Just moved to Springfield, really scared of tornadoes this Spring.

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Just moved to Springfield, really scared of tornadoes this Spring.

Post  patricia on Sat Feb 27, 2010 4:12 am

Hello everyone,

I just moved to Springfield this week for my job and the more I read about tornadoes the more terrified I become. I came from Colorado (high in the mountains) and we never have tornadoes there at all.

I moved into an Apartment here and I'm on the 3rd floor out of 4 floors. There is no basement and I don't know anyone on the 1st floor. Even if I did know someone there's no guarantee they would be home if a tornado hit.

Anyway, just thinking about this Spring has started to give me panic attacks. What on Earth am I supposed to do if their is a tornado warning? Go outside and lay in a ditch? Jump in my bathtub and pray I don't start flying through the air?

Seriously? What do I do?

patricia

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Calm Down!

Post  Stormman on Sat Feb 27, 2010 4:25 pm

First off one should never run outside and try and find a ditch, you should really get to know your first floor neighbors. Everyone of them to give you a better chance of finding safety. Remaining calm is key, quickly and as calm as possible get to the first floor to seek shelter from flying debris.

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Re: Just moved to Springfield, really scared of tornadoes this Spring.

Post  patricia on Sat Feb 27, 2010 5:11 pm

Hmm. So either my first floor neighbors are home and let me in, or I die. Remind me why I moved to this state again? And why aren't apartment complexs required to have storm shelters somewhere? This state is backwards.

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tornado

Post  kz1899 on Sat Feb 27, 2010 6:48 pm

No need for panic attack, most people who have lived their entire lives in MO have never seen a tornado, or their home impacted by one. To be struck by one powerful enough to destroy your apt building is even more rare. After 2 or 3 warnings you will begin to yell at tv for iterupting your tv programs, like the rest of us.

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Re: Just moved to Springfield, really scared of tornadoes this Spring.

Post  bigdrepublic on Sat Feb 27, 2010 11:27 pm

Patricia,

I was born and raised in SW Arkansas. I have lived up here in the Springfield area for seven years. I have been in and around bad thunderstorms all my life, and yes some of them produced tornadoes. I have known people that have lost their homes to tornadoes. It is indeed a scary thing, and I can understand your fears having not experienced midwest spring/summer weather. While we do get our fair share of tornadic thunderstorms, I wouldn't nessecarily compare our weather to what you would see on the movie "Twister." and I wouldn't say we get that all the time. In my opinion, it would take the strength of at least an F3 to seriously tear up an apartment building like you live in and that is not usually typical here. And for the record, no apartment complex's in MO/AR have "storm shelters" to offer protection. So, we aren't backwards, actually pretty darn normal folk.

We seem to really get the full effect of the four seasons here. I think my least favorite part is the ice storms that we get from time to time. Jan '07 was the worst with power outages that lasted for days, weeks for some. The closest ice storm to compare was the Christmas Eve 1987 ice storm. So at least it is not usually a yearly event.

There are some really great people here in the Ozarks. Good restaurants, schools, and usually good jobs too. Enjoy life here in the Ozarks.

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Re: Just moved to Springfield, really scared of tornadoes this Spring.

Post  weatherplus on Sun Feb 28, 2010 8:51 am

Yeah I wouldn't be worked up at all about a tornado in this area. They aren't very common at all. Go out to Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas to find most of the tornados. KSPR did a story a few weeks ago that said last year there was 125 tornado warnings issued in SW MO, with only 11% of which were verified, meaning tornadoes actually touched down. So that's basically 14 warnings that produced a tornado. May 8th, 2009 was about the only true bad weather day last year with 23 tornadoes that swept the Ozarks. Those were little tornados that were on the ground very briefly in a Derecho event. Until we can get some systems moving more north and warmer weather, no severe weather for this area.

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Re: Just moved to Springfield, really scared of tornadoes this Spring.

Post  patricia on Wed Mar 03, 2010 3:30 am

Thanks for all of the information everyone, but I must say, I'm more scared now than I was a few days ago. Every time I turn on KSPR all I hear about is "severe weather season" this and "severe weather season" that. I mean, seriously, they are having a "Survive the Storm" special this week? Not to mention a seminar or something at the MALL of all places. You guys are telling me it's not a big deal, but it must be big enough of a deal if you have to have TV specials and mall seminars.

And then I have the "lowest level neighbors" problem. Apparently I don't have any! I moved into a new apartment complex and it seems I'm the ONLY person in this new building. And all of the 1st floor apartments are 3 bedrooms, which they said might not rent fast. I asked them if they could give me a key or leave one of them unlocked, but they said no and told me I just need to go to the bathtub if there is a tornado.

Does anyone have any REAL data? Maybe a national weather service site that will show me a list of all the tornadoes in Greene county over the past 50-100 years?

I just started my new job here on Monday and two of my co-workers, who have lived here their whole lives, told me that they were in tornadoes bad enough to destroy their house. NOT COOL.

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Re: Just moved to Springfield, really scared of tornadoes this Spring.

Post  bigdrepublic on Wed Mar 03, 2010 10:24 am

Patricia,

If you talk to enough people in the Ozarks, especially people that have lived in the area a long time, you will find people that have been affected by tornadoes. May 8th of last year, we had an event take place called a derecho storm (I think I spelled that right) I was driving a school bus that morning and let me tell you, that was a scary event. But, it is not something that is a "widespread" event. Tornadoes can destroy houses/property. And tornadoes can be deadly. That is why KSPR does events like what you are hearing about, they are trying to educate the public about what to do in the event that tornado warnings are issued. Frankly, you should be more concerned about flash flooding in this area as opposed to tornadoes. More people are killed from flash floods as opposed to tornadoes. The standard rule to follow if you come up to a road that is flooded is this, "Turn around, don't drown." There's a lot of low lying areas in the Ozarks that are prone to flooding, and we have had record amounts of rainfall over the last couple of years.

The advice your landlord gave you is not bad. If you are in your apartment and have no where else to go, get in the bathtub (considered an interior area of your dwelling). My advice to you is to go to the KSPR event if you can, and visit and ask questions.

NOAA.GOV would be my recommendation to check on area climatology. It should help you a lot.

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Re: Just moved to Springfield, really scared of tornadoes this Spring.

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