15 thoughts on “Weekend Question Thread

  1. Ice Storm of 2005 in Indiana. We were without power for about a week or so. Every 30 seconds or so, a giant tree crashed down around us from the weight of the ice. I consider it truly a miracle that our house wasn’t crushed by a tree from the nature preserve next door.

  2. During both Hurricanes Gustav and Isaac there were times when it DID sound like a train coming through. Lost power both times, but thankfully didn’t have any damage beyond losing a few roof shingles.
    Once had to drive through a pretty significant blizzard (Madison, 1991) — they wouldn’t give me a day off work (f**kers). That was pretty bad, but at least I had the roads to myself…

  3. I saw a bolt of lightning hit a telephone poll maybe a hundred yards away from me, and pretty much blow it up – 4th of July weekend at the old Pierce Park carnival in Appleton; lots of people around, nobody hurt. It was AWESOME.

  4. Nashvilleis notorious for bad weather. We had that horrible flood 2 years ago, of course. In 1998 a tornado passed about a mile from my house. Seems like I was a safe distance but at the time it felt like it was coming right at me. My house had the creepiest, nastiest basement, full of crickets and spiders, unfinished dirt floor .. dripping with moisture. It was like Satan’s Cellar. I couldn’t bear to do down there even in a tornado. I packed the cat in his cat carrier and put him in the cellar and went back upstairs to watch the storm. Stupid, but I survived.
    Oh and then there was the horrible ice storm of 1994. That was in February. I remember going out to eat Mexican food with my then-boyfriend the night it hit. As we drove home I saw flashes of light and heard loud popping noises, we couldn’t figure out what it was: lightning? In February? Turns it was electrical transformers blowing all around the city as the temperatures plunged. Like a scene in that “The Day After Tomorrow” climate change movie.
    The city was without power for weeks. My car, which then was a little sports car, was literally frozen in place in the alley. I had to walk to work. The worst thing was that my cat got sick and I had to get one of my employees to drive me to the vet (he was a redneck with a giant monster truck). He was PISSED OFF at me, too. Didn’t matter, I left that job a year later.
    You know, I grew up in Los Angeles, I remember earthquakes, wildfires and mud slides. When I was in high school we couldn’t get home to our house because the canyons were closed because of fire. But nothing ever seems to compare to the awful weather in Nashville. This place is notorious for disaster. You’d think Pat Robertson and the other Christianists would wonder why disastrous weather keeps hitting the city known as the “Protestant Vatican.” Oh well.

  5. The Illinois tornado of 1991 that destroyed Plainfield. It sort of started just west of my house, bounced over the river valley and our house, and then headed southeast towards Plainfield destroying everything as it went. We were at the newspaper office, watching hail blast out the rear windows of cars parked on the street as it just missed our downtown. Then we each grabbed a camera and headed out to document the devastation, and it was pretty spectacular.

  6. That photo is amazing. I’ve seen pics of haboobs over Arizona and other places out west, but damn that one is over open water, Nature is freaking amazing and terrifying. Did you see the pic of the family hanging on to a jetty in the ocean to escape the flames?
    Scariest? Wow, there seems to have been so many tornados recently, last decade or so. I remember the night monkeyfister is talking about it was just bands of tornados one after the other plowing through the area. A few months after another series came through one was way to close to my house hit a Toyota dealership and Japanese restaurant and did a bunch of damage to the neighborhood, including my car which was smashed by three tree limbs from two different oak trees.
    There was also Hurricane Elvis which was in July or August about 10 years ago, straight line winds up to like 75 mph, fierce rain and hail. The wind was so strong that water was coming in from under my front door! That also did a bunch of damage.
    Unfortunately our house is one of those “open” floor plans from the 70’s so there is no interior room without windows and no basement. I really want a storm cellar like my Okie relatives have.

  7. Perhaps four of significance. 115 mph winds on Oahu. Ripped the heavy corrugated roof off the building across the street and the wind got into the building and lifted two tons of sliding doors off their tracks. Tsunami on the north shore of Oahu. When you can see a wave on the horizon 37 miles away, it’s time to beat feet. In a December storm on an ocean-going tug between New Bedford and Cuttyhunk Island. Sixty-foot waves. A bit unnerving.
    The funniest was a lake-effect storm in Michigan around the time of the great Chicago blizzard of January `78. The house next door had been a schoolhouse, concrete-block, and was about twenty feet high. The guy in it was a Cook County cop on medical leave, who drank quite a bit. He got pretty lit up on New Year’s Eve, and when he went to bed, there was no snow on the ground. By nine the next morning, the snow had drifted up seventeen feet on the north side of his house. There was a row of clear blocks at the ceiling, maybe sixteen feet off the ground, and when he woke up, he saw my dog looking in at him. He thought he was having DTs.

  8. We are used to wind storms and earth quakes in the PNW, but some are worse than others. The Columbus Day wind storm back in the sixties picked me up by my coat and moved me about thirty feet. That was the scariest I had experienced until the ice storm followed by a heavy snow about fifteen years ago. The trees breaking sounded like cannon fire, all night long.

  9. Let me add, we’ve had rain in Tennessee all weekend so the ground is saturated, and another wave of heavy rain is coming through. That means flooding, again. And this is very reminiscent of 2010.
    Fortunately for us, it’s largely going north and south of Nashville proper, so I don’t think downtown will flood. In other words, it’s just hitting those Congressional districts represented by Teanut GOPers who voted against Hurricane Sandy relief.
    Karma’s a bitch.

  10. In 1973 I was briefly a member of an Air Explorer scout group. That summer the EAA held a 2 day air show at the local Burlington airport and our group was helping with the organization.
    It was a hot, clear day, and during the show the National Weather Service issued a warning that an isolated storm had developed and was headed directly toward us. They quickly got all the planes on the ground and tied down just at the storm hit.
    There was no place else to go so 6 of us piled into a 1954 Ford to ride it out. The car shook and bounced and I kid you not, I watched through the window as the intense winds lifted a vintage Ford Trimotor into the air as if it was on an elevator. It then turned nose down and plunged into the ground. Several other planes had been flipped over a fence and were laying upside down on the roofs of the cars in the field parking.
    Amazingly there were no serious injuries. Radar indicated a tornado had passed over the airport but hadn’t actually touched the ground.
    Despite the incredible damage, the Trimotor was eventually restored because of it’s rarity and is now part of the EAA’s AirVenture museum.

  11. FWIW, I’ve seen sandstorms like that. They’re gonna be the norm in West Texas again now that the CRP is dead.

  12. Somebody wrote a story for the St. Pete Times in 1989 about spending the night in the Holiday Inn by the Ashley River Bridge in Charleston the night Hurricane Hugo came ashore. Definitely worth looking for.

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