cheap. You will pay for it not being done if you buy any sort of insurance.

J Tiers
05-21-2013, 09:36 PM
That means a direct hit. There is always a much larger zone outside the core that will experience all sorts of intermediate wind speeds where the simple and low cost improvements will make all the difference. That is where the most damage occurs since the core area is much smaller.


Sometimes.

The Moore tornado has apparently now been classified as an EF5 about 1.3 mile wide. That's pretty good sized, probably throws off the ratio of core to surrounding area. It is probably larger than the Xenia Ohio tornado, which was estimated at 1 mile wide, and pretty well ate half the town.

If what the weather folks are saying is true, we won't see many EF1 and EF2, we'll be seeing EF3, EF4 and many more EF5. They might even have to invent a new higher classification, according to a few of the most pessimistic...

Roof ties may work for a frame house. In fact, they do.

For brick, or general masonry houses, they are not so wonderful, since the roof and ceiling joists are not tied to the walls the way they are with a frame house. The joists are basically laid in place, with maybe a row or so of bricks above them in some cases. Getting a good tie to the brick wall is not as easy as nailing in some straps.

Yes, in the middle they may be tied to walls, assuming there are vertical structural pieces, but that doesn't help the edges. Nor are solid vertical ties, or truss roofs, the norm in older construction. Back then, people wanted a useful attic, and lumber cost money.

J. Randall
05-21-2013, 09:51 PM
I have lived in Tornado Alley all my life, 63 yrs. We have some highly intelligent people on this forum in a lot of subjects, but most don't have a clue about an F-5 tornado, and turns out that is what this last one was. Up to 300 mph winds not straight line but going in a tight circle, they are saying this one had the force equal to the atomic bomb that leveled Hiroshima, and I think it stayed on the ground for about 14 miles. You can put all the galvanize straps and foundation tiedowns on a frame home that you want, and it won't make a bit of difference in a direct hit from one of these. Keep in mind that this was in a highly populated area, and the true body count was 24 this afternoon, not near what was reported last night. Every live is precious , but that is a pretty low count for this level of tornado. There have been a lot of underground and above ground shelters built there since the last big one hit Moore 13 yrs. ago, and a lot of people were in them with just about a 15 minute warning.
James

kc5ezc
05-21-2013, 10:18 PM
I was about 10 miles east of the Moore tornado yesterday helping my youngest clean up the previous days damage to his house and property. He and the family came out unscathed. They left before the tornado hit. Thanks to NOAA weather radio and the Norman forecast center warning.
Several years ago I attended an OU grad students dissertation orals; his subject was the waste of money used to built tornado shelter in each home in OK. His data showed that there was a very high probability that the shelter would never be used. However, for piece of mind you just may want one. Pays your money and take your choice. We have had a tornado shelter, accessible from inside the house for 23 years. Went to it once; did not need too. Great for piece of mind.
Most people in OK live all their lives and never see a tornado. Should schools have a shelter for the kids? Probably worth while just for piece of mind. Most do not have a tornado shelter. Dollars rule.

wierdscience
05-21-2013, 10:59 PM
A simple storm shelter or strong room in a house is not difficult for a person of average intelligence and even low income to aquire.It can be built $20 at a time with simple hand tools,concrete blocks and rebar from the local Homedepot.

needlenose
05-21-2013, 11:01 PM
No. That isn't necessary. Not attaching the roof with $25 worth of galvanized straps is inexcusable. That will hold it on in most tornadoes. If you cannot depend on the contractor to do it then you make it a legal requirement. We already have building codes for a good reason, you cannot depend on the contractors unless they are forced by law.

Wishing the government would go away and leave you to your own devices might work for you but it will not work for the great majority of the population. The reason air bags were invented is because people refused to wear seat belts. People like my grandsons get tired fast of cleaning up body parts on the highway. One is a paramedic and the other is a fireman/emt. Both are first responders. They will be first on the scene when another big tornado hits Edmonton someday. If a roof comes off and crushes a child how do you think they will feel if it could have been prevented by a few dollars of metal strapping?

Even in the Oklahoma tornado I guarantee that some lives could have been saved by stricter building codes dealing with such events and preventing structural failure.

I have looked it up and foundation tiedowns and roofing straps are not required in Oklahoma City. Altogether they would cost about $200 to $300 and are estimated they would have saved as much as 85% of the buildings from destruction.

http://science.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/05/21/18389359-tornado-proof-homes-up-to-85-percent-can-be-spared-expert-says?lite

Do you have a link to these straps? How are they installed? I will happily install $25 worth of straps to save my family from a tornado. :-)

Having had a *small* tornado hit my neighborhood in 2007, I can tell you the problem was not the roofs coming off. The problem was being struck by hundreds of objects like trash cans, fence panels, metal sheds, trees, and the like. Those who had roof problems actually had the sheething ripped off with the shingles exposing the rafters. I had a 1000lb tree top thrown through a brand new garage door. Parked itself right in front of my toolbox. Of all the houses damaged in my neighborhood, none had the roof system ripped off. Most had the siding stripped off the frame and massive damage from flying debris. No amount of strapping is going to save your home from your neighbor's aluminum bass boat traveling at 80 mph through your living room.

wierdscience
05-21-2013, 11:19 PM
If what the weather folks are saying is true, we won't see many EF1 and EF2, we'll be seeing EF3, EF4 and many more EF5. They might even have to invent a new higher classification, according to a few of the most pessimistic...

Roof ties may work for a frame house. In fact, they do.



I found this article a few weeks back interesting.Seems we ended up 2012 short a few hundred Tornados-
http://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/2012-may-challenge-records-for/2997002

I think some of the media is just feeding off their own hype.IMHO we are seeing the result of a late winter/spring transitional pattern and the temperature differential between warm and cold layers happens to be high.

I agree about the straps and ties,they work,but only sometimes.Katrina taught us they are usless unless they are continuous from rafter to foundation and even then some designs are better than others.If a house is built out of wafer board and studs on 24" centers it doesn't matter how many straps are used it's going to fail in a EF3 or better Tornado or Cat3 Hurricane.

aostling
05-22-2013, 12:49 AM
I was close to the Ft Worth tornado of 2000, which was classified as F3. After doing extensive damage in downtown Ft Worth the tornado leapfrogged about seven miles, coming down again in Arlington where I was living in a condo above a garage. It missed my place by two blocks. When I toured the damage I felt lucky.

Is an F3 tornado about the same intensity as an EF3 tornado in the new classification system?

darryl
05-22-2013, 01:05 AM
Those straps might be what I know as hurricane clips. We don't live in a zone famous for high winds or worse, but couple of buildings I've worked on we installed them.

As far as having your own shelter- if you were building from scratch, it wouldn't be a stretch to make one room an anchored and reinforced structure. Might be a downstairs den/pantry/guest room with basic washroom and maybe a few extras so you could survive in it a few days if need be. Certainly would beat being stuck with the family in a closet.

But like many are saying, how far do you go with something like that- it's very likely that it may never be used for the purpose. If it adds $5000 to the cost of the home, that's at least within reason, but if it's $20 grand or $50 grand- how do you justify having that investment sitting there doing nothing, perhaps never giving its value back-

It would be interesting to cost out building a separate survivable structure, and to see what engineering would be specified to meet the goal of having it stay in place with 400 mph winds and semi-trailers falling on it-

Evan
05-22-2013, 02:31 AM
The Moore tornado has apparently now been classified as an EF5 about 1.3 mile wide. That's pretty good sized, probably throws off the ratio of core to surrounding area. It is probably larger than the Xenia Ohio tornado, which was estimated at 1 mile wide, and pretty well ate half the town.

The bigger and more powerful the tornado the more people and property that can be saved by simply reinforcing the foundation and roof attachments. Florida did it ten years ago and it works. Houses built after the code change have much less and less severe damage in hurricanes. I fail to understand why anybody here questions the utility of such an obviously useful and low cost modification.

The engineer interviewed stated that as many as 85% of structures could have been saved by such simple and cheap improvements. There is no reason to doubt that estimate. It's the roof flying off that causes the majority of the damage when the roof isn't held on by more than a few nails. This is especially so in the case of tornadoes when the atmospheric pressure change is what often causes the roof to let go. You don't need wind for that to happen either.

What is so hard to understand about this? Not every house is in the direct path of a tornado but is close enough to benefit from cheap structural improvements. It seems very reasonable that the house should have something other than just gravity holding on the roof.

The straps can be a simple as plumbers tape at every framing member and the roof members screwed or nailed with a twist to meet the two surfaces. Anything is much better than nothing.

Incidentally, Oklahoma isn't sitting on bedrock. The soil is largely wet clay and basements tend to leak. The entire central US used to be a shallow sea so the earth is sedimentary.

Evan
05-22-2013, 02:45 AM
But like many are saying, how far do you go with something like that- it's very likely that it may never be used for the purpose. If it adds $5000 to the cost of the home, that's at least within reason, but if it's $20 grand or $50 grand- how do you justify having that investment sitting there doing nothing, perhaps never giving its value back-

Our house has an attached cast concrete underground cold storage room. It is about 6' x 8' x 6 1/2' and entered from inside the basement down a short set of concrete stairs. It would be reasonably safe even in the event of a close atomic weapon strike. It has a 2" solid core door and a ventilation stack. The top of the door is a couple of feet below ground level. I doubt it cost more than maybe $500 to build when the house was built in today's dollars. Certainly no more than $1000.


how do you justify having that investment sitting there doing nothing, perhaps never giving its value back-

Some people think that feeling safe and secure is worth a lot of money. That includes Oklahoma where some contractors do build in safe rooms. They add about $4000 to the price and there is no difficulty convincing people of the utility. They only cost about $2500 to $3000 to build, the extra is profit.

flylo
05-22-2013, 02:56 AM
The best truss ties nail to the plate & look like a U you put them all up before the trusses & drop the russes right in as the act as truss spacers & attach to both sides of the truss & both truss plates, Under $1 ea, As far as a safe room make it a gun/ vauluables/disaster room. just pour a crosswall in the basement & reinforce the lid & build a door. Out home is 100+ years old & has 4 12" thick crosswalls in the basenent.

Mtw fdu
05-22-2013, 03:27 AM
I live down under here in Australia. Thankfully we don't have anything like this here. Hope all forum members who are close and who have friends and relatives in the area are all ok. My thoughts are with you all.

Mtw fdu.

flylo
05-22-2013, 07:56 AM
Also I'd always glue, screw & clip the roof sheathing & 5 nail the shingles as it shows on the pkg for high wind areas. Even here near lake Michigan it'e required. It doesn't cost much you just have to make sure it ir if you hire it done. Many contractors even ones doing it for years do it wrong. High nailing shingles is a good example. Held workshops (with food & giveaways to get them there) saw them one on one & they still did it wrong. The guy who never put on a shingle did a great job. We'd eshow them, they'd read the bnd & never had a problem. The know it alls know nothing but never know it.

Evan
05-22-2013, 11:48 AM
I was just looking at many still pictures of the tornado damage. There is the zone of total destruction in which nearly all structures are gone. Nothing can be done about that other than a safe room or underground bunker. But, along both edges there is the missing roof zone. That includes both houses and larger structures including the schools.

This is a good example. There also appears to be one home with a properly attached roof on the bottom row. Next row up is the partly missing roof row. That would most likely be due to the change in pressure gradient rather than change in wind speed.

http://ixian.ca/pics10/roofs.jpg

Mike Hunter
05-22-2013, 01:36 PM
Evan

Not sure with just a simple snapshot one can determine whether a house is built correctly or not.

I have seen a bit of tornado damage first hand, sometimes you just sorta stand there and scratch your head, trying to figure out how that is possible: back wall of a bedroom was removed, but nothing inside the bedroom was damaged, heck the stuffed animals were still on the bed; or a 30 foot boat got picked up and thrown in the middle of a street, but the houses (built in the 40s’) 20 feet away didn’t have a shingle out of place.

The one that hit a community near me a couple of years ago, all the houses built in the 50s’ to the same specifications, some completely gone… bare slabs, and some seemingly undamaged, and many somewhere in-between.

I’m actually a fan of hurricane clips/brackets, installed them prior to having my house completed. But I certainly don’t think they add much to the structural integrity of a roof.

You keep citing “Florida’s” building codes as an example, and how $25 worth of strapping is all that’s required, that’s not the case. Florida has some pretty strict codes, depending on what part you live. Not only the $25 of hurricane straps, but physical anchoring the top plate of the wall to the foundation with cables or steel rods thru the walls, special doors, windows etc. It might only add a few thousand to new construction, but existing houses… I think it would be cost prohibitive.
And once you did all this you still wouldn’t meet the construction required to withstand an F-1 tornado.

Evan
05-22-2013, 02:11 PM
Not sure with just a simple snapshot one can determine whether a house is built correctly or not.

No, you can't. But there is a simple and likely explanation other than invoking the quirks of tornadoes.


You keep citing “Florida’s” building codes as an example,...

No, I mentioned it just once. I also mentioned that it costs more than $25 dollars to anchor the roof and foundation, close to $200 to $300. The Florida specs also mandate thicker plywood and shatter proof windows which will add considerably more. Just keeping the roof on and the house on the foundation would be a huge improvement.

I haven't talked about withstanding an F1 or higher tornado if it's a direct hit. That isn't what I am talking about. That should be perfectly clear by now.

vpt
05-22-2013, 02:22 PM
Do you have a link to these straps? How are they installed? I will happily install $25 worth of straps to save my family from a tornado. :-)

Having had a *small* tornado hit my neighborhood in 2007, I can tell you the problem was not the roofs coming off. The problem was being struck by hundreds of objects like trash cans, fence panels, metal sheds, trees, and the like. Those who had roof problems actually had the sheething ripped off with the shingles exposing the rafters. I had a 1000lb tree top thrown through a brand new garage door. Parked itself right in front of my toolbox. Of all the houses damaged in my neighborhood, none had the roof system ripped off. Most had the siding stripped off the frame and massive damage from flying debris. No amount of strapping is going to save your home from your neighbor's aluminum bass boat traveling at 80 mph through your living room.


Safety from a tornado is simple, dig a hole, get in hole when tornado comes.

Many people think these holes have to be nice looking and expensive. Not the case. I have seen tornado shelters that are no more than a buried culvert. If I lived in a house without a shelter personally I would dig a hole, pick up some cinder blocks and cement and line the walls much like a tiny basement. It doesn't have to be a huge room, depending on your families size 4x4' is way more than plenty. Hinged cheap metal top with internal locking deal and your set to go. Probably the most $300 invested.

Evan
05-22-2013, 02:31 PM
You want to be sure it has an air vent in case something heavy like a roof lands on top. You can also use the air vent to yell for help if that happens. A pot to piss in would also be a plus.

mattthemuppet
05-22-2013, 03:25 PM
the saddest thing of all to me is the 7 children that died at the Plaza school that didn't have a storm shelter. I know it's all very fashionable to hate The Man and rebel against Big Government, but I'm pretty sure those abstract concepts aren't going to make the parents of those children feel any better about losing them. That's one area where the "how many dollars to save a life" equation should be simply thrown out of the window.

vpt
05-22-2013, 03:27 PM
You want to be sure it has an air vent in case something heavy like a roof lands on top. You can also use the air vent to yell for help if that happens. A pot to piss in would also be a plus.


Shouldn't be to hard to vent the metal top. Maybe a gallon of fresh water in the corner to stay hydrated if your in there awhile and then you can use the jug to piss in. :)

topct
05-22-2013, 04:50 PM
the saddest thing of all to me is the 7 children that died at the Plaza school that didn't have a storm shelter. I know it's all very fashionable to hate The Man and rebel against Big Government, but I'm pretty sure those abstract concepts aren't going to make the parents of those children feel any better about losing them. That's one area where the "how many dollars to save a life" equation should be simply thrown out of the window.

What someone does or doesn't do in their private residence is one thing. If that school would have had a properly designed space those children would have had a much better chance at survival.

God damn. They drowned. WTF.

Spin Doctor
05-22-2013, 05:33 PM
If this gets anybody's nose out of joint tough. IMO if an area gets federal disaster relief and that area is subject to much higher chances of tornados, floods, hurricanes, wild fires whatever it is not unreasonable for the Feds to put certain stipulations on just what type of structures get built or what kind of materials used. As much as I feel for the families who had their lives completely upended and those that lost family members we as a nation need to learn from these events and take appropriate action to reduce the suffering the next time one happens. If it takes much stricter building codes and inspection fine. If certain areas get Federally zoned to stop reconstruction in the same place I can live with that (think 5 or 10 year flood plains, ocean front homes on the Outer Banks or the canyons in SoCal that have wild fires sweep them every 5 years or so).

Evan
05-22-2013, 05:44 PM
One of the problems is that that particular event and others like it raises insurance costs everywhere, even here. They have to recover their money and make a profit so prices go up across the board. The same companies operate across North America including Canada. Some of the costs are distributed company wide, not just in hazard zones.

I don't think people should be prohibited from building anywhere they like. However, they should also not expect any financial help that could end up costing the taxpayer and they should not expect insurance. If they can self insure and don't need a mortgage then be my guest. Build wherever you like. Don't expect anybody to help save you at their risk when nature steps on you.

vpt
05-22-2013, 06:46 PM
Insurance is a whole nother can of worms! Insurance is the ruin of the world! We should all quit insurance and go back to 1800's insurance of if your barn burns down all the neighbors come over and help rebuild it.

Willy
05-22-2013, 07:16 PM
Insurance is a whole nother can of worms! Insurance is the ruin of the world! We should all quit insurance and go back to 1800's insurance of if your barn burns down all the neighbors come over and help rebuild it.

Same thing happens today. Except now you don't have to go over to the neighbors house. You just write out a bigger check to the insurance company, for your own house insurance, and of course your taxes go up as well to cover the costs involved.

vpt
05-22-2013, 07:24 PM
Same thing happens today. Except now you don't have to go over to the neighbors house. You just write out a bigger check to the insurance company, for your own house insurance, and of course your taxes go up as well to cover the costs involved.



While that is true there is a middle man getting rich off everyone. Neighbors don't plan to profit off your loss normally.

Evan
05-22-2013, 08:45 PM
It also means that I have a personal vested interest in how houses are built in Oklahoma and everywhere else in North America. I pay insurance on my house and I make sure that trees won't fall on it and there is a wide margin of trimmed grass around my place in fire season. That's about all we have to worry about but that is in large part because of where I choose to live.

Back in the early 80's I was offered a promotion in Vancouver to the Systems division. We went down to look at houses and I told the agent that I would not consider any location less than 50 feet above any local sea or lake level. The agent gave me a totally blank look and didn't know how to start. Back then nobody paid attention to the elevation of a house and it was not in the listings.

We didn't move because housing was unaffordable and it still is. I am glad we didn't.

mattthemuppet
05-23-2013, 12:35 AM
What someone does or doesn't do in their private residence is one thing. If that school would have had a properly designed space those children would have had a much better chance at survival.

God damn. They drowned. WTF.

my thoughts exactly, what a waste.

J Tiers
05-23-2013, 08:56 AM
As you get all snooty about "people who live in unsuitable houses"...... and prate about how "they shouldn't expect a dime from anyone".....

Note what Evan said about the house agents looking blankly at him.........

In many areas, houses have been built for years, even centuries, in a certain way. You cannot go there and BUY a house made to current specifications. Not unless you pay for it to be built, which means basically buying an existing house (just to get the lot), tearing it down, and building an entirely new house on the lot.

it is extremely doubtful that any bank would finance a person who was going to do that. A construction business, OK, but not an individual.

And then, as soon as building specifications change, your nice new "up-to-date" house no longer meets the current specifications, and you are back to square one.

It is totally impractical to keep tearing down and rebuilding houses to keep up with current specifications, so it isn't done. People have to live in something, the city won't usually accept a tent and a hole for a latrine, you have to live in a house meeting certain basic requirements.

Therefore, it is inevitable that almost every single one of you that are complaining actually live in a house that wouldn't meet the "most elementary requirements" as far as resisting the most likely "threats" in your local environment.

You live in a wood house in a forest fire or grass fire area, or you live in a masonry house, or unreinforced frame house in an area where there is a fault, your house is on a hill, but not secured against mud-slides, you are in a potential flood area but your house is not raised on stilts above the 500 year flood level, etc, etc.

There is no way to protect against everything, and almost any area is subject to tornados, even reasonably hilly areas (but not mountain areas).

So, the whole idea of insurance is to give some sort of remedy against what cannot be reasonably avoided. The rates are supposed to be proportional to the risk, at least in general.

As for government insurance.... The government is you. So when you suggest that "the guv'mint" shouldn't do this or that sort of relief, you are saying thet YOU don't want to do this or that, you suggest that YOU would rather see reasonable people thrown out on the street with no recourse after an unpredictable disaster in order to save YOURSELF a few cents.

It isn't in the best interests of the country to have that happen, which is why the programs were developed. If you weren't such skinflints to begin with, local organizations would have picked up the relief effort and the government wouldn't have needed to get involved.

The problem with people these days is that they just don't give a rip about others. "Sucks to be you, chump" seems to be the attitude of the BMW crowd, along with their wanna-bees.

if people want to build new in risky areas, they should have to do it right, or else forfeit some of the protections. Fine.

But many people already live there because they have to, and they live in existing housing, that the government happily allowed, and even encouraged to have built. Now that they DO live there, some of you folks are saying they should be PUNISHED for doing what was encouraged, that they should have to pay heavily for it.

Sounds like a typical rich folks bait and switch tactic to get more money..., suck 'em in, then 'pull the string on 'em, with a fee charged along the way.

That's not how it should work.... if people shouldn't live there, HELP THEM MOVE OUT, don't get all prissy about how they ought to have known better (when *you* told them to live there) and so they shouldn't get a dime if there is a problem.

topct
05-23-2013, 08:58 AM
A bit of clarification. It's being reported that the children that were thought to have drowned were not. I"m sorry I missed the whole term but I think it was something like compression suffocation? It can appear as drowning at first glance.

This does not diminish the tragedy of the event.

Rustybolt
05-23-2013, 12:21 PM
Somewhere there is a photo taken after this tornado. It shows a piece of wood driven through the thick part of a concrete curb.
If it was just the wind rafter hangers would probably be enough for most tornadoes.
But what can't be stressed enough is that it is the debris in the tornado that does all the damage.
As soon as the funnel touches down it starts to lift anything and everything up into it.
Think of a giant funnel of rotating grit. The grit being, dirt, rocks, glass, shingles, wood, cars, cows etc.

Evan
05-23-2013, 12:35 PM
Think of a giant funnel of rotating grit. The grit being, dirt, rocks, glass, shingles, wood, cars, cows etc.

Roofs....

Mike Hunter
05-23-2013, 01:41 PM
Think of a giant funnel of rotating grit. The grit being, dirt, rocks, glass, shingles, wood, cars, cows etc.

I stated this earlier, after the Joplin tornado a couple of years ago, a buddy of mine sent me pics of a road and part of a parking lot that was stripped of asphalt. I Dont know how much wind force it takes to strip asphalt off a road but it's gotta be a bunch.

Black Forest
05-23-2013, 01:52 PM
Evan have you ever tried to dig in Oklahoma? You are saying it is clay and not bedrock. Maybe in some places but I know from first hand experience that digging and drilling in Oklahoma can be very tough.

Rustybolt
05-23-2013, 02:48 PM
I stated this earlier, after the Joplin tornado a couple of years ago, a buddy of mine sent me pics of a road and part of a parking lot that was stripped of asphalt. I Dont know how much wind force it takes to strip asphalt off a road but it's gotta be a bunch.


I wouldn't doubt it.

Evan.
Roofs don't last very long when picked up by a tornado. Once removed from the house they are pretty flimsy. I watched a small tornado remove a flat roof from an industrial building. It looked like a giant hand was trying to roll it up. The edge kept flying apart as huge hunks of gypsum, decking, and asphalt kept flying off and causing destruction to other structures.
It really does sound like a freight train going full speed. The only sound I have heard that was more disturbing was an F16 on full afterburner doing a combat climb.

Evan
05-23-2013, 06:52 PM
Evan have you ever tried to dig in Oklahoma? You are saying it is clay and not bedrock. Maybe in some places but I know from first hand experience that digging and drilling in Oklahoma can be very tough.

Same as here. Hard clay for about 100 feet until you hit the rock. Digging in the clay is almost like digging in rock. Just to make it even harder around here there are big boulders in the clay. You get about 2 weeks in the spring during breakup when it is sopping wet. That's when the basements leak. The percolation time is forever. That is why we have a septic lagoon instead of a septic field. Sounds pretty much the same.

Spin Doctor
05-25-2013, 10:06 AM
Lest anyone think that I believe that the government can or should tell you where to live I don't. Nor do I think that all housing in say Oklahoma should be torn down and replaced with earthquake/fire/flood/tornado proof housing. Tornadoes will strike again, floods will happen, hurricanes come ashore, and fault zone will release causing earthquakes. They are as unavoidable as death and taxes. But there are things we should do to minimize risks. And for the most part we don't. Lets face it. Building frame houses out of toothpicks in an area prone to tornadoes is insane. What the answer is I'm not sure but one true measure of insanity is to keep doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Different types of construction are needed. But there would be a certain amount of reluctance on society's part. Lets say in an area such as Oklahoma it was required that all housing had to re-enforced concrete dome structures with storm shutters to close the openings for windows, doors etc. Most if not all of the public would not consider living in one, building one or buying one simply because "it doesn't look like a house".

Tony Ennis
05-25-2013, 10:47 AM
Our rectilinear houses offer more usable space than other designs. However, rectilinear structures are weakest. But would you live in an unconventional house if it were inexpensive and you could customize it with little effort or additional cost? Check this out. It's worthwhile.


http://www.wimp.com/printerhouse/

lynnl
05-25-2013, 11:51 AM
At least parts Oklahoma have a lot of Caliche soil, which is similar to concrete. ...in fact it can be used to make Portland cement.

Nevertheless, a highly motivated digger should be able to burrow out a hole to hide from tornadoes.

One or two here mentioned the idea of extremely low pressure in the vortex as a source of destruction. That idea was debunked years ago. A study at Texas Tech (I think) concluded the pressure differential is at most 10%. Tho it's one of those myths that linger on.
The reason houses can be seen to appear to explode is that the shell is somehow breeched, i.e. a door or window(s), permitting inrush of the violent winds.

Evan
05-25-2013, 12:58 PM
Average pressure in a tornado is around 800 millibars. That is 20% less than normal. http://www.physicalgeography.net/fundamentals/7t.html

Were that to be suddenly applied to a structure that works out to a interior pressure differential of around 420 pounds per square foot. The greatest roof load that is commonly called for in heavy snow regions is 66 lbs per sq foot. Reverse that and I don't think there is any chance of it staying in place even at a much lower pressure difference. Obviously wind pressurization is also a factor but I don't think it is the only factor. Even a sudden drop of only 50 millibars still adds up to over 100 lbs per sq foot. Over the entire area of a 1200 sq foot interior ceiling that is 60 tons of lifting force. A house that is closed up does not have a lot of ways for much air to quickly escape. Something has to give.

Tony Ennis
05-25-2013, 01:09 PM
Something has to give.

...and not much has to give. Once there's a weakness, a corner that's lifted, a hole, whatever, the wind will finish the job.

Evan
05-25-2013, 01:36 PM
It seems to me that it may make sense to have some sort of open vent system that would not be susceptible to static pressurization by wind. It would need to have multiple square feet of effective opening and also be present on opposite sides of the house. A window facing a flat plate that covers it from about 1 foot distance and extends a foot or more larger than the opening would probably do nicely.

In other words, a "shutter" placed a foot away from a window allowing the window to remain open. Several windows like this on various sides of the house would prevent wind pressurization while allowing fast pressure differential equalization. This would not need to be a permanent alteration to the house. A simple way to securely affix this to the window frame should be easy to design and these "tornado shutters" could be put in place when tornados are expected.

I do not recall seeing such a thing but I don't live in a tornado zone. If it doesn't exist it should. Dirt cheap and easy to use.

J. Randall
05-25-2013, 03:35 PM
Same as here. Hard clay for about 100 feet until you hit the rock. Digging in the clay is almost like digging in rock. Just to make it even harder around here there are big boulders in the clay. You get about 2 weeks in the spring during breakup when it is sopping wet. That's when the basements leak. The percolation time is forever. That is why we have a septic lagoon instead of a septic field. Sounds pretty much the same.

Just in my little corner of Oklahoma, I can take you to red clay, red shale, gypsum, cliche, black loam, or sand dunes, all with in a 20 mile radius. I am probably missing something.
James

flylo
05-25-2013, 05:21 PM
When I lost the hanger an amateur meteoroligist lived next to the airport & ran his eiquipment outside. The tornado never touched the ground but he clocked winds at 145 mph. It hit the hanger & was like once inside it looked like it blew all the steel, foam, etc OFF the hanger from the inside out, maybe not. Then it hit the armory next door, all in a couple minutes.:(

Evan
05-25-2013, 05:24 PM
What's missing is bedrock at the surface. Look up what North America looked like during the Cretaceous period when the dinosaurs roamed. The inland sea extended all the way from the Gulf up to Northern Alberta. It is also when thousands of feet of organic material was deposited layer after layer, building up coal beds and oil formations. Some areas sank while others rose, forming the Rockies. The entire inland Midwest and central plains is where that sea was. Oklahoma has only one small area of true region with true bedrock, the Granite Mountains. The rest is every type of sedimentary rock ranging from around 1000 to several miles deep.

Around here we have it all nearby including igneous basalt columns as well as sand dunes, shales and metamophics.

alanganes
05-26-2013, 10:23 AM
So I am going to be spending 2 weeks working about 10 miles from where this all happened. I don't know yet if time will allow, but if it does I was thinking that it would be good to spend some time there as a volunteer clean-up person or whatever. Anyone from the area have any idea how one would do that? Who would one see, where to go, etc? I don't want to go and be in the way, either, but if I could possibly make myself useful, I would not mind doing so. Suggestions?

Mike Burdick
05-26-2013, 12:23 PM
alanganes,

In most "disasters" like this, it's the local churches that usually are the first to help and the last to leave. My suggestion is to contact one of them and see where that leads.


.

sansbury
05-26-2013, 03:03 PM
the saddest thing of all to me is the 7 children that died at the Plaza school that didn't have a storm shelter. I know it's all very fashionable to hate The Man and rebel against Big Government, but I'm pretty sure those abstract concepts aren't going to make the parents of those children feel any better about losing them. That's one area where the "how many dollars to save a life" equation should be simply thrown out of the window.

Yes, but here's another way to look at that: the government we have today is already a lot larger than it was 20-40 years ago, and yet it still hasn't gotten around to something as basic as building storm shelters in elementary schools in tornado-prone areas. It feels to me like the problem isn't that we're not giving government enough money, it's that government's priorities are messed up. How many hundreds of thousands were spent over the past decade on fashionable trendy programs, standardized testing, or heaven knows what other BS that could have paid for some concrete and rebar?

While I'm fundamentally libertarian, I object much less to big government than I do to stupid government. The issue is that "stupid government" is almost guaranteed when you have a government of 2.7 million people (not counting the military) trying to administer a country the size of a continent. As it is, I pay roughly 5% tax to Massachusetts and 25% to DC. I'd love to see a system where I still paid 30% tax but the split was more like 20-10.

ulav8r
05-26-2013, 10:06 PM
So I am going to be spending 2 weeks working about 10 miles from where this all happened. I don't know yet if time will allow, but if it does I was thinking that it would be good to spend some time there as a volunteer clean-up person or whatever. Anyone from the area have any idea how one would do that? Who would one see, where to go, etc? I don't want to go and be in the way, either, but if I could possibly make myself useful, I would not mind doing so. Suggestions?

Contact any of the churches in the area to volunteer.

My daughter and grandaughter were there working yesterday. S pent last night in a church that was working with volunteers. My daughter found part of a guitar that a family was looking for. Said the look on their faces made the trip worthwhile. My grandaughter managed to get a couple of cuts from rusty metal, got a tetanus shot free from a temporary clinic. They were not allowed to work at a home unless the owners were there.

Evan
05-27-2013, 01:19 AM
It feels to me like the problem isn't that we're not giving government enough money, it's that government's priorities are messed up. How many hundreds of thousands were spent over the past decade on fashionable trendy programs, standardized testing, or heaven knows what other BS that could have paid for some concrete and rebar?

During that period the US military has wasted around 50 billion dollars on cancelled weapons systems programs. That's about half a million dollars for every public school in the USA.

Rustybolt
05-27-2013, 11:51 AM
During that period the US military has wasted around 50 billion dollars on cancelled weapons systems programs. That's about half a million dollars for every public school in the USA.


Some of the highest paid teachers in the United States are Chicago Public School teachers. Chicago public schools have the worst graduation rate in the country. Money isn't the problem.

According to our constitution it is illegal for our government not to provide for our defense. That includes weapons systems.

sansbury
05-27-2013, 12:54 PM
During that period the US military has wasted around 50 billion dollars on cancelled weapons systems programs. That's about half a million dollars for every public school in the USA.

Red herring. According to the budget on their website, Moore Public Schools has an annual budget of ~$130 MILLION. Now maybe they deserve more, but I'll bet there's a few million in there that looks a lot less essential right now. And this isn't something freakishly rare like a terrorist attack--Oklahoma is twister country, and Moore itself got smashed by another F5 only 14 years ago.

http://www.mooreschools.com/cms/lib/OK01000367/Centricity/Domain/36/Financial%20Reports/MPS%202011-12%20Budget%20by%20Fund.pdf

Evan
05-27-2013, 04:20 PM
Red herring? The 50 billion was wasted, that isn't open to debate. It is in the record. Some people became a lot wealthier and it wasn't the school districts. The point is that money in those quantities would be far better spent were it not on military toys that don't actually work. Airborne lasers in a 747 come to mind. A giant "sitting duck".

There is no excuse for the lack of storm shelters and properly constructed public buildings in Oklahoma or anywhere else they should exist. While you cannot stop an F5 tornado you most certainly can stop most of the injuries and fatalities as well as much of the damage. While the chance of any particular place being hit may be low the chance of some place being hit is very high. It's like the lottery, somebody manages to win it nearly every time.

Rustybolt
05-28-2013, 02:20 PM
Red herring? The 50 billion was wasted, that isn't open to debate. It is in the record. Some people became a lot wealthier and it wasn't the school districts. The point is that money in those quantities would be far better spent were it not on military toys that don't actually work. Airborne lasers in a 747 come to mind. A giant "sitting duck".

There is no excuse for the lack of storm shelters and properly constructed public buildings in Oklahoma or anywhere else they should exist. While you cannot stop an F5 tornado you most certainly can stop most of the injuries and fatalities as well as much of the damage. While the chance of any particular place being hit may be low the chance of some place being hit is very high. It's like the lottery, somebody manages to win it nearly every time.


You need to write your congressman then.
Pass a law to punish people.

Jim Doherty
05-28-2013, 03:17 PM
Congressmen don't pass laws that punish the rich, they pass laws that help the lobbyists and their businesses to acquire obscene amounts of money at the expense of everyone else as well as our Country.

Jim

Weston Bye
05-29-2013, 07:28 AM
Last night was tornado night in my area. Widespread sightings and suspected touchdowns peppered the communities in and surrounding Flint. The hardest hit was the Beecher district, the site of a devastating storm back in 1953. This time, only a few garages and businesses were damaged and no injuries or loss of life was reported. One of my daughters and her family lives just downwind of that one, but had no damage.

Another touchdown, several miles downwind of me, rendered a house to splinters, the family all uninjured because they prudently took shelter in the basement. Another of my daughters and her family lives just 2 miles from that one.

The weather guy on the TV was calling out the street names in my neighborhood as being in danger because of a suspect radar signature, but that one failed to organize.

The only damage or injury I sustained was lack of sleep because the tornado sirens went off about a dozen times during the evening.

needlenose
05-29-2013, 12:22 PM
Congrats on your escape Weston! Just be glad you were awake before they started happening. :-)

When the tornado went through my neighborhood, it was about 3am and we were all asleep. I didn't wake up until large objects started hitting the house(no sirens, we're rural). My ears were popping, the sheetrock and walls were creaking, and the entire house was lit up like a christmas tree. The whole thing took about 30 seconds.

Somewhere I have some cool pictures of the house afterwards. It is completely covered in shredded leaves and grass. I even had green leaves inside the house. I have no idea where they got in.

We were lucky; the neighborhood is in a depression, so the tornado skipped right over the top of us and touched back down about a quater mile away in pasture land.

Weston Bye
05-29-2013, 08:25 PM
I see that the Goodrich tornado (one that I mentioned in my previous post) made the ABC World News. Plenty of the destruction of the house shown, nothing of the untouched surroundings. Was an EF2 tornado, but very selective. The funnel cloud destroyed a road commission barn about a quarter mile away, threaded between three of the district's school bluilding, and nailed the house. No damage to a woods just behind the house. Freaky.

aostling
05-31-2013, 07:12 PM
Another large [tornado] is bearing down now, on Oklahoma City.

J. Randall
05-31-2013, 11:07 PM
Another large is bearing down now, on Oklahoma City.

Last count, 5 fatalities, major flooding, large numbers without power, 3 separate storms traveling in a line sucked together into one big one with a 40,000 foot top. Went right down interstate 40, multiple vortices popping out everywhere, was at least a mile wide.
James

vpt
06-01-2013, 08:37 AM
Did anyone see the weather channels tornado vehicle drive right into the tornado and get tossed? At least from the video it looks like they drove right into the tornado, why would they do that?

Dr Stan
06-01-2013, 09:21 AM
Did anyone see the weather channels tornado vehicle drive right into the tornado and get tossed? At least from the video it looks like they drove right into the tornado, why would they do that?

There are videos of several different tornadoes available here: http://stormchasing.com/videos.html

As to why they chase tornadoes, to me that's kinda like asking someone why thy put their head inside a lions mouth!

vpt
06-01-2013, 10:09 AM
I know, I like seeing the videos and I understand the chasing them and all the fun ( I would love to do it too). But in the video they showed on TV they were not in any armored car and they were trying to get away from the tornado or so they say. But in the video it looks like they simply drove right at the tornado and right into it...

wierdscience
06-01-2013, 10:40 AM
I know, I like seeing the videos and I understand the chasing them and all the fun ( I would love to do it too). But in the video they showed on TV they were not in any armored car and they were trying to get away from the tornado or so they say. But in the video it looks like they simply drove right at the tornado and right into it...

The storm yesterday had a large rain shield around it,when that happens you can't see the Tornado until your very near it or in it.A lot of folks ended up in that situation besides the Weather Channel folks.

vpt
06-01-2013, 10:56 AM
Here is the video, look pretty obvious to me where the tornado is.

http://www.weather.com/news/tornado-central/tornado-hunt-team-takes-direct-hit-tornado-20130531

wierdscience
06-01-2013, 11:20 AM
Here is the video, look pretty obvious to me where the tornado is.

http://www.weather.com/news/tornado-central/tornado-hunt-team-takes-direct-hit-tornado-20130531

That opening shot is just a typical large thunderstorm downpour at that point.We get those all the time down here in the summer and most are just rain and a little wind.
The shot where they are driving shows a funnel that had just dropped down.You can see it spin off in multiple vortices and reform several times before a gust got them and flipped the vehicle.
I don't think they purposely drove into a funnel,although it is the Weather Channel and they have been prone to stupidity in the past:rolleyes:

vpt
06-01-2013, 04:41 PM
Looks like they changed the video.

The original video from the guy riding in the truck shows an obvious tornado off to their right and in front of them. They drive past people on the side of the road right into the tornado and then get tossed around. I think it was a publicity stunt.

Evan
06-01-2013, 04:42 PM
Were they wearing helmets?

topct
06-02-2013, 10:37 AM
Three storm chasers were killed.

Remember folks, nature bats last.

Guido
06-02-2013, 11:11 AM
Hey Bubba----Didja see me?

vpt
06-02-2013, 04:31 PM
Mess with the bull...