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Indiana tornado

By: Dr. Jeff Masters, 7:15 PM GMT on November 06, 2005

The tropics are quiet today, but tornado alley in the Midwestern U.S. saw its worst tornado in 7 years last night when a 3/4 mile wide tornado cut a 20-mile long swath of damage just north of Evansville, Indiana. Tornado warnings were issued 30 minutes in advance, but many of the 22 people who died probably never heard the sirens, which hit at 2 am local time. Near-record warm temperatures helped fuel the line of thunderstorms that spawned the tornado. The high temperature in Evansville was 77 F yesterday, 1 degree shy of the record. The temperature was still 70 at 1 am, shortly before the tornado hit.

2005 has seen tornado activity about 10% below average, according to statistics compiled by the Storm Prediction Center. In fact, May of 2005 was the first May since record keeping began that the state of Oklahoma saw no tornadoes. But this morning's Evansville tornado was the most deadly in the U.S. since the Oak Grove, Alabama tornado of April 8, 1998 killed 32. This morning's tornado brings this year's tornado death toll to 32, which is still well below the average of 46 tornado deaths for a typical year.

Jeff Masters


The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

Reader Comments

Just horrifying!! When I lived in central KY, we all had weather notifying radio's issued by the county. Does IN not supply the same to their population?
BTW, guess that made me first. Dr. M, was so hoping you would have a relaxing weekend for the first time in a long while, guess Mother Nature had other plans......sorry.


Here's a link to a site that is currently updating information every 15 minutes or so as it comes in.

There is also extensive online video coverage.


I grew up in Xenia Ohio, I went through the Xenia tornado of April 3rd, 1974, at 3:40 pm. So where do I live now?? Palm Beach county Florida, Can't seem to escape.
When I think of the weather options, I've always figured that hurricanes at least give us a bit more warning to get prepared and hunker down... tornadoes and earthquakes give me a whole 'nother type of heebie-jeebies...
I lived in Wisconsin from the late 70's to the mid 80's. During that time, one of the worst tornados hit a little town 25 miles south of us. (I think the name of it was Barneveld?) No matter where you live, there's something--tornados, hurricanes, volcanos, earthquakes, drought, floods, blizzards, etc. The one thing I can say about hurricanes is that you know well in advance of the possibilities and have enough time to decide whether to stay or go. What happened to the people in Southern Indiana is very sadl. They didn't have a chance.
Has anyone heard from Tornadoty? Wasn't he talking about going out chasing these tornado's yesterday afternoon?
C'mon folks, don't worry about the weather.

If you want to live a long time, worry about food poisoning, heart disease, preventable cancers. Drive carefully. Get exercise.

Statistically, you are more likely to win the lottery than to be nailed by hurricanes, tornados, or earthquakes. Get real.

what is your interest in this blog if you never worry about the weather?
Hello Cgabels and Code !
This same system just got done racing through central New York... probably the most intense (though short-lived) thunderstorm we've seen in a while, although it does not rank up with the Labor Day derecho of '98. Horizontal rain, intense lightning, and when it passed we were treated to a spectacular display of mammatus clouds. These storms intensified when they got done with the Syracuse area and now are hitting Piseco Lake.
Hi Gamma, yes, torn is OK, saw his posts on lefty's I think. Been popping around various blogs to check in on folks today. First day been slowed down long enough to sit and do so... Glad to see you and yours got sorted out after all this time... doing business (as with living) on a generator, sucks the big one and you had to a good while...
Hi HateH!
Hope you're doing fine!
No you are MUCH more likiely to be hit by a hurricane esspecially in some areas then winning the lottery,there have been tons of major hurricanes effect millions of people harshly in florida over the past several years.Yes earthquakes and tornados yes,but hurricanes are vast intense tropical lows that siriously effect many people when they make landfall,some times less sometimes much more dependng on size,also hurricanes,esspecially strong ones spawn many tornados as they make landfall.
I remember there were bad outbreaks of tornadoes in November in the early 1990s
11/10/2002 was a horrible outbreak of 95 tornadoes.
jcasey, I disagree, I have been through one tornado in my life, and 3 hurricanes in the past 2 years, Still buying my lottery tickets too. Different odds in south Florida
If the statistic is based on populations that don't live along the coast, that is not a very meaningful statistic. Statistics are really funny that way...ever hear that yellow cars are statistically involved in less accidents? Not because they're more visible...if I said purple and teal polka-dotted and striped cars were involved in less accidents, then you see why (less of them on the road).

I'm thinking...I may have to write about this season in order to deal with it.

I also have been wanting to write about something that won't be very popular here...the damping down of the Cat scale, especially this year, by the media, with a lot of buy-in from the public. I believe this is the main reason that people aren't following evac recommendations. Mets are pulling their hair out saying, what more can we do to warn? In their minds, they have put out a very specific warning associated with a very specific set of damages. In the public's mind, that warning is not assoc with any damage. John Q. Public now believes that Cat 1 and Cat 2 hurricanes are a walk in the park, and any significant damage at all, well it had to have been a Cat 3. And people seem to be forgetting that assoc with the sustained winds are always short-lived gusts that can easily go to 30mph higher, with a few even higher than that, and can exacerbate the damage. The concept of the Cat scale has been lost: that Cat 1 and Cat 2 winds cause damage (not only from the sustained winds but from the wind gusts), that a major hurricane causes quite extensive wind damage, and can easily collapse a home once it pulls the roof off, and that Cat 4 & 5 winds don't really leave much of the home (or anything else) behind at all. On much of the Gulf Coast this may be somewhat of a moot point...major-hurricane-strength sustained winds don't go very far inland, regardless of the hurricane, and because of the topography of a lot of the Gulf Coast, surge is almost always the big concern in the areas that would happen to get major hf winds. I think the second factor influencing evacuation is the failure to emphasize more specific warnings on a local level, whenever possible (Key West as an example of a place with unique evac constraints). I wonder if people listen to local warnings put out by their regional NWS, so much as they turn on CNN/TWC/FOX/etc these days. I realize the the cone does still remain quite large (and I don't think that's ever going to change that much), but once in the cone, then local warnings based on the worst-case scenario, a direct hit, are really much more helpful and specific than the general NHC advisories, in terms of assessing surge risk, evacuation routes and timing, when conditions are expected to deteriorate, other areas of preparation. And in many cases these regional-specific warnings are supplemented by mets at local TV stations.
19. IKE
What I hate about what the media does...Hurricane "whatever" has been downgraded to a cat 2 storm. The NHC doesn't downgrade a storm that goes from, say a cat 3...to a cat 2. That is simply a scale to measure hurrucane strength by.

Now..they DO downgrade if it goes from a hurricane to a TS or a TS to a TD...but the media has picked up on the downgrading of a storm from a cat 3 to a cat 2. That's NOT something the NHC OR anyone else ever did.

Ya know what irks me??żż, The term "Minimal Hurricane" kinda like the Big shrimp thing, huh?
Well said, Squeak. I hear people in my area of SC, blow off storms, saying 'Oh, it's just going to be a Cat 1 or 2. It isn't going to do anything. I'm not leaving". I think FL residents prepare and pay attention better than the SC residents. I don't even think I've ever seen hurricane shutters here. Most folks' idea of "getting ready" here, is putting up the lawn chairs and potted plants. Some businesses board up, and maybe some folks on the beaches, but very few others. A big storm hits, and folks go on heightened alert and prep pretty good for a few years, then get complacent again when nothing happens. GA hasn't really been hit in so long, heaven knows what will happen there when it does. In my opinion, anything from TS on up is something to worry about.
I wish those statistics were true jcasey, lol. I would be a millionare 2 times over by now. 3 Hurricanes, 3 near misses in the past 15 months. Still haven't had my numbers come up on the lottery, most I have had is 3 numbers.
Progressive, Lake Worth here. Our group at work hit five numbers years ago when the payoff was only $1500.00. My boss took the ticket down to 45th St. to collect our $300 each. He called us at work and needed all of our Social Security #'s. Yep, You guessed it. Uncle Sam was the sixth player in our group of five.
Ahh yes melly, the bigest breadwinner is the forgotten 6th player.
Hi Progressive (& others)....
...I'm not trying to start an argument, advocate lotteries, or minimize the seriousness of tragedy to folks who do get caught on the unlucky end of statistics.
All I intended was to put perspective on risks. Sure, hurricanes are a localized risk to folks in the Keys, less so elsewhere in the SE. We even get them occasionally in Boston. Risk these days is much, much less, due to excellent forecasting. Even in the Keys (or NOLA, or Galveston), you are more likely to die from traffic accidents or heart disease, and you can do serious things to remediate those risks somewhat. I grew up in earthquake country, went through several big ones, but the number of actual deaths was very very low (again, considerable thanks to modern building codes, as witness Afganistan).
I lurk here because I'm fascinated by the energy in big weather, and there is far more analysis and commentary here than available elsewhere. I was only provoked to comment when I hear folks wondering where to move to in order to be risk-free. It just doesn't add up.
I'll go back to quiet lurking now, thanks.

But jcasey. It does add up. Let's just say who is a more of a risk by a weather disater, south Florida, or north Georgia. ? I have lived in both areas, I choose Florida is more at risk. Just my thought, I'm a lurker also. But was a weather person in the USAF for four years.
there is no risk free place, but each place has its own unique risks - key is to pick a place with risks you are comfortable with.

btw, the storm which spawned the tornado is busy dumping 12 to 20 inches of snow in northern Ontario tonight
Wow, snowboy. Don't think I could deal with snow like that. My blood's too thin! Once in a while, we get a sprinkling and everyone goes beserk! Kids scraping up enough to build a snowman, schools and businesses shut down, since we don't get it often enough to handle driving in it (or icy roads).
I grew up in Newburgh, IN and my parents still live there. I got some reports from them earlier today. Frankly I'm suprised there weren't more deaths. The Evansville area isn't like farmland, its pretty crowded. They got pretty lucky that it struck basically inbetween evansville and newburgh which is less populated.

One report they told me was of a two story how that everything was gone but the garage. On top of the garage was the riding lawn mower that was previously in the garage.
*two story house
hey palmetto, that is a bit much snow - especially in November. I'm from southern Ontario, which has a milder climate - we usually don't see serious snow till December
32. dcw
*falls down laughing at Category 7: The End Of The World*

"Chunks of mesosphere"
"Enormous wind shear"
"This is definetly a Category 5 Hurricane: winds must be gusting almost 150mph"
Um...whoever was asking if Carlin would be on HBO again...he's on right now, it just started.
34. OGal
Good morning everyone, just heard on our local weather that there is an area in the western GOM that needs to be watched. Great!! What do you guys think??

What makes you think that only the Keys are likely to have a hurricane? Do you follow weather at all? I went through three pretty bad hurricanes in Pennsylvania (Diane, Hazel and Agnes) and lots of hurricanes here in Florida (NOT the Keys). My mother died as a result of Frances last year.

The entire Atlantic and Gulf coasts are targets for hurricanes, as well as some areas of the West Coast. Additionally, many storms move inland, causing more deaths due to flash flooding, downed trees, etc. Having been fortunate not to experience a bad storm yourself, perhaps you aren't intersted in the weather, so why are you here?

If you are speaking of the odds of being KILLED by a hurricane, I don't know what they are, and they vary according to where you live. But LIVING through a hurricane is not a picnic either, and those of us in the South have had two years of bad storms, with the outlook for the next several years to be the same.

Most of us are here to keep tabs on and learn more about the weather, and for those whose lives may depend on accurate information, many of us have found that this site consistently contains accurate, timely information.

When you are eating a Red Cross meal because you have no power and there is no fresh food in the stores and your hurricane supplies have been exhausted, you don't worry about the cholesterol count.

For someone who is "not trying to start an argument," your flippant remarks are pretty offensive to those of us who are trying to repair our homes and get our lives back on track. Perhaps that will give YOU some much-needed perspective, but I doubt it.

Hi squeak,

I agree with you about people not taking Cat 1 and 2 storms seriously. But I have to say that our local stations here in South Florida REALLY downplayed Wilma. Most continued regular programming (NASCAR, football, etc.) and gave very little coverage to the storm. It was reported more than once that we on the east coast would most likely get only a minimal Cat 1 or tropical storm. They in NO way stressed any other possibility. So if they are pulling their hair out, it's their own fault.

It is a mandatory evacuation for mobile home parks here in Palm Beach County for a Cat 1 or above. Yet the Sheriff's deputy came through our neighborhood announcing a VOLUNTARY evacuation. This added to the feeling that we would not get hit by a strong storm.

The NHC has been very lax about getting updates onto the NOAA site, making it even more difficult to make plans. In fact, I come to Weather Underground to see the NHC reports FIRST, sometimes hours before I found them on NOAA's site.

If the NHC, the local authorities and the local media downplay the seriousness of a storm, it is to be expected that the average Joe will not take it very seriously either. I have heard from hundreds of people in my area that they never would have stayed if they had been properly warned.

My neighbors used to laugh at me, because I begin in May to buy hurricane supplies, etc. However, they don't laugh anymore. Had I not been so well stocked, many would have gone hungry before the Red Cross started providing meals in our mobile home park. I had not planned to feed so many, so I was also forced to rely on the Red Cross after 6 days.

South Florida is my home for forseeable future, so I will continue to refine my preparations and urge my neighbors to do the same.

A fire fighter friend of mine is a Captain in the Evansville Fire Dept. There are 22 known dead, according to him, all from the trailer park. He went there last night to do search and rescue work. Just when you think hurricanes are bad news, you hear of earthquakes, tsunamis and tornadoes. At least with hurricanes you have a little warning.

Mouseybabe is right. Any foreseeable hurricane is cause for immediate preparation if you have not done so already. Dr. Masters was also correct in predicting that Wilma would not lessen in intensity once she hit land. She came ashore on the west coast of Florida at 125 mph sustained winds and left the east coast of Florida at 125 mph sustained winds. Thank God we had hurricane shutters up and closed, our generator at the ready and food cooked the night before to get us through 7 days of whatever came our way. I asked our neighbors to come over the night before the hurricane hit to stay with us and told them that once the shutters were closed, we would not be able to give them safe harbor. You cannot believe how many neighbors called during the hurricane to ask us to open our shutters and let them in! These were the same people who believed a Cat 1 was on its way, therefore, no preparation was made in the form of boarding windows or securing possible missles in their backyards. You would think that people from Port St. Lucie would have learned from Frances and Jeanne last year, but no.

Here is my thinking: prepare for the worst and hope for the best. If a Cat 4 comes our way, we are out of dodge in a heartbeat.

Hopefully, the 2005 hurricane season has ended, but with the way the storms have been this year, I almost predict a Cat 5 in January, 2006! I am also here in South Florida for the long haul. After all, paradise does come at a price, but it is still paradise. :)

I ageww, prepare for the worst and hope for the best! I too live in a mobile home park in davie, florida, we evacuacted naturally as always but alot of my neighbors stayed and they had to leave in the middle of the stroem to find saftey, I dont know whats crazier leaving in the middle or staying? Otherwise we were directly affected by wilma still awaiting the insurance company and lost roof , flooring and furniture. Now we are trying switch to the rebuild mode but the thought of another hurricane this year is unthinkable. I do have an uneasy feeling about the rest of the season. Whats up with the area in the GOM that we now have to watch?? Anyone have any details on the movement or anything? A few people we know are moving to dallas area to avoid mother nature, apparently there is a part of texas that does not get tornasoes> The rockwall area . If we get hit again I might have no choice as it is It is possible the insurance company might total the house because the damages might exceed 50% of the insured value. I think thats how it works. Any comments greatly appreciated. thanks and best of luck to all...
hey all, I see no sign of tropical storm formation in the Gulf (it's getting pretty cool for that - would expect anything to form now in the Caribbean). But that's just me - here's what the NHC says:

530 AM EST MON NOV 7 2005



I have to say I didn't see NHC downplaying the storm (Wilma) or posting things late on their website - in fact they were often up a few minutes earlier than required. Thought they did a good job with this one, esp. with their prediction of the track which was almost dead on despite the fact that the models were all over the place. It's the local media who maybe let people down in Florida, but anyone who relies on local media for hurricane forecasts is my view tempting fate anyways (unless you know you're dealing with an absolutely competent and conscientious station)...
Posted By: jcasey at 10:03 PM GMT on November 06, 2005.
C'mon folks, don't worry about the weather.

If you want to live a long time, worry about food poisoning, heart disease, preventable cancers. Drive carefully. Get exercise.

Statistically, you are more likely to win the lottery than to be nailed by hurricanes, tornados, or earthquakes. Get real.
You gotta be kidding?
I'v lived in south Florida for 5 years, yet have had 3 direct hits by Hurricanes in the past 14 months. Frances took about one third of my belongings (things Insurance and FEMA can't replace - a lifetime of photos, a large book collection). Jeanne, took another third (all my remaining books and half my furniture, clothing, ect.) Wilma didn't teak my roof like the first two hurricanes, but try living "cheap" after a hurricane with no power or water for 2 weeks. It's amazing the extra expenses that pop up. And I was lucky, some people lost most or everything of it to all three storms and many are still without power. And to end my rant....I won 50 bucks once on the lottery.
Sorry to post this so late, and so strong, but that pushed my button.
Dang, got me so fired up I kant even spell, lol.
WeatherWeasel, I know what you mean about 3 hurricane hits in 14 months. I am originally from CA and moved to Florida in 2001 with my husband. I am used to earthquakes, so long strong winds scare me, especially since Frances stayed on top of us for 3 torturous days!

I am sorry you had to go through so much in 14 months. I, too, spent a full year with contractors, weeding out the jerks from the good guys, hiring them, then learning what the phrase "the job will be done in 3 days" really means in Florida terms! Fighting the insurance company to at least respond to my claim, and learning that FEMA stands for FOR EVER MINDLESS ARROGANCE, took its toll on me.

JCasey obviously lives in an area where there is no threat to life or property and has never experienced the joy of "riding out" either a hurricane or an earthquake. Don't let it get to you. There's a JCasey on every chat board, ready and able to stir the waters of discontent.

Live well and prosper and enjoy our paradise here in Florida!

Tropical Island
Comment from another lurker.

I lived most of my life in the Western KY, Southern Indiana area and have been through my share of Tornadoes (one in 1968, simultaneously opened all of the doors and cabinets in the trailer we lived in as it roared by -- I was just a kid but I assumed that it picked it up and twisted it a little).

I disagree with jcasey's comments. I don't worry about things I can have some control over (traffic accidents, preventable cancers, etc.) I worry about things that i have no control over (like tornados).

One final thing. Perhaps trailers should come equipped with built-in weather radios with the Alert feature?
LOL, I think we have jcasey cowering in a corner. I'm sure he knows in his heart he made a Faux Pas. We are all human. But I sure would like to win the lottery. Palm Beach county here
Iforget who mentioned it but the gusts are what really do the damage in the hurricanes. So these CAt 1 and 2 storms that so many people dismiss as a reason for a hurricane party can be alot more dangerous than the sustained wind that goes along with them. Even with Charley hitting us with 150 mph sustained winds it was the gusts that did the big damage to our home. We lost hurricane shutters due to the intense gusts. Flying roof tiless cut holes in our shutter panels and tore them off the track and then tore the track right out of the concrete wall leaving a hole about 2 inches wide. Then the garage door blew out and the attic door flew open and insutlation was blowing around the garage along with trees inside the garage. This was the first half of the storm. During the eye we came out of the closet to see what got torn apart. I thought for sure in the second half of the storm we would lose the roof since we had so much damage to the house but since the wind was coming from the other way it didn't touch the damaged side of the home. No tropical storm is to be taken lightly. I think you really need to ride out any hurricane no matter what catagory to really understand how powerful they are not just see it after you come back from evacuating.
Remember what I said about the damping down of the Cat scale by the media...read this article regarding Hurricane Wilma's windspeeds, over southern FL, which were a Cat 1 or possibly a Cat 2 in places:


The timing is a little weird...it emphasizes many of the same things I posted yesterday...kind of spooking me out a bit.

It also has one of those AOML model graphics...which in spite of my stance, I do believe is a little on the low side, just as I felt for Katrina; the main objection I have is in the way the model reduces the windspeed due to friction at land right at the coastline, when I believe the first mile or so inland does receive the same strong winds that are just offshore, at ground level, and that the reduction due to friction is gradual over the immediate coastline, going inland. But I also wonder if there is more complexity involved in determining whether the strongest winds reach down to the ground, and what factors might be significant in trying to determine this in advance.

Anyway, some of the quotes:

"It shows you don't need a major hurricane — you don't need a Category 4 or 5 hitting you — to produce disruption," said Robert Molleda, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service's office near Miami.


Aside from two sites on Lake Okeechobee — one blowing at 103 mph — no location in Palm Beach County appeared to have exceeded the 82 mph sustained wind reading taken at Palm Beach International Airport, based on initial data. Sustained winds last for at least a minute.


The state's fiercest unofficial gust measurements might have been 135 mph at Marco Island and 133 mph near Stuart.

Such gusts can be especially devastating, but they are not unheard of in a Category 1 storm, meteorologists said.


"Every one of those instruments recorded essentially Category 1 sustained winds across the state of Florida," Gurley said, although he cautioned that the hurricane's overall strength could have been higher. But even Category 1 power was enough to surprise many residents, he said.


That kind of news often displeases the victims, said Mark Powell, an atmospheric scientist at the federal Hurricane Research Division in Miami.

"Anyone who got any damage, they want to believe they got the worst possible (hurricane), that there wasn't anything they possibly could have done," he said.


No gauge on land in Florida measured sustained wind speeds anywhere close to the 125 mph, Category 3 figure that the hurricane center estimated for Wilma's landfall, which probably inflicted its harshest winds on uninhabited mangrove islands south of Naples. Only two official sites — Lake Okeechobee's south end and Biscayne Bay — recorded even Category 2 winds, according to the weather service's preliminary reports.

Mousey...West Coast, target for hurricanes? Maybe if you include Mexico's west coast, but calling the US West Coast a target for hurricanes is a stretch at best.
Here's a big difference between hurricanes and tornadoes: tornadoes don't produce the same kind of regional disruptions that hurricanes do. In May 2003, Kansas City experienced several very destructive tornadoes, but it didn't even rain at my house. No power outages, no shortages, no traffic jams trying to flee town...only a scattered number of houses that were completely destroyed.

In contrast, even a weak tropical system can cause a lot of regional effects...even if your house isn't damaged you still have to deal with power outages etc.
Not cowering in a corner, just busy. I'm very surprised by the invective my comment provoked. I really didn't mean to start any arguments, I'm not trying to get anybody's goat, minimize anybody's problems, etc.

All I said was that one needs to look at relative risks before getting bent out of shape about weather related risks. If folks care, I'll dig up some hard numbers tonight from home. The sort of statistics I'm talking about:
deaths per 100,000 people from hurricanes in risk areas
same for tornados, same for earthquakes
same for heart disease, smoking related cancer, traffic accidents.

Good point that there is a lot of pain and suffering without death in a hurricane. It is more difficult to get hard statistics on this sort of thing, but they might exist. I would compare injuries in weather to injuries from accidents or non-fatal heart attacks, cancers etc. I would look at power outage from hurricanes and compare to loss-of-car from traffic accidents.

Please, I'm really not trying to minimize anybody's personal experiences, I'm just trying to provoke some objective comparisons of risks. Too many people ARE willing to accept huge risks that they feel they can control (driving, smoking), but are unwilling to accept risks orders of magnitude smaller if they feel they are out of control. I'm interested in thoughtful discussion of this. If all you can do is misread me and flame me for being heartless, I guess that is your right.


i did not specify the US West Coast.

SWFLKR -- I think we posted at the same time.

"During the eye we came out of the closet..." jeez louise, what an experience to have to go through. Yeah once the roof goes, it is easy for the walls to come down...not a situation you want to be in, even with a mattress on top of you. Evac is better than riding it out...there would be no safe haven outside with high winds and flying debris.

I was talking to my brother last night...he had been very depressed and closed up for a couple weeks, but now it seems he is coming back to a better place, not so depressed, and we talked for awhile about Katrina. He said he would like to know about what the windspeed would have to have been to cause some of the damage he saw. He said that the sustained winds (which were extreme for about 90 minutes, in his location), were able to rip shingles off the roof and then run them through a car window on one side, smashing it, and out the other side, smashing that glass as well, without stopping. I'd like to know as well. He said that the roof of the sub station was very close to coming off, but luckily it didn't. He did see the roof of the BP across the street go flying off and skip like a stone as the wind blew it down the road.

I found out that the location of his sub station is different than what was on the topographic online map I had been using...the sub station was actually much closer to the coast and the eyewall, as it was south of I-10, not north of it, just across the street essentially from the Gulf Hills subdivision in Ocean Springs, to the east of Gulf Hills on Washington Ave (nothing was left in Gulf Hills...and it is a couple miles NE of the tip of East Biloxi, across the bay, where they received the 30-35 ft surge and eyewall winds). So I'd originally thought that he received 26 ft of surge and now because the location turned out to be different, a couple of feet lower, it appears they got 23-24 ft of surge there, which is very consistent with nearby areas of Ocean Springs; it appears that the worst surge received in Ocean Springs was about 25-26 feet, on the SW-facing shore.

He said that when the really strong winds came in, and this was after hours of already-strong sustained winds, which started blowing at hurricane force I believe around 6:30am (they were getting 30-40mph around 2am with gusts), that they came in with very dark low-lying clouds, with scud clouds, and the entire time the sust winds were at that highest point, the clouds remained very dark overhead. Since they'd already had hours of high winds, this was the most unnerving part of the storm for them. They actually experienced nonstop hf sustained winds for many hours. He said it was afternoon before the winds dropped below hurricane force, and winds were still a factor in the evening (that is partly because Jackson and Mobile counties were under the strong feeder band that stayed in place for some time, as Kat moved inland to the NW).

I wish I'd saved all the radar images so I could have gone back over them later. If anyone has a link, please post.

Also he was interested in finding out about the wave action at the coast. As soon as the storm abated a bit, he had to go around to all those areas right after, if he could get to them, doing S&R, and he said he saw bark completely ripped off the trees right on the shoreline up to about 25 ft high, which we assumed was surge plus some waves, and then he said there was another portion above that, for about the next 25 ft up, where only a line of the bark was ripped off, facing the water, and he wondered if waves could have done that as well, and wondered if the waves were that much higher than the surge. Since the water is very shallow there, we think so.

It spooked him out to know he had been so close to an area of total destruction.

So far he hasn't been able to talk about the Search & Recovery, and some of the things he saw. I know he felt very bad about not being able to save everyone, even though he did save over 20 people, mostly from drowning in their homes as the water rose, just before the main surge rolled in...once the main surge came they were all trapped at the sub station, and indeed almost didn't make it back there in the ATV. Eventually we will talk about all that. I believe a lot of the people who drowned were older couples back in the county who just did not want to leave, from reading the obits afterwards.

I think finding out some figures on the storm surge and windspeeds are theraputic for both of us.
jcasey: hard facts? Not interested. No flame to you either. It is just very obvious you have not lived through one, so I feel you have no "real life" stats to go by. Go somewhere else with your drivel and stats, where you will be heard.

I don't think my mother's death, or the deaths of any of the other victims of hurricanes can be compared to the odds of winning the lottery. This is just the sort of false statistic people toss out when minimizing the problems of others. Nor can the number who suffered injury, illness, the loss of their homes, jobs, etc., be compared to those who won lesser prizes.

There is really no objective way to compare these disparate events. And why choose to compare power outages to loss-of-cars from accidents? There were 6 million of us without power after Wilma hit. My power was out for a week, my son's for 2 weeks, many others still have no power. Incidently, my car was totalled when my neighbor's flying roof hit it, and my husband's car sustained $3200 in damages. Why not compare car losses to car losses? Because none of it makes any sense.

But since you tossed out a "fact" - >Statistically, you are more likely to win the lottery than to be nailed by hurricanes, tornados, or earthquakes. Get real.< - then tell us where you got your "facts." Or better yet, maybe YOU could "get real" by examining your motives for posting your original message. This is a weather site. Dr. Masters and many who post here are making an effort to help people prepare for disaster and understand how the forces of nature work. Perhaps you could find a statistics site on which to post your totally fictional "facts."

As for flaming, I haven't seen anybody flame you. What we did was merely question your staitistics and your reasons for posting a somewhat hostile message. If your insulting message was received by a less-than-enthusiastic response, can you wonder why?

jcasey, Can't get my goat, blew away in one of the many south Florida hurricanes in the last 15 months.Still buying lottery tickets.

Inviting jcasey to experience a "mininal hurricane " with me. Bring extra underwear.
mouseybabe, so sorry for your loss.
mousey.. Sounds like me. Tree limb fell on my daughter's car, and pool enclosure destroyed. I was eithout power 11 days. Lake Worth Utilities. Not my favorite anymore

Thanks for your kind words. I know many have lost much more, and I'm thankful for my blessings. But it's weird to reach the point where you're nobody's "baby" anymore. As for the house and cars, they're stuff and are replaceable.
ah, melly, beautiful lake worth... when i moved to FL back in '72, my aunt called it the "home of the newlywed and the nearly dead"...don't think the newlyweds visit anymore...

now, i live in boynton, so i've got no room to talk!

mousey, lost the "baby" tag myself this spring, so definitely know where you are coming from. Not nice to feel like an orphan, when you are an adult.
I was talking to my husband about the damage in Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties from Wilma the other night after talking to a good friend who lives in Broward. We both think the winds were higher than a Cat 1 like most reports are saying. I read alot about wind speeds and experiments they are doing after Ivan hit the Pensacola area last year. I really don't think they have a full grasp on the actual wind speed at ground level. And of course like I said before those gusts will do some serious damage. All you need is a couple Cat 3 gusts and it becomes alot worse than the Cat 1 no one prepares for. I wish more people would sit back and look at the horrific hurricanes the country has endured these 2 yrs and prepare as best as possible. Here in Punta Gorda not many people take any hurricane warning lightly now. The tornado devastation in Indiana and Kentucky is heartbreaking, they never knew what was coming. At least with a hurricane we can make choices. We had a waterspout here in Punta Gorda this summer. To me it looked like it was a tornado as we watched. My poor 8 yr old was the one who spotted it. I was walking through our livign room and I see him pointing across the canal with a look of horror on his little face. I said what is wrong buddy, he just points at it. I about dropped to the floor after living through Charley. All I could think of was getting in that closet again and hearing the roof get torn off again. Well half of it, we still hadn't had the tiles put on yet just the dry in. We had the cat in his cat carrier, and just as we were ready to head to the closet the water spout lifted back up into the cloud. I just stood there in shock thinking why do I stay in Florida? My poor son was crying saying you told me we would never have to go back to the clsoet again. I was just completely crazed. I felt like I was in a bad dream that would never end. To see my former home Broward County all ltorn up now just makes it worse. Well all of these storms this year have made it difficult. This winter we tried hard to move past Charley and the clsoet ride we call it. I guess you really never do for quite awhile.
You know what else no one seems to realize what happens to all of us affected by the hurricanes. In Florida homeowners insurance is so hard to get and if you get it how to pay for it??? Now they are cancelling policies or increasing rates so high no matter how many jobs alot of people could get it wouldn't pay for them. I have a good friend here in Charlotte County who lost their home to Charley. Had insurance but the 50% rule came into play and they couldn't afford to rebuild. The house was demolished and they sold the land. They now rent a home and cannot even come close to being able to afford a new home. These storms affect so much beyond loss of life and homes. Of course I am not saying that loss of life isn't the most important thing here. I wasn't sure if I would make it out alive in the closet or more so blaming myself for not evacuating and putting my child at risk but it was too late. People lose jobs, destroy their credit, crime rates rise. So many things change and it takes so long for normal to return. Our schools that were lost to Charley will take years to rebuild. I just thank god that Charley was not the norm for a Cat 4 storm since I live on the water. After seeing the horrible images after Katrina in MS and LA. The storm surge and the levees breaking made Charley look like a day in the park to me. I had just moved here on the water from a home 10 miles inland in Broward County. I never gave much thought to storm surge. To think of drowning in your home. Talking about it helps, it seems its all we do here still.
jcasey, you must not have been in a natural disaster. It is hell on earth. I have to drive by where there were over 100 homes and now looks like a junk yard. I had to watch my sister in law cry her eyes out because she lost her sister( who was pregnant), brother in law and nephew. I had to watch my 9 year old boy get upset enough to cry because he saw a little boy being dragged out of what was left of a home after seeing his father and sister killed before his eyes. I had to go without power for a couple of days. I could go on for about an hour about what has happened to me personally and luckily I wasn't in the tornado's path.

I live in Warrick County in Indiana. You really can not minimize the damage a tornado can cause. I have seen both hurricanes and tornados. I am not saying that one is better than another but I can tell you one thing that makes tornados worse in my mind. No one going through a hurricane will ever have to wake their 4 children up and rush them to a safe place in a matter of a couple of minutes and pray that they live. That was my last Sunday morning at 2:00.