Friday, June 3, 2011

You're Not In Kansas Anymore, Dorothy

Those of you who don't live local to me may or may not have heard about a tornado that touched down in Massachusetts this week.

I don't live in fucking kansas. I don't want to live in fucking kansas. I don't like the climate, the terrain, or the political atmosphere. We have our blizzards and the occasional hurricane, and they have their tornadoes. I like it like that.

My bike team is based in the areas where the tornado hit. I actually live about 100 miles away, and we pretty much just got a few winds gusts and some spits of rain. However, I know several of my teammates live in the swath of the tempest. I was concerned for their safety, but had the common sense not to call or email them during the event. Instead, I waited until the next morning and sent out an email to the club list asking if anyone had any info. I didn't anticipate anyone who actually was exposed to the fury would reply. This is what I got back (names changed to initials):


From: zen
Subject: You're not in kansas anymore, Dorothy

Did everyone make it through the storms ok last night?

JR wrote:
everyone is ok...but (JP's) neighborhood is trashed, still no power. (MN) escaped unscathed, but still no power. his town, monson, apparently got hit really hard. (DM) has no power. i was only a few miles from the initial tornado, but somehow no damage or problems in our town.

MS wrote:
(my wife's) school which is that neighborhood is probably done for the year. I guess it missing huge sections of roof. Also heard that Cathedral school is done. Probably a rumor but its structurally unsound and may need to be razed and rebuilt.

GP wrote:
I'm in the same neighborhood as (JP). Trees and power lines down everywhere. I don't expect power for 3-4 days. A tree came down in my back yard and a branch went through the roof into the dining room. The Nat'l guard is here. The noise was just incredible. I could hear it approaching, then wham and trees were going over. Just 3-4 minutes, then it was gone. Then there was torrential rain. No one hurt in our area, fortunately.

(MN) wrote:
what a wild ride last night was. first the hail (damage the cars), then the tornado, then another tornado jump right over us. then the lighting. 5 to 6 straights at a time. not your normal lighting. after all said and done. no power. lots of damage in Monson. talk to some people about their dealing. 1 lady was sucked out of her house. She ended up with lots of cut to her face and body. one house was lifted and thrown over to the next lot upside down leaving only the basement. The pastor went to their basement just in time to see the house collapsed around him and he had to hang on while the storm try to suck him out feet first.

MD wrote:
No power in this thing.......just a little wind, nothing major. NOT!

Hope everyone got through safe.

(ed. note - I embedded the video from the link in the email)

MN wrote:
I had a front seat view of the whole thing. my cars only have hail damage. the tornado pass within 200 yards from my house. Very loud.


Now, this was no Joplin, but in terms of what we're used to, it was significant and substantial. It helps to put things in perspective, like the loss of lives and property in the Joplin storms, and how much more powerful that was that what we were hit with. Tornadoes rarely touchdown in new england, so when we had not only a sighting, but a sustained tornado 'event' that caused appreciable damage, it was an event worthy of the local news stations preempting the entire evening of regularly scheduled programming with almost 18 hours of regurgitated video footage and phone conversations with locals who really had nothing to say (opening them up for the inevitable Howard Stern prank call). I'm not minimizing the significance or seriousness of the event, just that the irony of a television newscaster telling people who had probably lost all venues of communication media that they should take cover and leave their TVs on for up-to-date information seemed somewhat lost on the television newscasters.

Hey, at least they had the sense to realize it was more important than going on about Weiner's weiner.

No comments: