What a tornado destroying your home looks like (SLYT, NSFW language)
November 22, 2013 1:03 PM   Subscribe

An EF-4 tornado chased Marc Rich into his Washington, IL home on Sunday and then ripped it apart. He filmed it all. Marc's loss was one of over a thousand houses destroyed in Washington on November 17. At least eight people have been confirmed dead in an outbreak that spawned 70 or more tornados across seven states that day. Neither Marc nor his daughter Josie were injured.
posted by Blue Meanie (124 comments total) 30 users marked this as a favorite

 
That was heart-rending.
posted by Dreadnought at 1:07 PM on November 22, 2013


Whew. The line "Neither Marc nor his daughter" ended right there on my monitor, and I almost didn't want to go to the next line.
posted by Etrigan at 1:08 PM on November 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ok, that's possibly the most terrifying video I've ever seen. Takes a lot to disturb me. That did it.

I'm glad they were ok.
posted by bondcliff at 1:12 PM on November 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


I'm not really in a position to judge, never having been through something this awful, but the voice in the back of my head kept saying "Put the fucking camera down and take care of your daughter." I'm just glad they both survived.
posted by benito.strauss at 1:12 PM on November 22, 2013 [15 favorites]


Jesus. That's like a horror movie. I'm so glad they were okay. Marc was great with his daughter the whole time, too.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:13 PM on November 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


It seemed like during the time the tornado was passing over the house, he was taking care of her and had put the camera down? I could be wrong. Mostly I'm just like... if that tornado had changed course about 15 feet, they'd have found that footage embedded in a tree in Iowa somewhere...
posted by showbiz_liz at 1:14 PM on November 22, 2013


I can't imagine how terrifying that must be, or how difficult rebuilding one's life after that would be. Terrible.
posted by Dodecadermaldenticles at 1:15 PM on November 22, 2013


See, and this is why the news covering the cell phone vid of the tornado with the family praying in the background pissed me right off. Like, yeah, OK, jebus jebus jebus, but the way they framed it to imply it was prayer that saved the house, what, all the other people died because they didn't pray hard enough? This guy got chased and his house destroyed because he didn't pray hard enough?
posted by klangklangston at 1:26 PM on November 22, 2013 [20 favorites]


Yesterday, on their facebook feed, NWS Chicago shared this video of a modular home being destroyed in Diamond, IL. Luckily it was a model home and uninhabited. But, just wow.
posted by IvoShandor at 1:31 PM on November 22, 2013 [4 favorites]


. . . the way they framed it to imply it was prayer that saved the house,

That was prayer? In times of panic, it's hard to tell the difference between "Jesus Christ!" (spare me!) and "Jesus Christ!" (HOLY FUCKING SHIT!).
posted by Think_Long at 1:32 PM on November 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


Terrifying. And the reveal at the end that he's wearing fucking flip flops! Dude survived a tornado tearing his house to bit and he's filming it in his flip flops. Blows my mind.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 1:32 PM on November 22, 2013 [8 favorites]


holy shit
posted by J0 at 1:32 PM on November 22, 2013


That was prayer? In times of panic, it's hard to tell the difference between "Jesus Christ!" (spare me!) and "Jesus Christ!" (HOLY FUCKING SHIT!).

I don't think they were talking about OP's video.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:34 PM on November 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


That was genuinely disturbing. Thank goodness they weren't hurt, but Josie's fear and sense of loss is heartbreaking. I can't imagine what it would be like to lose my home, much less in such a sudden and violent way. Here's hoping their insurance covers tornadoes. And may those other eight people be at peace, wherever they are now.
posted by Kevin Street at 1:36 PM on November 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


Holy shit! re: that video IvoShandor linked to. At 52 seconds the house looks fine. At 57 seconds it's no longer there.
posted by COD at 1:37 PM on November 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


the first 15 seconds of that video are entrancingly beautiful
posted by Quart at 1:39 PM on November 22, 2013 [4 favorites]


The ripping sound. Chilling.
posted by Lutoslawski at 1:45 PM on November 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Does anyone know what the *sound* is? The one that is like a high-pitched continuous fart? That scared the piss out of me.
posted by notsnot at 1:46 PM on November 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


I believe it is the sound of the house tearing apart - nails and timber specifically.
posted by Brent Parker at 1:48 PM on November 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


I believe it is the sound of the house tearing apart - nails and timber specifically.

And/or maybe, intense wind blowing through something that's vibrating enough to make the noise.
posted by ArmandoAkimbo at 1:51 PM on November 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh, and was anyone else getting a Kenny Powers vibe?
posted by ArmandoAkimbo at 1:53 PM on November 22, 2013 [9 favorites]


It is utterly terrifying to me how FAST it all happens.
posted by Westringia F. at 1:54 PM on November 22, 2013 [7 favorites]


That second video is eerily reminicent of 1950s atomic bomb testing shots.
posted by cacofonie at 1:54 PM on November 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


And even though I know the washingtonil tag means Washington, IL, I keep involuntarily parsing it as "washington nil" and it breaks my heart :(
posted by Westringia F. at 1:58 PM on November 22, 2013


I've talked before here about how growing up in the Midwest (about 70 miles up Interstate 74 from Washinton, Illinois actually) means I have always had and probably always will have tornado dreams, even though I have, fortunately, never seen a twister in person.

(The closest one has been to me -- about 1/2 a mile away -- I slept through because we were visiting my grandparents, and they lived across the street from a train track, so my family that was awake just thought it was a freight train. It apparently really does sound like that.)

What I found amazing watching this, and other 'eye of the twister' videos lately, is how accurate my dreams of this happening are. Like almost eerily so. I actually asked my mom, stupidly, if we'd actually been in a tornado when I was a baby or something because it feels so much like this has happened to me before.

Everything except that sound -- which is definitely the worst part. If I dreamed that sound, I'd probably never sleep again.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 2:04 PM on November 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm sure it's not what he intended, but I've never heard someone sound so frickin EXCITED to see his house destroyed.
posted by Phredward at 2:05 PM on November 22, 2013 [5 favorites]


At 3:05, when he first looks out the window at the damage at the houses on the horizon, that's what absolutely floored me.
posted by lstanley at 2:06 PM on November 22, 2013 [8 favorites]


I know the poor guy was in shock, but seriously...take care of your daughter, dude. Turn off the camera, hug her, help her get out. She's terrified.

Also, he mentioned an "Autumn" so was there two girls? Or a pet?
posted by emjaybee at 2:09 PM on November 22, 2013 [4 favorites]


"I'm sure it's not what he intended, but I've never heard someone sound so frickin EXCITED to see his house destroyed."

It's probably how I'd react. I mean, they weren't hurt and that is probably going to be a relief and therefore oddly exhilerating for some people (who are thinking "Holy shit, I can't believe we're not hurt!"), and then it's just stuff — but a unforgettable experience. I think I'd be mostly awed.

And, as he says in the video, he was also kind of in shock. Different people react differently to extreme emotional situations. I don't think the terror of it had fully caught up with him, yet. Probably did soon after.

I'd like to think that whatever my personal reaction, I'd be mindful of my loved ones and the people around me. Josie sounded deeply terrified and inconsolable — I was kind of annoyed with him about it. But, again, that whole "in a daze" thing. I don't hold people's reactions in extreme situations against them, as a rule.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 2:11 PM on November 22, 2013 [13 favorites]


Does anyone know what the *sound* is? The one that is like a high-pitched continuous fart? That scared the piss out of me.

That sounded like a strong wind going through the shudders that are on both sides of a window. I only know that because I've live through many a terrible Midwest thunderstorm and heard that same sound every time. That sound and seeing a nearby stop sign flapping violently from side to side in the same wind are an experience I'll never forget.
posted by NoMich at 2:14 PM on November 22, 2013


I am completely comfortable second-guessing the immediate reactions of someone having their home ripped apart around them! Why did he not do it the way I would have done it? I have found him deficient.
posted by sandettie light vessel automatic at 2:15 PM on November 22, 2013 [84 favorites]


I was without power for 36 hours due to this tornado outbreak and lost some siding. I have lived in the midwest for most of my 40+ years and usually try to sit on the porch to watch the storms. It went from a ho hum heavy rain situation to being positive that I was in a wind wrapped tornado situation. Never been so scared in my life. Ran for the outside basement with the dog and waited. It was over in a minute or so. My hands are shaking even as I type this. An EF3 had passed within a mile of me.
posted by futz at 2:16 PM on November 22, 2013 [11 favorites]


emjaybee: "Also, he mentioned an "Autumn" so was there two girls? Or a pet?"

His wife and other kids were out of town; it was just him and Josie in the house. They are acquaintances of mine.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 2:19 PM on November 22, 2013 [36 favorites]


Oh man, if I wasn't already afraid of tornadoes, I probably would be after this. The incredible speed of the whole thing is just unbelievable. I live in a hurricane area, so you definitely get to see them coming

He's not happy-excited his house was destroyed. Imagine the adrenaline: his house was just ripped apart and who knows how stable the remaining structure is - and Josie and Autumn are STILL INSIDE, not to mention he's in flip-flops in what is now a post-disaster area. His first priority was to gtfo of the house and move on to the triage portion of disaster recovery (Where is everyone, is everyone okay, etc), and rightly so.
posted by bookdragoness at 2:19 PM on November 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


I noticed your reaction to someones reaction to someones reaction. I had no reaction.
posted by stbalbach at 2:20 PM on November 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


The thing about holding on to the camera the whole time is sort of a shock reaction, I think? When a forest fire very suddenly and wholly unexpectedly passed fairly close to my house I was standing outside wearing the rubber gloves I had on to do the dishes, still holding the mug I'd been washing. Then our neighbor drove his sheep into the yard and I had to sit on the dog. I was still wearing the dish gloves. I assume a cameraphone would just be one more random thing in your hands that you don't have the mental energy to deal with putting down.
posted by elizardbits at 2:20 PM on November 22, 2013 [9 favorites]


"I would never live in California, they have earthquakes there!" Real quote from someone in my Midwestern family...
posted by Chuffy at 2:23 PM on November 22, 2013 [5 favorites]


Would love to hear how individual MeFi members have responded while their homes were being torn up by a tornado.

I'm marginally less interested in hearing what others would (or would not) have done have they not been in that situation.
posted by blue t-shirt at 2:28 PM on November 22, 2013 [6 favorites]


Maybe he could have held out a hand to guide his terrified daughter out of the rubble if he weren't so busy with his goddamned camera.
posted by jayder at 2:29 PM on November 22, 2013


Good example.
posted by blue t-shirt at 2:30 PM on November 22, 2013 [4 favorites]


Sound can be an amazing thing in these kind of events.

During both of the earthquakes that struck my area (in Maryland, of all places) in the last four years, the house made sounds that were upsetting because they were just wrong. There aren't normal circumstances that set all your aluminum gutters clanging against the fascia boards, and this is in a region prone to obnoxious low flybys from fighter jets.

The one that really stuck with me was when the derecho came through. The wind had been kicking up, and I'm a weather nerd, so I was on the front porch watching the silver maple whipping around the yard, when—the pressure changed almost instantaneously, my ears went ping, the in-swinging front door slammed tight, and the whole house sort of...sighed.

I heard all the windows creaking as they strained against their frames, and then there was a simultaneous thup and a crash. The thup was explained a moment later, when the turbine ventilator from my roof, which had been launched straight up, landed on the walk in front of me like a UFO, and the crash turned out to be the sound of my window air conditioner being launched out of my bedroom window like cork and into the trash cans.

The rest of the house spent a week creaking and groaning and rumbling back to its familiar range of mild complaints.
posted by sonascope at 2:31 PM on November 22, 2013 [54 favorites]


"I was still wearing the dish gloves. I assume a cameraphone would just be one more random thing in your hands that you don't have the mental energy to deal with putting down."

And even if you do and it's intentional, so what? I mean, if the urge to record the event gets in the way of things which are more important, then, yeah, it's a problem. But I'm not sure that it really is getting in the way of anything in many situations, including this one. As I wrote, I think he should maybe be attending to Josie (but, also as I wrote, I'm not going to criticize him; I think he was overwhelmed), but that he wasn't doesn't seem to me to be a function of him recording this; I think he'd have behaved the same way without his phone.

There's an instinctive desire to be critical of people recording things, especially terrible things, because we've internalized a culturally negative attitude toward both exhibitionism and voyeurism. And while there may be a good case to be made against those things, what's relevant here is that we automatically condemn (or at least feel some discomfort at) things which seem to be exhibitionism or voyeurism, even when they are not. Or, rather, whether or not they are.

Was this exhibitionistic? Well, the beginning of the video seems to me to be someone naturally recording a rare, awesome, and terrifying natural phenomenon. Probably if he had been presented with the question "would you record a video of your home being destroyed by a tornado as it happened?" he'd probably say, no, he'd have more important things to do. But, as elizardbits mentions, he had the camera in his hand. So he did.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 2:34 PM on November 22, 2013 [4 favorites]


I do want to retain That Sound for the House Of Leaves audio drama which I will never make.
posted by sandettie light vessel automatic at 2:34 PM on November 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


Would love to hear how individual MeFi members have responded while their homes were being torn up by a tornado.

I'd like to think that every other word out of my mouth wasn't seemingly intended to frighten my daughter even more. I mean...dude...stfu and just hold your daughter and tone down the play-by-play.
posted by Thorzdad at 2:34 PM on November 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


Check from Washington, IL flies 150 miles.
posted by Iridic at 2:35 PM on November 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


or maybe his daughter was safer in the area of the house that protected them from the storm?

I'd be in shock too just looking to see what happened. can you imagine what kind of disbelief it is to see that destruction? in minutes. you're trying to take it all in.

it's not like his daughter was injured and he abandoned her.
posted by sio42 at 2:36 PM on November 22, 2013


That point around 0:10 where all the flying debris suddenly comes into focus is stunning.
posted by xiw at 2:42 PM on November 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Terrifying. Even just listening to the audio makes my heart start thumping. The sound of tornado siren in the distance as they emerge from their safe spot and survey the damage makes me want to curl up in a ball.
posted by lord_wolf at 2:52 PM on November 22, 2013


sio42: "or maybe his daughter was safer in the area of the house that protected them from the storm? "

He did exactly what many families do, which is send all the kids to the basement (or the safe part of the house) for the duration of the tornado warning, and then one adult stands outside/near a window and watches the storm approaching. You want the kids safe and tucked away, and you also don't want everyone tripping over each other on the way to the basement, but it's a lot easier to hear the tornado sirens (which means a tornado has touched down nearby) if you're upstairs, you get better radio and TV reception upstairs so you can keep seeing the updates, and for the most part you have enough time to run to the basement before things get hairy when there's a tornado. And, I don't know, there's a sort of compulsion to keep watch on them. They're so selectively destructive -- complete destruction but in such a narrow area -- that, I don't know, it just seems to help to watch it coming.

This part of the storm went over my house about 10 minutes before it struck Washington ... it was rotational but no funnel had dropped yet. It was the fucking loudest thing I have ever heard in my life, and I was chasing my children to the basement immediately.

As soon as the loudest part went over, I went back upstairs to inspect and made the kids stay in the basement until I was sure it was safe. You don't want to bring them out until you know the storm is gone, and storms like that come in bands and often bring friends; we had our kids stay downstairs an hour until the last violent band had gone over, even though there were no more tornado warnings. If this man's house hadn't been destroyed he probably would have had his daughter stay in the basement while he inspected for damage and checked on the storm. He went up to check, saw the house was in really bad shape, and had his daughter come out because he was afraid the house would collapse. I can't imagine what he should have done differently, especially under such stress.

But to the parenting critics, seriously, several of my friends and acquaintances just lost their homes completely, many more sustained major damage, and it's really shitty to be second-guessing this guy's parenting. This tornado has frankly been so traumatic for my community that I can hardly even read the thread (but can't stop, in that morbid fascination way). There are real people who just went through devastating events. Only one person died and only 28 were seriously injured enough to go to the hospital because of the excellent work of the weather forecasters, the emergency alert systems, the years of tornado public awareness and safety campaigns the state has put on, and the common sense of the people in Washington and surrounding towns who kept their families safe. So, you know, fuck off. Nearly 1500 homes were destroyed by an EF4 tornado in a densely-populated area, but only 28 people were hurt and 1 killed. The people in this tornado did everything right.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 2:57 PM on November 22, 2013 [145 favorites]


Thorzdad: "I'd like to think that every other word out of my mouth wasn't seemingly intended to frighten my daughter even more. I mean...dude...stfu and just hold your daughter and tone down the play-by-play."

You have no earthly idea how you would respond to this experience. No idea.
posted by brundlefly at 2:57 PM on November 22, 2013 [22 favorites]


When I was nine, the house behind mine caught on fire in the middle of the night. My bedroom faced that way, and I was a light sleeper -- I thought I had woken up to a particularly red dawn, and it took me about thirty seconds to realize no, that house is on fire. I went to the bedroom next door and woke up my brother, and together we decided that we should probably wake up my parents.

My parents got up and into their bathrobes, and we all went downstairs and stood in the living room, looking out the picture window at the house behind us as it burned. Our lots weren't that big, the house was probably 75 feet away at most. It wasn't until another neighbor came pounding on our door yelling "GET OUT! GET OUT! GET OUT! FIRE! FIRE! THE HOUSE IS ON FIRE! WAKE UP THERE IS A FIRE!" that we all came to and realized that the fucking house fucking behind was was fucking on fire and we needed to fucking haul ass. We fled into the night in our pajamas, stunned.

It is really, really easy to say "Well, he shoulda handled that differently." When you are actually in that situation, it is really totally bizarre how peculiarly the gravity of the situation dawns on you. I would bet a shiny nickel that the whole time he's filming that tornado, what's going through his mind is Huh. I knew it was stormy, and I knew there were tornadoes about, but I didn't realize there was one right here. Huh, look at that, it's right there. Wow, that tornado is really big, and it is really right there. That's weird, it seems to be getting bigger, and clearer. I wonder what that means. Oh, probably it means it's getting closer. Oh, I guess it's coming straight for my house. It's probably -- "OH HOLY SHIT JOSIE WE GOTTA GO."
posted by KathrynT at 3:05 PM on November 22, 2013 [31 favorites]


And this is why I don't feel so bad about not owning my own home. Home destroyed by tornado? Okay, guess I'll be living out of a hotel for a bit until I can find a new place.
posted by pwnguin at 3:15 PM on November 22, 2013


PS, I would totally never live in California, earthquakes are legit terrifying. Better the devil you know, I guess.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 3:16 PM on November 22, 2013 [6 favorites]


What a nightmare for everyone involved.

I think I'd have reacted almost exactly like he reacted, both in terms of what I'd be saying and what I'd be doing. Keeping the camera out would give me a little more ability to objectify the situation and focus on getting out of the house/taking care of business/whatever.
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:28 PM on November 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


I have never been in a house when a tornado has ripped through it. Therefore I have no idea whatsoever how I would react, would be lying if I claimed I did, and I'm not going to judge how people react in such extreme, completely helpless, situations.
posted by Wordshore at 3:36 PM on November 22, 2013 [4 favorites]


I'm sorry, that was kind of hilarious. I'm from Chicago, the midwest-elvis-adrenaline accent reminds me of home. The sound of the kazoo. I wouldn't be laughing if they weren't allright.

Side note, is that shot in real time? If so, having your entire house upended in thirty seconds flat, that must be unbelievably shocking. Profound, immediate, irrefutable loss. I can't even imagine. It's like being near a wildfire, which unfortunately has happened to me. Unbelievable how quickly these natural phenomena move.
posted by phaedon at 3:44 PM on November 22, 2013 [4 favorites]


Better the devil you know, I guess.

I still remember how scary it was when I visited my grandma (Hinsdale, IL) in the summers, and the sky would turn this weird green-charcoal color. The waiting - will it come? will it come here? will it just be a big thunderstorm? - was terrible. Now I live in earthquake country, and you just never know when it's going to happen. I prefer that.

Ironically, the only tornado I have ever laid eyes on in person was...here in California! I guess it might not count as a real tornado since as far as I know it did not actually touch down, but seeing that finger of cloud twist down out of the sky was just...nope. Nope nope nope.
posted by rtha at 3:44 PM on November 22, 2013 [7 favorites]


I was in an earthquake in Seattle (like 5.4 or something)... It was serious enough where there was plaster falling from my ceiling (I was on the 2nd floor of a 5 floor building).

If you told me what I was supposed to do 10 minutes before it hit, I could have calmly told you how to act (brace yourself under something, don't go into open spaces, etc).

When the earthquake hit I was pretty much running around the house screaming like a banshee for 30 seconds (that seemed like 20 minutes). After it ended I realized the stuff I should have done (and was darned lucky it wasn't a larger earthquake).

So, yeah, I pretty much am with everyone here when they say don't second guess folks in emergency situations - your brain can get in a weird place.

eyebrows: Glad you're okay, happy to hear there was minimal human fatalities (and even injuries).
posted by el io at 3:45 PM on November 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


For all of you who are judging the cameraman...

1) He caught that whole fucking episode on camera. HUGE STONES.
2) I think Autumn might be their family pet. Hope Autumn made it. "Autumn stay there" makes me think yes.
3) Instead of hugging and consoling his daughter, he does the right thing. Get out of the f'ing house because it could fall down on them. Then he moves on to see if his neighbors are all right.

I don't know the guy, but I want to buy him a beer.
posted by Chuffy at 3:48 PM on November 22, 2013 [22 favorites]


Meanwhile, in Los Angeles...
posted by phaedon at 3:48 PM on November 22, 2013 [10 favorites]


"But to the parenting critics, seriously, several of my friends and acquaintances just lost their homes completely, many more sustained major damage, and it's really shitty to be second-guessing this guy's parenting."

I'm totally in agreement about not criticizing this guy because I think that, absent really egregious behavior, it's not appropriate to criticize people in such situations as a rule.

Yet mefites do this regularly. It's no less shitty when it's not your friends and acquaintances. If you feel moved to tell people to "fuck off" because this is personal to you — which is perfectly understandable — perhaps it's better that you not read this thread.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 3:52 PM on November 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Astonishing footage. Astonishing reaction here.

I've been in a tornado. It is bizarre and terrifying and afterwards nothing makes sense. Some buildings are left completely alone (or have pine needles driven sideways into bricks....). Some buildings are gone. Swaths of trees get twisted and destroyed like they were mown down by a God-sized weed eater. You react how you react. Some people cry. Some people exclaim. Shake their heads. Shock and awe. Then you go look for who else survived.

He did the right thing and seems like a great dad. You can tell from Josie's voice that she is scared, but she trusts him, and that is its own comfort when your world gets turned upside down.

And OMGosh yes, get out of that house!
posted by whimsicalnymph at 3:53 PM on November 22, 2013 [7 favorites]


Ivan Fyodorovich: "If you feel moved to tell people to "fuck off" because this is personal to you — which is perfectly understandable — perhaps it's better that you not read this thread."

Calling out someone individually and telling them to leave the thread seems considerably nastier and more pointed than saying "fuck off" about an issue I'm deeply upset by, but have it your way, Ivan, I'm gone.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 3:59 PM on November 22, 2013 [13 favorites]


Yeah would we all have preferred the guy to totally puss out and sit on the floor crying for 20 minutes while the house collapsed on top of them? He was obviously shocked but level-headed enough to think in the moment and have concern not only for his daughter but other people too.
I was actually waiting for the black screen to suddenly become white as the entire house was ripped away. Oh well.
posted by ReeMonster at 4:06 PM on November 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Meanwhile, in Los Angeles...

It is not funny when a desert city gets unexpected rain, any more than when New Orleans gets an inch of snow and structures collapse and the whole city is crippled.

I was in Las Vegas in the 1990's then they got a then-rare deluge of half an inch or so city-wide. With no drainage and soil that doesn't absorb water it turned the interstate highway into a river, flooded underpasses, washed away a couple of trailer parks, and made busy intersections impassable. When we got to the room I turned on the TV which was playing continuous local coverage. When my wife got out of the bath and saw the TV she asked "Is that from back home?" I just opened the window, from which we could see ourselves cars being washed down the interstate.
posted by localroger at 4:07 PM on November 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oops. I said wind wrapped (duh) upthread when I meant rain wrapped. Rain was horizontal and came through my locked windows. Never has that happened before.
posted by futz at 4:09 PM on November 22, 2013


phaedon: "Meanwhile, in Los Angeles... "

Yeah, the news treatment of rain in LA is ridiculous, I agree.
That said, the first few rains of the year can be absolutely nasty here, even if it's just a drizzle. I fear those days more than driving in torrential rain somewhere where it rains regularly and it's not just because LA drivers lose their minds when drops of water fall from the sky.

I grew up in Germany and learned driving there. Rain was just a normal thing to me. What makes the first few days of rain so fucked up in LA is that you have this layer of dust, tire rub and oil that accumulates here and there in the streets that hasn't been washed away by anything. You add a little rain water to that and it immediately turns into the devil's lube. It's as treacherous as black ice. One time I was headed downhill toward a freeway on-ramp at a relatively slow speed. I saw the light at the ramp turn yellow so I started to break. Nothing happened. My car was just sliding down the hill. I couldn't steer or break at all using any known techniques. So I turned on the emergency lights and leaned on the horn and managed to slide unharmed through 2 red lights during early morning rush hour traffic. I got lucky but it was scary as shit.

Don't underestimate what rain can do in LA just because the newscasters are idiots.
posted by Hairy Lobster at 4:19 PM on November 22, 2013 [11 favorites]


Yep. I totaled a car in the rain in LA. And I grew up driving on snow and ice, so I know how to drive on slippery surfaces.
posted by professor plum with a rope at 4:35 PM on November 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


If you told me what I was supposed to do 10 minutes before it hit, I could have calmly told you how to act (brace yourself under something, don't go into open spaces, etc).

This is exactly what happened to me for my first earthquake. I was sitting in my apartment, on the third floor, when it happened. My first reaction was to stand up, go to the balcony, and look outside. In hindsight this was not the best idea, had the epicenter been just a few kilometers closer.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:39 PM on November 22, 2013


I was in Las Vegas in the 1990's then they got a then-rare deluge of half an inch or so city-wide.

I was in Las Vegas a few months ago and got caught in a thunderstorm unlike anything I have ever seen. Huge arcs of lightning seemingly traveling sideways in the sky. Then came the flooding!

This is exactly what happened to me for my first earthquake.

This is what happened to me too. I did not grow up with earthquakes, and the first time I felt a tremor I was at work on the phone, the tremor hit, and if you were in the office at the time and blinked, you would have seen the phone on the ground, the front door closing, and me already down the hallway running for dear life. I probably ran for a block before stopping. I came back and finished the call. Fuck doorjams!
posted by phaedon at 4:41 PM on November 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


This is exactly what happened to me for my first earthquake.

My mom was in charge of the earthquake preparedness kit for her section of the lab she worked with, so she dutifully packed a crate full of canned food, water, medical supplies, etc. and put it under a table, as directed. When the earthquake el io was talking about hit (I think it was the same one), the only thing she could remember was "wait, did I pack anything to eat in the earthquake kit besides fruit cocktail? Because I don't actually like fruit cocktail. What was I thinking?" She didn't take cover or anything, she just stood there thinking about fruit cocktail.
posted by KathrynT at 4:44 PM on November 22, 2013 [7 favorites]


Yeah, this thread alone gives me The Fear. I grew up in tornado country and moved to earthquake central, and for myself? I'd rather not see the one that gets me. Sending good wishes to all affected - wish I could do more.
posted by Space Kitty at 5:05 PM on November 22, 2013


Hey if you're going to bother sending your kids into the basement, you want to know a cool thing to do? Give them some bike or skate or batting helmets to wear. Really improves their odds. Or just leave a box in the basement with old helmets right next to the flashlight and the radio. Grab one for yourself while you're down there -- it might save their lives if you're not concussed right after it passes.
posted by surplus at 5:06 PM on November 22, 2013 [4 favorites]


I cannot believe people are second-guessing parenting decisions here. So sad.
posted by KokuRyu at 5:06 PM on November 22, 2013 [5 favorites]


I have not had anything resembling that level of destruction to my house in a tornado but I have had one come close enough to rip all of the aluminum soffit and a good portion of the gutter on the front of my house and turn it into a horrid sharp broken twisted metal mass blocking the front door. I was inside the house, in the basement with my husband and my son. It sounded like a really bad car accident (which I have also been in the middle of, so I'm speaking from experience). The way I reacted was to lay on top of my child for a few minutes to protect him from debris in case the whole house went, and then, when the noise was over, to go upstairs and check on the damage because when you're in the basement in the dark (the power always goes out in these things) hearing all hell break loose you have no idea whether the tornado just took a bite out of your house or tore it in half, and staying in the house when half of it is gone is, as this dude figured out, not the best idea. (Now I know for next time to listen up for that horrible chainsaw noise on top of the twisting scraping metal sound. So that's useful I guess.)

Like I always do after a storm, I did leave my son in the basement when I went upstairs to check for damage, because if there HAD been broken glass on the floor, and no reason to go out, I would have wanted him to wait downstairs until I'd had a chance to clean it up. Also even if you do find you need to GTFO, you kind of want to make sure there's a safe path out before you call a kid up behind you.

Also I am not so sure it was a bad idea on the dad's part to warn the kid that their house was destroyed and their neighbors' houses were gone. She was going to see it when she came upstairs, anyway. It might actually have been better to be prepared. There is not really a nice way to say, "Kid, our neighborhood just got turned into a hellscape."
posted by BlueJae at 5:11 PM on November 22, 2013 [5 favorites]


I'm glad I wasn't alone for my first "real" quake here (same one as above, I bet). I was in the Castro theater seeing All About Eve, and I just did what everyone else did, which was to back calmly up the aisle, eyes still in the screen, away from the giant stabby chandelier that was swaying, and then wait to see if anything else would happen. Nothing did so we sat back down and kept watching the movie.

The fingerling tornado was much scarier because we were driving on the freeway and couldn't tell at all which way the tornado was moving relative to us, and we had no damn basement to go into.

I think this guy did a pretty damn good job.
posted by rtha at 5:16 PM on November 22, 2013


I hope Eyebrows comes back soon. Bad decision to give him a lecture about his tone when this is someone he knows.

My reaction was like many here, judging this Dad's actions. I'm glad I read this thread, and Eyebrow's posts, gave me a lot more understanding of tornado safety and what it's like to be in one.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 5:20 PM on November 22, 2013 [9 favorites]


psst eyebrows is a woman
posted by KathrynT at 5:25 PM on November 22, 2013 [4 favorites]


I hope Eyebrows comes back soon. Bad decision to give him a lecture about his tone when this is someone he knows.

Seriously. Her comments in this thread were informed and interesting. Hope she re-enables her account soon.
posted by lalex at 5:29 PM on November 22, 2013 [19 favorites]


I've been uncomfortably close to a few small tornados to have enormous respect for them, and the big ones scare the bejesus out of me. The air pressure dropping, the weirdly colored sky, and the freight train sounds- no thanks. My aunt and uncle live in the midwest and a tornado hit their house, picked it up, turned it around and dropped it back down, so that the back door was in the front yard and the front door in the back yard. While they were sheltering in the basement. All the furniture on the first floor had shards of glass driven inches deep into it, from the windows. I can't even imagine that.

I live in earthquake country now, and I am happy about that.

Hoping Eyebrows comes back soon.
posted by ambrosia at 5:32 PM on November 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Wait, Eyebrows buttoned? Fuck. Come back soon! You say excellent things!

One more on tornados: it never occurred to me until the movie Twister that tornados can happen at night, which WHAT THE FUCK. If I'd known that as a kid I never would've closed my eyes at night at grandma's.
posted by rtha at 5:34 PM on November 22, 2013 [4 favorites]


Eyebrows is cool, y'all, she just needs an emotional break from non-essential stuff because of storm aftermath. This same tornado passed over her house while it was forming, and she's helping with relief efforts and needs to focus her energy there. She says hey.
posted by KathrynT at 5:40 PM on November 22, 2013 [31 favorites]


I knew she was a woman too I was just kidding haha I am witty.

Link to donate to relief efforts anyone?
posted by Potomac Avenue at 5:43 PM on November 22, 2013


Dammit, Eyebrows is awesome and deserves an apology.
posted by KokuRyu at 5:58 PM on November 22, 2013 [14 favorites]


Hmm, all I see is the approaching tornado, then a bunch of black and then the aftermath. Intense, no doubt, but I thought he actually filmed the tornado inside as it's actually in real time ripping the house apart on camera - which he clearly didn't, because he sensibly hid out in the basement. I don't see much ground for criticizing him here... from the discussion, I totally thought he stayed throughout the whole thing filming with his daughter next to him, which would have been insanity indeed. I guess I was mislead by the sentence in the FPP: He filmed it all. No, he did not film it "all" - bit of false advertising (I am glad he didn't though!).

And indeed, it would have been awesome footage to see the destruction from the inside of the house as it was happening (remote cam, no humans please!)... for that I guess we have movies. As is, this was fairly dramatic anyway, no need to juice it. Glad they are at least physically OK, though the house and the whole neighborhood is one big trauma.

Side question: in earthquake zones there are all sorts of building codes to take that into account, is there an equivalent for tornado zones?
posted by VikingSword at 6:25 PM on November 22, 2013


I would never be able to modulate my voice the way this guys does.
posted by bonobothegreat at 6:26 PM on November 22, 2013


Yeah, neat footage but I was expecting something different, like vikingsword described
posted by mulligan at 6:55 PM on November 22, 2013


Not sure about zoning laws. There must be for newer commercial buildings. I would hope so anyway. My house was built in 1900 and someone dug out a basement at some point. It isn't pretty down there but a basement was #1 on my list when buying a house.
posted by futz at 7:03 PM on November 22, 2013


There were 20 confirmed tornados in my surrounding counties on sunday. Lots of damage. I was glad that my power only took 36hrs to be restored. Thought it would be much longer and many are still waiting. A friend lost their roof but is fine.
posted by futz at 7:10 PM on November 22, 2013


Yeah, sorry, my comment way up there was that this video reminded me of the one that got picked up on the news all over from the same disaster, where the guy prayed and every news story I saw was treating it like he had a magic rock to keep tigers away.
posted by klangklangston at 7:24 PM on November 22, 2013


2) I think Autumn might be their family pet. Hope Autumn made it. "Autumn stay there" makes me think yes.

Before it all goes down, there is a low, distressed animal noise that raised the hairs on the back of my neck because it was the sound of an animal that knows. So yeah, I'm guessing that's Autumn (and I would have guessed dog, but the sound is so guttural and primal it could be a cat.)
posted by blue suede stockings at 7:36 PM on November 22, 2013


at 0:33

"Is this gonna save us?" "I hope so, buddy."

He did a great job trying to anticipate what was going to happen, keeping INSANE PANIC out of his voice, and narrating the situation for his daughter as best he could. I also hear her voice muffled through the worst of it, and while she could be screaming into her own sleeves, I'm certain she was being held by her dad.

I'm so glad their family is okay. I hope their house, neighborhood, and community recover quickly as well. I wish there was more we could do.

Also, much love to you and yours, Eyebrows McGee.
posted by juliplease at 7:51 PM on November 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


We got chased of a Minnesota highway and into a rest stop, oh, two or three summers ago. We all just stood there waiting to get Hoovered up, having seen a funnel cloud just over the trees. Closest I ever came.

While I wasn't smart enough to hide in the bathroom itself, at least I had the brains to keep the kids in a central hallway and not stand by the plate glass windows. It was hard not to let my kids see how scared u was, so I was chatty, too, while my dad clammed right up. So I say Tornado Dad in the video can be forgiven. :7)

(Also, Eyebrows, please come home.)(And take care!)
posted by wenestvedt at 7:59 PM on November 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


There was a photograph of someone's grandkids found a couple blocks from me. Like in Iridic's link, a piece of paper traveled 140 miles. Here's the map from the Facebook page showing where things have been found. pretty damn amazing.
posted by readery at 8:10 PM on November 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


I live in tornado country, and I wasn't criticizing this guy for being in shock, it just hurt to hear a child freaking out and the dad not going right to her...I sure wanted to! It was pushing all my maternal anxiety buttons. But again:shock does weird things. He obviously loves his daughter.

I'm glad both he and Eyebrows are ok.

I still fear tornadoes less than earthquakes. A big earthquake will do more damage than the biggest tornado, and there's less warning.
posted by emjaybee at 9:03 PM on November 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


Another vote for earthquakes being scarier. You can't go anywhere in an earthquake. You're surrounded by it. At least you can flee (in most cases) from a tornado.
posted by longdaysjourney at 9:18 PM on November 22, 2013


See, and this is why the news covering the cell phone vid of the tornado with the family praying in the background pissed me right off. Like, yeah, OK, jebus jebus jebus, but the way they framed it to imply it was prayer that saved the house, what, all the other people died because they didn't pray hard enough? This guy got chased and his house destroyed because he didn't pray hard enough?

Don't EVEN get me started.

The Village of Cloverdale, OH, about an hour and a half SW of me, was largely destroyed on Sunday night. (The Village has a population of 168.) Included in the destruction was most of St. Barbara's Catholic Church. The shrine to the holy family, located in the back of the church, remained intact, with the votives still burning.

Of course, the Thumpers were out in force, yapping about what a "miracle" it was, and how "god is truly with us!" and "god is so good!"

Yeah, tell that to the 10 families that lost their homes, you festering assholes. "God" cared more about some candles than about families with children, and decided that some statuary and wax was worth saving, but those homes were totally expendable? What makes me even more angry is that the people spewing such shit were safe and warm in their homes, hundreds of miles away. Grrrrrr.
posted by MissySedai at 9:31 PM on November 22, 2013 [18 favorites]


Holy moley indeed.
posted by Dip Flash at 9:37 PM on November 22, 2013


I had this strong urge to flash my "other kinds of natural disasters" creds but I hushed it because these tornadoes just happened and this tornado thread isn't the place for them.

Current events threads are hard.
posted by juliplease at 9:41 PM on November 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Does anyone know what the *sound* is? The one that is like a high-pitched continuous fart? That scared the piss out of me.

That's the wind. I've been through some "little" tornadoes, and that's the exact sound the wind made when it howled through the jalousies of my Great Grandma's sun porch while we hid in the basement beneath it. Pants-shittingly terrifying, that noise.

Bravo to Marc Rich for not losing his shit, and for getting his daughter out of the wreckage right away. He was remarkably level-headed in a really frightening situation, and deserves All The Booze and All The Cookies.
posted by MissySedai at 9:43 PM on November 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


The posted video is credited to Marc Wells, btw.

The sound -- the one I'm identifying as weird -- from 0:40 to 0:46, the buzzy sound like a small chainsaw? I think it's some kind of small exhaust fan in overdrive as the wind blows through it. Anyway, something is vibrating that wasn't designed to be set in motion by a 150-mph wind.

Anyway, I too reject the second-guessers. I'm an adult with responsibility for some younger relatives and I would go into drill sergeant mode myself. The viewers are only with this family for the few minutes of the video and are thinking that he has to comfort her but she doesn't need comforting right then, she needs to be got to safety. He's right. She'll cry but she'll be OK. There will be time to sit in the Red Cross tent later and hug and cry.
posted by dhartung at 11:13 PM on November 22, 2013


KathrynT, do happen to know, does Eyebrows have any suggestions for the best places to donate to benefit her town? I have a lot of empathy for her situation (lots of tornadoes in my town these past few years) and a little survivor's guilt-- the same storm system that hit her area came through my neighborhood earlier that same day; the wind ripped a flagpole off my house.
posted by BlueJae at 11:26 PM on November 22, 2013


A tornado passed over our house one night (3am?) when I lived in Michigan. Shaved the shingles off the neighbors' houses on either side and did a lot of tree and garage damage to both, but our house, which sat a fair bit higher than theirs, had no damage save a bent tv antenna. Real strange. Even our trees were fine.

The sound was unforgettable. When people say it sounds like a train, they don't just mean a big, huge, rushing sound—they also mean that doppler/horn sound, but in slow motion. It's loud and quite disorienting to wake up to. It lasted about 15-20 seconds, maybe. (That only sounds like a short amount of time.)
posted by heyho at 11:47 PM on November 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


Looks like the Red Cross is doing the most work in this area of Illinois, and the Cubs did a big donation drive, so feel free to text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

But here's info on local donation efforts, including this crowdfunding site.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 5:41 AM on November 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


I have been through many, many tornado warnings. Hours of them. It never once occurred to me to put on some shoes before heading down to the basement. I've seen the aftermath hundreds of times. And yet it took this video for me to think, "Huh. Shoes. What a good idea."

I am so glad the community was prepared and the loss of life so low. It clearly could have been so much worse.
posted by cooker girl at 6:23 AM on November 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


Feh. That tornado was nowhere near energetic enough. I'm sure we could do much better if we could only figure out how to dump a whole lot more heat into the atmosphere.
posted by flabdablet at 7:37 AM on November 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


Mostly this video makes me aware how important good footwear is in a natural disaster.
posted by rosswald at 8:09 AM on November 23, 2013


Holy shit, this video moved me way more than I thought it would. Jesus.

Heartbreaking.
posted by rachaelfaith at 8:56 AM on November 23, 2013


And/or maybe, intense wind blowing through something that's vibrating enough to make the noise.

That sounded like a strong wind going through the shudders that are on both sides of a window.

this. when i was 12, during the 1965 Palm Sunday outbreak, an F4 tornado on the ground passed 1/4 mile from our house. in those days, storm windows and frames were aluminum. i will never, as long as i live, forget the banshee-like howl and shriek of the wind forcing itself through and around the storm window frames. i get chills just REMEMBERING that sound.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 9:33 AM on November 23, 2013


Eyebrows says:
"The local response and the response from outside has been phenomenal. People have been awesome. Within an hour, people who lived downwind of the tornado were taking pictures of personal items they found flying into town and organizing themselves into photo groups online so people could identify their pictures, yearbooks, trophies, things like that. The high school football team is in the playoffs and their opponents are funding a bunch of charter buses (so families without cars can make it to the game), providing overnight housing, and donating all the meals for the team for the playoff game this weekend.
The local telethon raised $896,000, which the Red Cross says may be a record for a local telethon.
If you'd like to donate to local groups, there is a relief fund organized by a local bank and you can phone in a credit card payment, info here: http://ci.washington.il.us/index_2.htm Specific organizations you may like include Tazewell County Animal Control http://www.tazewell.com/AnimalControl/AnimalControl.html and TAPS, a no-kill shelter, http://www.tapsshelter.org/, who have both done amazing work treating injured pets and reuniting pets with owners.

But I think the most important things you can do are donate to the Red Cross generally and support government programs like the National Weather Service, which gave us two days notice that tornadoes were likely and very timely and effective alerts during the tornadoes, which is why loss of life was so low, and FEMA, which is here coordinating the long-term recovery efforts. And get involved in emergency preparedness in your own town -- educating yourself and others, learning first aid and CPR, volunteering with local response teams. Because this disaster was kept from being so much worse because local people were prepared and knew what to do, and local responders were on the scene before the wind stopped blowing.

I am sure as Christmas gets closer there will be some sort of giving tree for children who were displaced from their homes, I'll let you all know when I hear something.
posted by KathrynT at 9:48 AM on November 23, 2013 [12 favorites]


Thanks KathrynT for passing on the info about relief funds. Eyebrows, I hope you take care of yourself and come back when you're ready to. You are valued.
posted by Phire at 10:34 AM on November 23, 2013 [3 favorites]


I'd been meaning to set up a monthly donation to the Red Cross and now I have. Sometimes the need feels so overwhelming but I guess every little bit helps.

EyebrowsMcGee I am sore on your behalf for how Ivan treated you here and I am hoping for your return. All the best with your community efforts, which I'm sure are tremendously valuable.
posted by Salamandrous at 11:56 AM on November 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


Eyebrows, let us know of the relief charity of choice; maybe we can get Matt to sidebar it.
posted by theora55 at 1:23 PM on November 23, 2013


when i was 12, during the 1965 Palm Sunday outbreak, an F4 tornado on the ground passed 1/4 mile from our house.

That outbreak was just a wee bit before my time, but it is still talked about here in Toledo as if it just happened yesterday. It completely flattened the neighborhood I just moved out of, and did serious damage to the neighborhood I just moved into. (We only moved about a mile and a half.) My current house withstood the tornado - it's a pretty solid masonry construction that went up in '39, but a large number of the homes in this neighborhood were rebuilt after that storm.

Accounts vary, some say it was one tornado on the ground for about 6 miles, some say it was two. There is a growing consensus that it was an F5, though the official record still says it was an F4. Every storm since then has been followed with "Thank god it wasn't like Palm Sunday." Until 2010, that is, when it WAS like Palm Sunday and blasted Lake High School and its surrounds clean off the map.

I have lived in the Ass End of Tornado Alley for my entire life, and have been exceedingly fortunate to have never lost much more than some shingles and tree branches - and a bike, once, that I had forgotten to take inside. Found it the next morning, wrapped around a tree three blocks away. Ma Nature can be pretty ferocious when she wants to be, and has done a good job of instilling major RESPECT into me when it comes to tornadoes.
posted by MissySedai at 1:37 PM on November 23, 2013


Southeast Wisconsin items here, we just had a bad wind storm from the system that produced this tornado, but we didn't lose power. Some people did. Today we had to head into Illinois for something unrelated. We were about an hour North of Washington IL, and didn't think much of it. Until on part of the drive we saw a sign encased in brick knocked over... We thought it must have been an accident, until the next businesses sign was toppled too. For about a mile, there were various signs and other debris knocked over or obviously missing.

I doubt it was a tornado, as nearby structures were unscathed. But anything that was big and flat must have acted as a sail and just captured one heck of a gust. Including toppling brick, and knocking over a two post road sign.

I don't remember their being tornados in November. And now it's going to be 6 degrees Fahrenheit tonight.

What is going on?
posted by [insert clever name here] at 5:02 PM on November 23, 2013


Way too intense! Absolutely shocking that your home can be totally destroyed in the blink of an eye. Listening to that makes me feel cowardly, humble, and so damn lucky not to live in Tornado Alley.
posted by BlueHorse at 5:49 PM on November 23, 2013


Eyebrows, I'm glad you and yours are safe.

My mom rode out Hurricanes Camille and Frederic back in the day and she tells one story of how they went outside as the eye passed over them
because the outbuilding where they had their dog secured was, literally, half destroyed. The got the dog and brought it inside before the rest of the storm hit. Which they survived, or I wouldn't be here telling this, but not without one less outbuilding on their property as it had been completely wiped away.

So yea, I feel like if this had been that story I'd be more than a little bit onboard the 'fuck off' train with regards to the armchair quarterbacking.

Hope to see you back soon.
posted by RolandOfEld at 7:00 PM on November 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


Within an hour, people who lived downwind of the tornado were taking pictures of personal items they found flying into town ...

This brought me very close to tears.

So close to Thanksgiving, I am going to add "safe & sound" and "no damn tornadoes" to my list of Reasons To Be Grateful on Thursday. Bless the survivors as well as the lost.
posted by wenestvedt at 7:05 PM on November 23, 2013


I can't stand the sound of those sirens. We moved from Palos to Orland Park so they go off all the time. The house we just moved into has 8 sliding glass doors. We just installed rolling hurricaine shutters out of fear of a tornado (and of course safety in general). I'm so glad we have a basement. In 2008 I was pregnant and my husband called me to get in the bathroom and take cover. He saw a funnel cloud begin to form. Here I was with 2 dogs, 2 cats in our interior bathroom (glass door shower no less and the furnace/hot water tank on the other side of the wall) and an outdoor seat cushion around my belly. I was so scared since we didn't have proper shelter.

I'm waiting for something big to happen in the SW burbs of Chicago. It's coming.
posted by stormpooper at 7:28 AM on November 25, 2013


Children's Christmas Lists for the Washington Area:

I received this today:
"Threads, Hope & Love NFP is a Washington, IL based not for profit organization serving those in need or in crisis in the Washington area with clothing, necessities, and a special Christmas toy distribution event. ... The Junior League of Peoria has partnered with Threads, Hope & Love to help ensure a successful 2013 annual Christmas toy giveaway in the wake of the storm."

Amazon Wish List

Toys R Us Wish List (Wish List #33867068)

Target Wish List
You can also donate money directly here.

You should definitely write "With love from Metafilter" or something so they know the interwebs are providing succor. Fully disclosing, I am a sustaining (aka "retired" after 5 or more years of active service) member of the Junior League of Peoria, which also means if you have questions or concerns I can sort those out for you, memail me.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:37 PM on November 25, 2013 [4 favorites]


PS, I would totally never live in California, earthquakes are legit terrifying. Better the devil you know, I guess.

Heh. When my mother was finishing her Ph.D., she went on a job interview at Emporia State University, in Kansas. During the tour of campus, they walked past a very large chaotic heap of boards. "What's that?" asked Mom. She was informed that this shed (or similar structure) had been blown down during the last tornado and they hadn't rebuilt it yet.

That was enough for Mom to decide against Kansas. "At least in California we have an idea of where, if not when. Tornadoes? No thank you," she told me later.
posted by Lexica at 4:40 PM on November 27, 2013


Lome Prieta earthquake:
Duration 15 seconds
Magnitude 6.9 Mw
Casualties 63 killed,[2] 3,757 injured[3]
Greensburg Tornado
Tornado Rating: F5 tornado
Duration1: ~30 minutes
Fatalities: 11
I hope her PhD wasn't in statistics!
posted by pwnguin at 7:06 PM on November 27, 2013


This surveillance video has been making the rounds, the excitement starts about 37 seconds in.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:59 AM on December 12, 2013


That is really upsetting to watch. I'm glad she and her husband are okay, but what about the cat?
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 7:11 AM on December 12, 2013


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