April 3, 1974 --- Who Remembers The Disaster?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by David Von Pein, Apr 4, 2002.

  1. David Von Pein

    David Von Pein Producer

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    What an awful day 4/3/74 was! The worst outbreak of tornadoes in US history (148 twisters in 24 hours)! Hundreds dead.
    I live fairly close to Xenia, Ohio (the hardest-hit region). What a tragedy for this small town.
    Anybody remember 28 years ago this week??
    Have YOU ever encountered a tornado, face-to-face?
    Would hate to be caught in one of these babies........
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    man, tornados are the one natural disaster that I avoid like the plague, hate those damn things.
     
  3. David Von Pein

    David Von Pein Producer

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    Philip.....

    Being situated in North Dakota, it's probably not TOO difficult to avoid them. (You're not part of "tornado alley", are you?)

    I, on the other hand, am in the "alley" (Indiana). Avoiding them is tougher.

    I can recall trekking down to the basement, portable radio in tow, many times as a kid. Seems like we were ALWAYS under a tornado warning in the '70s!

    Now, I can't even remember the last "warning". There's often a "watch", however.

    ----------------------------

    Tornado Trivia......

    I read (somewhere?) that there has been at least one recorded tornado touchdown on every single calendar date of the year .... except one. What is that tornado-free date?
     
  4. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    nope, I don't think there's been a tornado touch down in my town in like 20 years, it's pretty rare. They pass over all the time though, lots of watches and warnings, and the erie sounding sirens going off.
     
  5. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    You know, I live in CA, and yes earthquakes (when large enough) can be devastating. But at least there is no physical body I can attach to the event. They just strike everyone and (seemingly) everywhere. I was in NorCal for the 89 SF, and in LA for the 94 Northridge. Lucky me. But I don't freak out when they happen.

    Tornadoes, though, scare the crap out of me and I've never even seen one in person. There's just something about actually seeing the beast that makes me pee my pants. I don't even like the little dust devils that you see in the flat farmlands of CA, let alone something that is 1000 times more powerful.

    Terrifying.
     
  6. Brian Harnish

    Brian Harnish Screenwriter

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    I've always been fascinated by tornadoes. I would love to see one in person (out in the field, where there are no houses) someday. From far away, of course...not right up close. Now THAT would be scary!
     
  7. Scott Leopold

    Scott Leopold Supporting Actor

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    I lived in Xenia at the time, right in the path of the bit one. I wasn't quite 2 yet, so I don't really remember it, although I do have one hazy memory from the event when my mom held me up to their bedroom window. I remember seeing dark clouds and a black cone headed our way, but that's it. We were lucky in that the big tornado was "bouncing" as it travelled along. It touched down on the house behind us, and the house across the street from us, but skipped over ours. We suffered quite a bit of damage, but those houses were levelled. Oddly enough, 20-25 people ran to our next door neighbors house. They all stood in the living room praying and singing to God. Their house survived 100% unscathed--not even a cracked window.

    There were a ton of astounding stories from this tornado. One guy was in his truck at an intersection in downtown Xenia when the tornado ripped through. It picked him up and gently set him down facing the opposite direction on the other side of the intersection. Our neighbors across the street had a harrowing experience. The father & the two sons were the only ones home. The dad was a paramedic and had worked the night shift, so he went in and took a nap with the younger son, while the older one was left to watch TV. When the older son saw the warning, he ran into the closet. A mattress in the closet fell on top of him, and a bunch of bricks fell on top of the mattress. The dad woke up to the sound of the tornado, and saw his youngest son being sucked out the window. He grabbed him, dragged him back in, and ducked under the bed. Basically, all that remained of the house was that bed and the closet. Another neighbor ran into her closet when the tornado hit. She stood there screaming, crying and praying, and was finally overcome by her fear when the noise hit, and she dropped to her knees. As she hit the floor, a 2x4 slammed through the closet, close enough to the top of her head that she felt it strike her hair. Shortly after the tornado, we had a basement added to the house. Our house became the location of the best Tornado Warning Parties in the neighborhood.

    A couple years after the tornado, a tornado warning was issued. The sky turned a sickly green color, and appeared to be boiling. My brother was at my grandmother's house, and my parents decided we should go over there. As we drove down SR-35, dozens of cars were pulled over on the side of the road. People were wandering around in the middle of the highway, screaming that this was the end of the world. While the weather didn't bother me too much, the site of all these adults running around on the highway, crazily screaming about armageddon and the rapture with tears streaming down their face did (I was about 4 at the time). I threw up all over the inside of my dad's Gremlin. Oddly enough, it was about the same color as the sky at the time.
     
  8. DaveBB

    DaveBB Supporting Actor

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    I have an uncle that moved from Xenia a few weeks before the tornado hit there. The house he moved out of was damaged and I even think the new owners were hurt.
     
  9. Matt Stryker

    Matt Stryker Screenwriter

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    I've seen one, but it was in North Carolina. I was even smart (dumb) enough to get my picture taken with a few friends in front of it. I'll try to find it and scan it in.
     
  10. CharlesD

    CharlesD Screenwriter

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    I used to think it would be cool to see a tornado in person.. until, that is, I did see one, and I never EVER want to see another!
     
  11. Mark Schermerhorn

    Mark Schermerhorn Second Unit

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    We get a lot of small tornadoes in Minnesota, but they rarely strike urban areas (ie the Twin Cities).
    They used to scare the shit out of me as a kid, I mean, you can't escape them, all you can do is hide in your basement and hope everything doesn't collapse in on you and crush you.
    I saw one for the first time 2 years ago, up at my friend's cabin in northern Minnesota. It was actually during the morning, which is pretty unusual. It was a few miles away. We had seen the wall cloud a few minutes earlier, I took a look again and said "shit, that thing is on the ground." A few of my friends were out the door in approximately 0 seconds headed for the boathouse (it's built into the side of a hill and was the closest thing we had to a basement). So obviously a few of my friends are far more scared of them than me [​IMG]
    Definately an ominous sight, but very interesting.
     
  12. RussR

    RussR Stunt Coordinator

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    This is one of the reasons that I love New England. While tornadoes can and do happen (had one touch down about 20 miles from my house a couple of years ago), they are very rare. Same with big floods, earthquakes, hurricanes and wild fires. Of course, we do have snow storms and blizzards, which some people find intolerable.
     
  13. MikeAlletto

    MikeAlletto Cinematographer

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    I don't know if it was a tornado or just a microburst, but I went through something about a year and a half ago in my apartment. I went into the most central area (my walkin closet). It had a hatch on the ceiling that I'm assuming went to an area under the roof. That thing was bouncing up and down. Part of the roof blew off. My neighbors said they tried to open their door and the pressure was so great they couldn't open it. It was the scariest thing I've ever been through. Found out later we had 80 mph winds. It blew out the front of a huge theater sending glass everywhere. There was a lot of damage all over the place. Chimneys blown off, tiles everywhere, the tennis court fences were destroyed, street lights just gone. There was highway construction that was damaged with stone and metal all over. It was really odd driving to work the next day and seeing debris everywhere.
     
  14. Jerry Klawiter

    Jerry Klawiter Screenwriter

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    Mark how old are you?
    I'm 40+ and have lived in the north metro of the twin cities all my life, just one Minnesota county that I live in, Anoka County has not many fewer F4 twisters (seven less F4's)then all of Kansas Tornadoes 1950-1995. And 28 F4's in the state of Minnesota during this same time, and four F5's. I do not think any other state has more, Wisconsin with 27 F4's only one hehind. For the twin cities the north metro is always a big target, Must be part of that heat shield/dome that surrounds the Minneapolis area.
    It seems if not tornadoes, then the micro-burst straight line winds get us. Every spring i swear I plant the garden two-three times just becuase of the storms.
    I think we get our fair share of these monsters.
    Like in Blaine just a few years ago, that one was small but cool, it sat there long enough that channel 4 (cbs)
    helicopter was very near it filming.
    But nothing like the F4's when I was a kid in May 1965,
    I lived in Fridley, That night I think we had seven
    twisters in all that hit cities that night.
    I have property out in western Wisconsin, 100 miles west of the twin cities, just last year I lost over 10k trees on my 100 acres in less then 60 seconds,The loggers have been there all winter cleaning things up. But it could be much worse, St. Peter four years ago that F4/F5 was on the ground over 80 milesSt. Peter also http://www.zubin.com/tornado/
    Or just this past spring in Siren.
    One of these are to many, But the Twin cities has more then
    it's share.
    I will agree the past few years have been better,
    But the darn straight line winds of 80-100 mph and hail
    storms have been just as bad for property damage.
    This is reflected in the current huge increases in our home owners insurance costs.
    Let's just hope spring comes soon here without any loss of life to the monsters.
    Not like last years temps and humidity.
    Many people don't think that Minnesota can get hot.
    Well folks it really does and at times more humid then even
    Florida, and with the Canadian boarder just to the north
    when those cool fronts come north, it does have a huge clash within this state.
    I think the average for funnels/twisters in Minnesota are around 75-100 per year. don't quote me. These are all in theF1-F4 once in awhile a F5.
    But a 100mph wind from those small ones can also kill.
    I should also say, I'm one that just loves those 95+ days with the heat index at 105+, I should not be living in this state. Heck these snows in late march and april suck.
    Temps in april with highs in the upper 20's - lower 30's.
    As they have been this year.
    This is not right. But the wife and kids will not move south with me[​IMG]
    Minnesota Tornadoes 1950-1995 by county
    Or by All STATES
    I stand corrected, I see Indiana has had a few more F4's.
    But half as many F5's with 4 in the state of Minnesota.
    But it's still a great place to raise kids.
    Thanks for the start of this thread, my little research today has shown me that Minnesota’s weather can be one of the worse in the country. Maybe that’s why we all enjoy those few weeks we call summer.[​IMG]
     
  15. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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  16. DaveBB

    DaveBB Supporting Actor

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  17. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Yes, I remember! How could I forget? That day occasioned the first time I actually saw a tornado in action.

    And, man, I have to say: I love the awesome storms. I don't like the death and destruction, but the storms themselves are absolutely beautiful.

    When the tornado whizzed overhead, my ears were popping from the pressure differential.

    Man, I love tornadoes.
     
  18. Mary M S

    Mary M S Screenwriter

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    What you grow up with seems passing strange but tolerable.

    Surviving a direct hit would probably change my perspective, but earthquakes scare me more. Where do you “go” to get away from the ground, (unless your helicopter is handy).

    When these storms are brewing, “Listen, - the wind is rising” my mortality Vs natures’ incredible power wakes me to a sensation both savage and exhilarating. I respect the hate and fear those who have lost loved ones, must feel, towards these phenomena. But for now, I only welcome the reminder of how small and brave life is in a hostile universe.

    In Dallas/Ft Worth, there has been conjecture and concern about the toll a large system tracking the I-30 corridor would take, if this developed during rush hours. I worry with the best of them, when my family is scattered about, but continue in awe, and appreciate my heightened senses when such raw power is displayed before me.
     
  19. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Well, our new friend Mary hits on something about which I can speak from experience. I've seen three tornadoes. I could easily see myself joining an established storm-chasing team. (I've been fascinated with tornadoes since I was a child.) There are ways to deal with and react to tornadoes. Anyone who has studied the storms knows the ropes on that score.

    I also have far, far more experience with earthquakes. And what you read in the preceding post is absolutely true: one has nowhere to go, nowhere to hide. When terra firma is not so firm, all bets are off.

    In short, earthquakes are scary. And, though it's possible to get sort of "used" to, say, a level 3.5 or less temblor, anything above that is not fun. (The 1994 Northridge 6.8 shocker is not something I'd ever again want to experience. Ever.)

    But tornadoes? Damn. California don't get that many.
     
  20. Derrik Draven

    Derrik Draven Supporting Actor

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    I've been facinated with tornadoes since I was very young. Never seen one in person but, I have tons of tornado porn. (insider jargon for tornado vids)
    It's weird that even in my dreams, tornados are a reocurring theme. More on the borderline of nightmares but, they...along with tidal waves, make frequent appearances in my dreams, even thought I've never lived through either. [​IMG]
    Anyhoo...I'm determined to one day go on a storm chase. There are a few professional storm chasing teams that allow, for money, amateurs to go along on a chase.
    Check out www.cloud9tours.com for starters
    I'm gonna do it next summer! My fingers are crossed that 1, I come back alive and 2, I actually get to see a tornado in person.
     

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