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Destroyed in Seconds
March 18, 2011 6:24 PM   Subscribe


 
1- Fuck.
2- Did I just see three people get killed? Or did they make it out OK?
posted by gjc at 6:32 PM on March 18, 2011


Looks like the people made it through OK; they're seen puttering in understandably stunned mode after the twister departs. But wow, the suddenness with which the world goes from being nicely sorted to TRASHED is just like, wow, that ain't right.
posted by localroger at 6:34 PM on March 18, 2011


Ok, how come the cameras weren't damaged and still running? Looks like the safest place to be is under the security camera.
posted by Old'n'Busted at 6:37 PM on March 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


Wow. Yeah, the suddenness is pretty remarkable.
posted by brundlefly at 6:39 PM on March 18, 2011


I realize this isn't a fair or rational response, but jeez louise I am so fucking tired of nature this week.
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:51 PM on March 18, 2011 [5 favorites]


Son of a bitch, that was fast.
posted by jquinby at 6:52 PM on March 18, 2011


In a couple of the views, you can see out the door. Where all hell is whipping up. I think they were being slightly obtuse about the severity of the weather, and if they were paying any attention at all, it wouldn't have seemed so sudden.

So, when weather threatens, keep your eyes to the skies.

"It sounded like a freight train" isn't fiction.
posted by gjc at 6:53 PM on March 18, 2011


List of things I don't want to be anywhere near:

1. a helicopter crashing
2. a hardware store during a tornado*

*new
posted by clearly at 6:54 PM on March 18, 2011 [19 favorites]


The second angle, showing the blonde woman approaching the door is interesting, just because you can just about read her lips, and the interval between, "Hey, the door is open," and, "OH MY GOD!" is shockingly brief.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:55 PM on March 18, 2011


I can't not watch stuff like this. This and the tsunami footage (horrible as it was) are irresistible.
posted by zzazazz at 7:01 PM on March 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


You all caught that this was only an EF2, right? On a scale of 5?
posted by madmethods at 7:14 PM on March 18, 2011


List of things I don't want to be anywhere near:

1. a helicopter crashing
2. a hardware store during a tornado


Clearly you haven't been following current events, clearly. Otherwise there would be (at a minimum) another thing you don't want to be near.
posted by panaceanot at 7:15 PM on March 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


You think of tornados as being wind events, and that the wind gets stronger and stronger and ultimately the structure fails. But it's more like there's nothing, and the lights go out, and nothing, and some fluttering, and in less than a second a GREAT BIG FUCKING EXPLOSION OF AIR DOES ALL THE DAMAGE. There's not time to anticipate or analyze; it hits, and it's done, almost before you can consciously register it.

I'd say give me hurricanes, except that part of the damage done to my house by Katrina was obviously via tornado; fucker ripped put a blast of air in my attic that ripped all the acoustic tiles (ALL OF THEM) in my living room where I'd put the tiles up to hide an 18 inch hole in the sheetrock caused by a leak. Through that hole, the blast of air blew all the ceiling tiles off of their staples for a 10 by 12 foot room.

I also know the roof tried to go airborne because of some cracks in the paint on my soffit. I now know the hurricane clips were correctly installed.

At least with hurricanes you can see both the hurricane and the tornado it will cause coming. I was nicely evacuated for Katrina. Fuck earthquakes and tsunamis, though. That shit will really mess up your day no matter how much you believe in the Boy Scout Moto.
posted by localroger at 7:15 PM on March 18, 2011 [4 favorites]


Whoever makes those cameras should use this footage in their advertising, not even one failed.
posted by 445supermag at 7:21 PM on March 18, 2011 [5 favorites]


panaceanot: "List of things I don't want to be anywhere near:

1. a helicopter crashing
2. a hardware store during a tornado


Clearly you haven't been following current events, clearly. Otherwise there would be (at a minimum) another thing you don't want to be near
"

Wisconsin Republicans?
posted by symbioid at 7:24 PM on March 18, 2011 [26 favorites]


Justin Beiber.
posted by Justinian at 7:37 PM on March 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Cleanup in aisles one through twelve...

"Randy, can you get on cleanup?

"Has anyone seen Randy?

"What do you mean he went out for a smoke?"

posted by Capt. Renault at 7:37 PM on March 18, 2011


Capt. Renault: ""Cleanup in aisles one through twelve...

"Randy, can you get on cleanup?

"Has anyone seen Randy?

"What do you mean he went out for a smoke?"
"

I don't smoke.
posted by bwg at 7:39 PM on March 18, 2011


Not as dramatic, but we had a waterspout in San Francisco today.
posted by Nelson at 7:56 PM on March 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


Clearly you haven't been following current events, clearly. Otherwise there would be (at a minimum) another thing you don't want to be near"


Justin Beiber.
posted by Justinian


Enonysterical!
posted by humannaire at 7:57 PM on March 18, 2011


Holy fucking crap.

I said this right after the Japan quake somewhere else, but it bears repeating here:

Nature is basically the Mos Eisly Cantina guy. It doesn't like you and even if you're careful, it will still try to make you dead.
posted by Cyrano at 8:25 PM on March 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


As many times as I read how tornadoes are formed, I still can't wrap my head around how they stay together in such a tight funnel.

I would buy these security cameras.
posted by bottlebrushtree at 8:38 PM on March 18, 2011


you will be all glad to know that the people there were all ok - be sure and watch the video
posted by pyramid termite at 9:02 PM on March 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


I realize this isn't a fair or rational response, but jeez louise I am so fucking tired of nature this week.

Yeah, well, Nature's had it up to here with us for at least the last century.
posted by blucevalo at 10:07 PM on March 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


symbioid wrote: "Wisconsin Republicans?"

I've heard their poop smells awful!

Seriously, though, I'm glad everybody's OK.
posted by wierdo at 10:26 PM on March 18, 2011


Man, that image out the front door was crazy. You could SEE it.

Late last year we had to take refuge in a grocery store. We pulled up. Store manager was standing in the doorway, said "you might want to go home." We lived 15 miles away. We said we'd never make it. We got inside and went to the customer service desk where I know another one of the managers. Immediately the guy at the door starts yelling and 2 concrete-weighted stop signs go flying across the parking lot. He comes over to the service desk and sends us all back to the organics section in the back of the store, then moves us into the actual stocking area and the meat refrigerators. Yep, it was cold. The youngest among the customers, a girl of perhaps 10, said "I'm not going near the door, I'm not going to blow away!" and some guy goes "Yeah you've seen Twister haven't you?" All turned out well and no damage to the store's structure, just the signs outside. Never did find out what happened to the (apparently) homeless man we'd seen on the corner just before we pulled into the parking lot at the store - I hope he made it to safety.
posted by IndigoRain at 1:01 AM on March 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


I really liked the fourth video because of the guy sitting in his chair, vey laid back, to the right. I imagine him thinking "well, it's a pretty slow day here at Alexander Hardware and Small Engine. There are no customers. I should be able to knock off a little early and get over to the T.G.I.F. before Happy Hour ends at 6:30." And then the hurricane hits. He is taken aback, hides behind the counter, then he gets up to assess the damage, and his internal monolog continues. "Definitely no customers for the rest of the day. I can make T.G.I.F. by 6:00."
posted by twoleftfeet at 1:02 AM on March 19, 2011 [5 favorites]


"Definitely no customers for the rest of the day. I can make T.G.I.F. by 6:00."

If it's still there.

Very cool videos; I had no idea how sudden a tornado strike was. I was also interested in watching the people's reactions. In addition to the blonde lady, there was also the guy in the baseball cap who went to pull the door shut, saw what was coming, and darted off to the side. Glad no one was hurt.
posted by TedW at 4:43 AM on March 19, 2011


I'm trying to imagine a scenario where the register at a hardware supply has to be covered with that many different cameras.
posted by ColdChef at 4:54 AM on March 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


> Glad no one was hurt.

How can you say that? Guy lost his baseball cap.
posted by ardgedee at 6:58 AM on March 19, 2011


Guy lost his baseball cap.

Nah, the camo pattern on it just made it hard to see.
posted by TedW at 7:53 AM on March 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Camera three, the shot continues with the camera swinging from its wire: you can't make this stuff up, apparently, or we would have seen that before in disaster movies.
posted by StickyCarpet at 7:57 AM on March 19, 2011


Damn! It's like that store got hit by a tornado.
posted by En0rm0 at 8:16 AM on March 19, 2011


The place I grew up in (about an hour North of Prince George, BC, in a tiny place called Bear Lake) had what is generally considered to be really shitty weather. Winters were long, dark and fucking cold. And the less cold the winters were, the more snow you got, so it was a toss-up between being shovelling 2 feet of snow out of your driveway twice a week or trying to wrap up your entire face to keep it from freezing in the -40 (without windchill, because caring about windchill is for sissies) weather. Most years, it just alternated between the two week after week.

And yet, as my mother noted recently, the weather rarely *killed* anybody, at least not directly or in large numbers. Accidents on bad roads occasionally knocked off a few, but most of those were at least as much the fault of the drivers as the weather.

It was predictable, utilities and houses were engineered to deal with it, and other than the need to shovel snow off your roof a couple of times a year (which, admittedly came damn close to killing my Dad one year), there wasn't much danger. Pretty much you laid in a supply of long underwear and canned goods in September, just in case the roads went unplowed for a couple of days, and went on with your life.

There were no earthquakes, mudslides, tornadoes, tsunamis, floods or hurricanes and even forest fires were kept well back of our town. So, yeah, the weather? It sucked. But at least it didn't blow.
posted by jacquilynne at 8:30 AM on March 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


I noticed the monitor on the front desk still glowing toward the end of the 'front door' video. Good UPS. I kept saying "... get under the desk. UNDER the desk ..."
posted by hank at 8:31 AM on March 19, 2011


Looks like the safest place to be is under inside the security camera.
posted by Splunge at 10:33 AM on March 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


Or under that lawn mower.
posted by Namlit at 11:31 AM on March 19, 2011


As many times as I read how tornadoes are formed, I still can't wrap my head around how they stay together in such a tight funnel.

Same way the funnel forms in a draining sink. Air inside the drain wants to go up while the water wants to go down. Sometimes they align just right and both things happen at once.

Hot, moist air has a TREMENDOUS amount of energy in it. All that energy in a thunderstorm is just the energy coming out of the hot moist air. So you have this blob of hot air sitting there, minding its own business, when along comes this other blob of cold air. If the cold air is moving slowly, they just mix together and you get rain and fog. But if the blobs of air are moving quickly enough in relation to each other, the cold air gets wedged up over the hot air and compresses it. The hot air gets angry and tries to push up against the wedge of cold air. Normally, this produces a thunderstorm. The hot air pushes up through the cold air, the moisture condenses out and it rains. And sometimes, the boundary layer between the two blobs of air is really tight, and the cold air compresses and pushes up against the hot air until it is like a giant balloon. If the balloon pops in just the right way, a shaft of the hot air pushes up through the cold air, creating a pipe of hot air wooshing up through the cold air. That's a funnel cloud/microburst.

If it just kind of burps, the funnel cloud goes away. But if circumstances are right and the air masses are moving toward each other in the right way, the pipe maintains itself for a long time and turns into a tornado. The spinning is the action of the high pressure air vectoring toward this pipe, because it wants to escape to the lower pressure area. Once the air gets started through the pipe, and if there is enough air to maintain it, it moves so quickly that a boundary layer forms, allowing it to move more and more quickly. As long as there is hot air under pressure to feed it and nothing else disrupts it, it will continue.
posted by gjc at 11:35 AM on March 19, 2011 [7 favorites]


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