Tornado through Moore, OK

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Mike Jackson
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Tornado through Moore, OK

Post by Mike Jackson » Mon May 20, 2013 4:48 pm

Some people here probably went to the 1986 Oklahoma Bash in Moore, Oklahoma. I was watching CNN this afternoon when they started reporting a potential tornado in the south Oklahoma City area. I called my mom to make sure she was getting the alert. She was sitting on the front porch watching the skies at the time, ready to get into the storm shelter in the front yard. She said the sirens had gone off a few times earlier, but were not on at the moment. Within ten minutes or so, CNN showed a twister reaching the ground near Newcastle, and headed directly towards Moore. Needless to say, I stayed glued to CNN and the Weather Channel until the tornado was past and headed towards the NE.

As I write this I don't know for certain that my Mother is okay, but based on the TV reporting, it looks like the edge of the storm stayed along South 4th street and South 19th Street as it passed through. My mom lives on North 4th street. For people that went to the Oklahoma Bash, my old sign shop was on South 1st Street, only about three blocks from the north edge of the path. My Grandpa and Grandma were at the Oklahoma Bash, and helped me a lot during the whole thing. They both passed away quite a few years ago, along with my Dad. My Grandparents house was on South 9th Street, dead center in this current storm. I doubt their old house is still standing based on what I saw when the helicopter pilot and crew retraced the storm path.

I tried calling home and even friends a distance away, but all I get is a fast busy signal. I assume my Mom will call when she can get to a working phone. I'll follow up with a report when she does.

In 1999, another huge storm passed through Moore, OK. The south edge of the storm hit on North 8th Street. Her house is on North 4th Street. Hopefully another won't hit dead center anytime while she is still alive. Usually the first thing she reminds me of when I call is she is now 82 years old. I am hoping for the best for her today.

Cheers,
Mike Jackson
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Mark Summers
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Re: Tornado through Moore, OK

Post by Mark Summers » Mon May 20, 2013 4:54 pm

Our prayers go out for your Mother. Reports are saying this could be an F-5
tornado. Please keep us posted.

Mark

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Re: Tornado through Moore, OK

Post by Mike Jackson » Tue May 21, 2013 8:39 am

Hi again,
I got news this morning that my Mom is safe and sound after the storm. It passed a few blocks south of her. She was in the storm cellar with a few of the neighbors as the tornado rumbled through. From the report we got, she doesn't have power, phone, or water, but that is a minor inconvenience compared to what might have happened if the storm hadn't tracked more Easterly than North Easterly.

When I still lived in Moore, I did a contract for deed on a piece of industrial property about six blocks south of my old shop. After we moved to Wyoming, we continued to pay on the property and eventually paid it off. The school system had purchased a large warehouse building and turned it into a school next to my property. We'd been here in Jackson Hole for a while when we got a letter from the school system wanting to buy my property. This was happening at a time when the area was still hit hard from the downturned economy, so it was a big surprise to have anyone interested in the land. We sold it to them, then used the money here in Jackson Hole to buy our house. Timing couldn't have been more perfect.

Based on the track of the storm I saw on TV, the tornado probably would have taken down any shop we might have built there. The hospital we see on TV is only a little ways from where my property was.

I write this in the comfort of my house here in Jackson Hole. But, I can remember loading up the van with personal items and hard drives last summer, with wildfires just over the ridge. The winter before, we put 80 sand bags in front of our driveway with water rising in the street. And, we live a relatively short distance from the Yellowstone caldera some people say will blast again— taking everything in the region with it in a flash. No complaints, however.
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Re: Tornado through Moore, OK

Post by Bob Sauls » Tue May 21, 2013 9:04 am

Mike, I am delighted to here that your mother is safe. I will be sending prayers for the good folks in Okahoma.

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Re: Tornado through Moore, OK

Post by Mark Summers » Tue May 21, 2013 9:10 am

Glad to hear your mother is o.k. They lowered the death count to 24 just
heard on NPR. This was grand on the tornado scale. Heard outside Moore
the the highest winds in the world ever recorded of 300 mph happened
back in '99. Is that true?

Mark

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Re: Tornado through Moore, OK

Post by bob gamache » Tue May 21, 2013 9:14 am

Happy to hear everyones safe Mike! Scary weather patterns all over lately.....
Bob Gamache

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Re: Tornado through Moore, OK

Post by Mark Summers » Tue May 21, 2013 10:20 am

Guess it was true about the strongest winds ever in '99 outside Moore.
More to the story but it happened.

---------------------
Doppler radar measures 318 mph wind in tornado

By Jack Williams, USATODAY.com


AP
Moore City, Okla., after the May 3, 1999 tornado.

Scientists measured the fastest wind speed ever recorded, 318 mph, in one of the tornadoes that hit the suburbs of Oklahoma City on May 3, 1999

ALSO:

The fastest speed previously measured was 286 mph clocked by a portable Doppler radar April 26, 1991, in a tornado near Red Rock, Okla.

The 318-mph speed would put the tornado only 1 mph below an F-6 on the 0-to-6 Fujita scale. No tornado has ever been classified an F-6. (Related: The Fujita tornado scale).

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Re: Tornado through Moore, OK

Post by Larry White » Tue May 21, 2013 11:13 am

I write this in the discomfort of my non-seismically sound second
story office which is about half a mile from the Hayward earthquake
fault. Seismologists say the Hayward fault produces a 6.0-7.0
magnitude earthquake every hundred years or so. The last one was
in 1868. Not hard to do the math there. We're also not to far from
the San Andreas fault system.

I've been keeping an eye on worldwide seismic activity, and there's
been significant earthquakes all along the Pacific rim...except for
the stretch from the Mexican border north to the Canadian border.

The Oklahomans probably don't want to live in California, and us Californians
don't want to live in Oklahoma....those tornados are just too darn scary.

Glad your family is safe.
Larry White
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Kayla Wade
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Re: Tornado through Moore, OK

Post by Kayla Wade » Tue May 21, 2013 12:10 pm

Larry, we're right on a fault line here in SLC too, which they say is due for some activity and that it's supposed to be big, which is easy to forget about since we don't get many seismic grumblings otherwise. But every once in a while I remember and then spend the next several weeks scouting out places to take cover wherever I go.

I could leave, but there's something to worry about no matter where you are. We just gotta do what we do until disaster strikes, and move on from there. I'm sending prayers and well-wishes Oklahoma's way.
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Re: Tornado through Moore, OK

Post by Mike Jackson » Tue May 21, 2013 5:37 pm

I grew up in Moore from first grade to graduation and throuh part of my college time. There are tornado sirens scattered all over town and when they go off, you certainly know to be ready to get underground. My grandma and grandpa had a concrete cellar right outside the back door. If heard of threatening weather, they'd sleep all night in the storm cellar. I spent quite a few nights in them, too.

When I was home for a visit, my Mom was concerned for my Dad. He wasn't in great health, but she said he wouldn't get in the cellar anymore. I asked him about it and he said he figured if it was his time, it was his time. I asked him to consider the possibility it might not be "quite" his time and he'd be sitting in his chair full of splinters, sticks, nails and glsss. After that, Mom said he did go to the cellar with an approaching storm.

Moore has always been in what the call "Tornado Alley". My Dad moved us there when I was in the first grade to start up the town's first coin-operated laundromat. That was only one block from where I opened my first sign shop after college.

Mike Jackson
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Re: Tornado through Moore, OK

Post by Mike Jackson » Tue May 21, 2013 9:01 pm

Finally got to talk to my Mom today. She's fine! She went to the storm cellar not long after I called and after the sirens started screaming. A few of the neighbors were in the cellar with her. After they felt the storm had passed, they came out and saw normal blue skies, but the phones were down and power was off. The wierd part is she had absolutely no idea of the destruction in town just a short distance away. With no TV, she simply didn't know how bad it was. She had seen no photos or videos at all. I suggested she go watch TV when I hung up. I asked her if Grandma's old house was blown away. Again, she didn't know. I told her the hospital got hit, but it is now called the Moore Medical Center. She said that was where her doctor's office is located. I told her the entire front was torn off. We got disconnected, but a little while later I had another call from her. She tried to go South to check on Grandma's house, but the road was closed on Broadway south of 4th street. Grandma's house was on South 9th Street. She said there were lots of emergency vehicles south or there, but people were walking down the middle of the road. I believe she will soon discover how lucky she is....again!
Mike Jackson / co-administrator
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Re: Tornado through Moore, OK

Post by Mark Summers » Wed May 22, 2013 8:44 am

Guess it was confirmed the tornado was an EF-5. Only 1% of tornadoes are
an EF-4, 5. Did you Mom's house get any damage Mike?

Mark

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Re: Tornado through Moore, OK

Post by Mike Jackson » Wed May 22, 2013 12:27 pm

No damage at all. She said he raked the yard, but that is it.
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Re: Tornado through Moore, OK

Post by Kent Smith » Thu May 23, 2013 8:56 am

So glad to hear your Mom is ok. We flew over the bumpy air that was the storm and have been checking the news. I don't think we know anyone else in Moore but are thinking of them just the same.

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Re: Tornado through Moore, OK

Post by erik winkler » Sat May 25, 2013 12:03 am

That is good news!
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