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Saturday, March 18, 2006

Tornado: Still reeling

Our local newspaper is reporting tonight that the damage cost is expected to exceed $100 million. That's an amazing figure for a town the size of Springfield. Will have to see what that figure includes.

Also, as of tonight, 1,800 homes and businesses still do not have electricity.

Earlier, I read a report of a survey finding 1,500 homes to have been damaged from these tornados. Not sure if that includes detached garages. Some homes are totaled. Some homes are gone forever. A lot of the damage, like ours, was because of falling trees. This is a tree city.

Several people have written on their blogs about their experiences during the tornado. These are a few that I keep going back to:

Dave Heinzel writes in, "A Whirlwind of Excitement:"

The guy across the street (who has earned the nickname "Scary Larry") had a flashlight on, and I think he was spinning around in circles or dancing or something because it looked like there was a cop car in his living room.

There's a lot more to his article. But, I found that part to be a totally hilarious moment in a night of not so funny memories.

Ryan of The Rocky Movie Marathon Foundation Blog was out in it:

I pull along side the south side of the building in hopes of blocking the wind...a chunk of alluminum siding the size of a car comes sraping across the parking lot...another...and then another.

He survived, luckily. Read the entire entry (appropriately named, "5 minutes") to get a feel his ordeal.

Larry Estep, weather spotter for the National Weather Service, living in Springfield: Our storm story. This person is a bonafide storm chaser. He rode out the storm in the storage room of a local movie theater.

About 150 of us huddled into a large storage room at the theater, some of us occasionally peeking into the hallway to see the dark cloud that had enveloped the area. The sky went from dusky to pitch black almost instantly. We heard the rain pounding the roof and then we heard radio reports on my scanner of a tornado touchdown. The power almost instantly went off and there were several people who screamed. We were thrown into total darkness in this storage room.

He ended up being one of the many who were stuck in the theater parking lot due to downed electric poles until the next morning.

UPDATE: There's now a Wikipedia entry on the March 2006 Tornado Outbreak Sequence, including a section dedicated to the Springfield tornadoes. [Via: A Shareware Life]

Posted by Marie at March 18, 2006 11:27 PM