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Monday, November 11, 2002

Tornado Alley

We had some nasty weather over a large part of the country yesterday.

Television news weather reporters kept breaking into the regular programming in the early evening to report various warnings. Mary (my wife) and I didn't hear anything particularly nasty outside for a long time.

From One Town in Ohio

from cnn.com

From Another Ohio Town

from cnn.com

Our old-fashioned ship's barometer, which allows a column of water to rise and fall according to air pressure, indicated at about 7 p.m. that bad weather was on its way.

Then it came. The winds, the rain, maybe a bit of sleet.

I wasn't too concerned, figuring the fire station near our house would sound the storm siren if it got bad.

Then the siren sounded.

It was like our own little version of a 1940 House air raid (see the entry before last below). I'd never actually heard the storm siren before, but apparantly the speaker rotates on a pole such that you have a doppler effect of a higher-pitched sound when the alarm is slowly rotating toward your and a lower pitch when it rotates away. RRRRRRRrrrrrrrrrrrRRRRRRRrrrrrrrrrrRRRRRRrrrrrrrrr!!!

This set off my hyperactive imagination, such that I could imagine Heinkel and Junker bombers overhead.

Mary and I grabbed the three cats and headed to the safety of a tiny bathroom in our basement. That portion of the house is mostly underground, has no windows to break and is not close to any major hot water pipes that could break and scald us, in case the winds decided to rip open any walls.

We stayed down there about 30 minutes, until the storm siren quit, and we didn't hear the wind.

We didn't have any damage, thankfully, but parts of mid-Ohio got it pretty bad (north of us) and Tennessee (south of us) got it much worse, with several people killed.

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