Ever experience nature's fury?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jack Briggs, Aug 29, 2002.

  1. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    If you have witnessed the elements raging, tell us about it. For those who have seen a tornado up close, please provide a complete description of what the storm looked like (i.e., the shape and color of the vortex cloud, its intensity, etc.).

    All disasters apply: tornadic actitivty, severe thunderstorms, floods, hurricanes, avalanches, tsunamis, and any others.

    I'll start by simply listing what I've been through. More complete descriptions will follow, depending on your contributions:

    • My first earthquake: the Sylmar event of Feb. 9, 1971 (the day Apollo 14 returned from a successful lunar mission);

    • Saw two tornadoes in one day when visiting relatives in Tennessee, April 3, 1974 (the day of the so-called "super outbreak" of more than 160 such storms on one day);

    • The Whittier earthquake, in October of 1987;

    • The utterly unforgettable 6.8-level Northridge earthquake of 1994 (my apartment was trashed and "yellow-tagged").

    You?
     
  2. RichardMA

    RichardMA Second Unit

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    I didn't know what it was at first.
    The sky went nearly black. A sunny day switched to
    dark end of twilight type lighting.
    The wind speed increased from near zero to at least
    60mph in seconds. The temperture dropped rapidly.
    I saw the funnel, but it never
    (apparently) got any closer to me than 5 miles.
    Still, I was 7 and it was exciting.
     
  3. Tom Rhea

    Tom Rhea Second Unit

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    I was just outside of the "kiss your ass goodbye" area when Hurricane Camille hit Florida in 1968. It was night, and I was 4 or 5 at the most (I can't remember what month it hit). All I remember are horrific winds and rain like I can't even really describe properly. It's what I imagine having a firehose turned directly on you would be like.

    The weird thing is, I don't remember being scared at all. I was probably too young to really understand the danger, but I do know I haven't experienced anything like it sense and don't want to.
     
  4. Tom Rhea

    Tom Rhea Second Unit

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    And oh yeah, for a truly surreal (although not particularly dangerous (as long as you aren't out in it)) experience, you can't beat thunder and lightning during a blizzard. It doesn't happen often (I've only experienced it twice -- the first time was, oddly enough, in Birmingham, AL) but when it does, it's kinda -- weird. Like something that's not supposed to be, but is.
     
  5. Charles J P

    Charles J P Cinematographer

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    This one time, I ate at Senor Matteos mexican resturaunt... the next day, talk about nature's fury. :b
     
  6. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    I’m not so sure of the description quality Jack, but here goes:

    I’ve been in numerous hurricanes/typhoons/cyclones: Florida, 1964-65, which was no big deal, Okinawa 1963-64, Hong Kong 1972 or 74. I can remember being up on Victoria Peak and watching the boats huddle in Hong Kong harbor while the sky turned combinations of green, blue-black and black. Such a great sight that I almost missed being able to get back to the Kowloon side before the ferry service stopped. The most violent was on Okinawa where the winds hit 120+ mph. There I vividly remember a slight GI being pinned against the ironically named cyclone fence. The force of the wind had caught his poncho, and just held him there. Some of us peeled him off.

    Been in slight earthquakes in Wellington, New Zealand and Jakarta, Indonesia, but nothing for a Californian to consider.

    Seen volcanoes erupting in lots of places (Java and Hawaii come to mind), but nothing big.

    Living in North Central Texas, I've experienced lots and lots of thunderstorms and seen several tornados, although the closest one was in Michigan where I saw one come as close as (maybe) a mile away. Funnel did not touch the ground, however.

    My wife and I were cut off for almost a week once, as the result of a blizzard when we lived in Michigan. Some neighbors used snowmobiles to get around. We preferred cross-country skis, but I was in much better shape then.

    All-in-all, I feel pretty lucky to not have had my life altered by natural disaters.
     
  7. Tim Markley

    Tim Markley Screenwriter

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    I was in the Loma Prieta earthquake of 1989. I lived in San Jose at the time and was at the gym working out when it hit. You could tell right away that this earthquake was different. The whole building kept swaying back and forth and I thought it would never stop. It lasted about 30 seconds. I had no idea how much damage it caused until I started seeing the footage on TV. I lived in Campbell at the time and my apartment was trashed. My roommate's parents brought over a generator that night so that we would have power. We set up a living room on our patio and watched TV while everyone else only had candlelight. [​IMG]
    When I was growing up in IL, I also experienced many tornados. I never got to see too much of them though because we were always hiding in the basement.
     
  8. AjayM

    AjayM Screenwriter

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    Hmmm the biggest and most scary was on a 40ft sailboat about 600 or so miles from the nearest point of land and getting stuck between two low pressure systems. Highest wind speed was in the low 70kt range and for an hour or two period was consistantly in the mid-high 60kt range (and 3 days in the 40kt range), highest waves were probably in the 20-30ft range, maybe a little taller. And again 3 days of just horrible seas, 8-12ft with higher rouges, but coming in every possible direction (confused seas). To make the trip even better the first 3 days he had no wind at all (less than 5kts and right on the nose, not even enough to fill the sails) and just smooth flat seas, then the above happened.

    Past that I spent a lot of time growing up in MN and saw numerous tornados and funnel clouds, and now living in Fl for the past 8yrs I've gone through a couple of tropical storms and small hurricanes (but nothing major).

    Andrew
     
  9. Ryan Wright

    Ryan Wright Screenwriter

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    I live in a desert area known for completely unpredictable weather.

    About 10-12 years ago, a nasty storm ripped through the area. I slept through it, but the next morning, the town was a mess. Overturned vehicles. 100 foot trees blown over with huge root systems sticking up into the air like something out of a bad movie. Someone's shed - full of items, including a lawnmower - had been lifted up and deposited on top of a car some 3 or 4 blocks away.

    More typically we have less damaging, but no less freak, storms. Just two months ago we were visiting my parents - out in the back yard, enjoying a nice, warm day. The winds were starting to pick up, but I didn't think much of it. Without any warning whatsoever, I heard and felt large items rushing past my head. I looked across the yard and it was instantly full of large chunks of ice. Hail - in late June - about the size of those super fun balls I played with as a kid. I grabbed my five year old and we all ran for the house. We watched for the next 15 minutes as the roads turned to rivers and the skies deposited huge amounts of hail on the ground. We had "drifts" of hail a foot deep in places in the back yard. The wind tore down power lines all over town. The next day, it was reported that the temperature at the local airport had dropped some 30 degrees in 4 minutes.
     
  10. Ron-P

    Ron-P Producer

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    1.Watched a lightning bolt travel horizontally across my backyard directly into the transformer on the power pole, which then exploded. I was in the house, on the second story, looking out the window, less than 30' away. I never what to see or feel that again.
    2. The other time was a near death experience, my wife found a new HT upgrade I bought without telling her[​IMG]
    Peace Out~[​IMG]
     
  11. Alan Benson

    Alan Benson Stunt Coordinator

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    We went thru several major typhoons when I was a kid growing up on Oahu in the 60s...

    My memories are fairly spotty, but I remember one storm blowing our carport half-block down the street, and our nextdoor neighbor's roof blowing away completely, piece by piece.
     
  12. Zen Butler

    Zen Butler Producer

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    Our family was stationed in Salinas, Kansas (among the few places) toward the end of the Vietnam war. We lived through several tornadoes there. One in particular, cannot recall the date (72-73), was very scary. My mother and father had packed us kids in a closet and covered us with mattresses. I snuck out, and found them outside. The twister seemed to hop over our track. Very gray in color. At that age though, it seemed just colossal, very over-whelming

    After moving back here in 74, I have come close to drowning several times while boogie-boarding. I have horrible luck with rip-tides. A few years ago, I was saved by a boat, that's how far out I was. It is very frightening being that far from land on a manufactured 4x3 sponge.
     
  13. Joseph Young

    Joseph Young Screenwriter

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  14. Max Leung

    Max Leung Producer

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    I saw the huge funnel, much like the giant tornado at the end of Twister, from my home when I was living in Edmonton. It was many kilometers away, but man you could almost feel it...a heavy presence in the air.
    Then there was the massive forest fire several kilometers from Salmon Arm. As I was evacuating the town I could see thousands of burning embers raining down in the streets. The sky was also an ominous purple, and the sun was blotted out in a surreal haze of fire and smoke. Really an amazing sight. [​IMG]
    ("It was just like being in a movie!")
     
  15. joe rizzuto

    joe rizzuto Stunt Coordinator

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    the scariest disaster i have survived was my first marriage!:b
     
  16. Yee-Ming

    Yee-Ming Producer

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    weather in Singapare is pretty mild, the worst we get are really bad thunderstorms, not quite typhoon level.

    my experience is not quite as scary as Ajay or Zen, but when I was 16 I attended an Outward Bound course. we were required to sail a small sailboat, practically a dinghy with sails, and it was supposed to be a 3-man crew. due to odd numbers in the group, just 2 of us wound up in a boat. a storm struck, and the wind was so hard that the line holding up our mainsail snapped, so we were stuck with just the jib sail (if that's what it's called, can't remember), and paddles.

    I can't really remember how we got to shore, I think a combination of paddling and trying to sail with just the jib sail, but we finally made shore as the storm was dying. I was so exhausted I fell asleep on the beach right there and then, and woke up a while later when others in the group had also made shore.
     
  17. Mark R O

    Mark R O Stunt Coordinator

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    "Nature's Energy" experiences apply here too, raging or otherwise. The most awe inspiring display of natural forces and their power I've witnessed is the Aurora Borealis. I've had the fortune of many Alaskan winter nights, bundled up and kicked back in a folding lounge chair, steaming beveridge in hand, watching curtians of multi-hued light wave and unfurl. The living sheets of color gently but purposefully reach towards unrevealed destinations with rolling, rythmic waves that vary in closeness and tempo from ripples to single crest and trough of horizon measure. The pulsing walls of light fade from the deepest opaque to brilliant translucense, the colors all familiar yet not in usual balance. Emearld Blue. Cobalt Green. Ruby Purple. Frost Red. All from a corner of a Divine palette that seldom sees the Artist's brush.
    These ribbons in the night may be small enough to cover with your thumb held at arms length, or so immense that they drape the ground from heights measured only by imagination. Some claim to hear them. I have not. But their harmony is heard by everyone, even if their song is not.
     
  18. Tim Maynard

    Tim Maynard Stunt Coordinator

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    Back in the mid to late 80's, my family lived in southern California. I remember a quake, pretty sure it was 6.6 or so on the Richter scale, (may have been the Whittier quake Jack mentioned) It probably would have been 1987, I remember it quite well.
    I was 7 years old at the time, and I was sick, staying home from school. My mother was just getting my two older brothers and my younger sister into the car outside the house, and I was lying on my parents bed, when the walls suddenly seemed to be moving backwards and forwards. I freaked out, and ran outside to the driveway where everyone was standing. A car parked by the road was rocking back and forth, and hanging pot plants were swinging on a neighbours house. Needless to say, I jumped in the van with the others and drove around with mum for a while [​IMG]
    I also remember a 4.0 - 4.4 quake sometime that same year, or possibly early '88. Us kids were all camped out in the living room for some reason, and in the middle of the night I woke up. The house started shaking, I rolled over and buried my head in my pillow. When the quake stopped, our parents came from their room to check on us.
    I miss those times. We don't get many quakes here in the bottom of New Zealand.
     
  19. Dennis Reno

    Dennis Reno Supporting Actor

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  20. Steve Christou

    Steve Christou Long Member

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    We had a nasty hurricane once here in London town, his true! Back in 1987 it was.
    I was just a wee lad of 24 skipping home from work, when suddenly without warning it came.. 120mph winds [damn that spicy curry!], uprooting cars everywhere, it was scary I tell ya, I turn on the tv to see the news and.. nothing, me tv aerial had gone with the winds!! [no cable back than] Thousands of trees had to be put down, terrible it was.
    We've had a few more hurricanes since, but that one was a good 'un.
     

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