Florida tornados bring death and destruction in February

I can’t get over the extent of the injury and damage these storms have caused, plus find their unusual timing troublingly ominous.

CNN link.

We lived within the area hit last night, DeLand, when I was a kid and revisited frm nearby Disney last summer. It was a paradise to grow up in, lakes, woods, tropical groves for miles on end.

Thoughts and best wishes to all those neighbors, friends and everyone else impacted by this tragedy.

I graduated from DeLand High School in 19mumble mumble. We had a pretty good rainstorm last night, but we didn’t lose power. My folks, who live over in Volusia County, did lose power and I’ve been unable to reach them by phone. I got an e-mail from them though…they’re fine.

We are located to the east, between Deland and Daytona. We were unaware of the extent of the problem until we started getting calls from all over the country to check on us here. We heard of a hurricane warning late in the evening but saw no sign of any sever weather. We have no damage but have friends in Deland that have lost some structures on their property but no injuries.

Finger pointing towards this El Nino year has begun, to no one’s great surprise. I fear the severity may carry greater implications as well. It’ll be interesting to see what they classify this one as. I’m figuring an F4 given the duration, width and destruction. For many, it was worse even than all the recent hurricanes those poor folk have had to endure, and that’s sayin’ something.

19 dead and because of both the predominantly rural settings many residents sought there and the appreciably significant “snowbird” population, it’ll likely be awhile before we know for certain the full extent.

This is a neat area. It’s beautiful, decent and, thankfully, resilient. I hope FEMA learned some lessons from recent debacles and that they can help lessen an absolutely awful disaster that’s befallen those folks.

If anyone from there needs something or you see things not getting fixed the way they should, I hope you raise a stink here.

Very best wishes.

Without implication on the worth of the OP:

Moved from IMHO to MPSIMS.

Curious, how many of you would fare any better should a similar situation arise in your part of the country? Are there sirens or reverse 911 capabilities in place? If so, would they make an appreciable difference? Have you taken tangible steps to provide a safe emergency haven within your home or immediate surroundings? Do you feel comfortable with the abilities of your regional emergency responders to rescue you after the fact?

What happened early today, in the dead of night, sure drives home the importance of such.

I walked through the waiting room today and saw the images on the TV. I asked the receptionist what it was about and she said it was about the tornados in Florida.

In February?

Too weird, man. I hope your disaster relief services do a good job for you.

El Nino, but the international report citing global warming issued today gives credence to the notion it’s only going to get more frequent, severe and misplaced.

There was another tornado that hit on Christmas, in roughly the same area. For whatever reason, FEMA decided it wasn’t bad enough and declined aid. Our governor is appealing.

lieu, reverse 911 wouldn’t have worked because it’s only designed to reach a few dozen people at a time. From what I heard on the radio this morning, the weathercasters on the local talk radio were talking about the severity of the storm about 15 mintues before any official weather alerts went out.

This thing hit during the wee hours of the morning, when most folk were asleep. Here’s hoping those that died didn’t know what hit them. :frowning:

Here in Kansas kids have tornado drills the same way schools have fire drills.

We also have a siren system that is tested once a week, all year round, and a storm spotter network to supplement the weather radar.

In June 8, 1966 we had a tornado that went right through the middle of town. It would have been rated F5 if the Fujita scale had been in place then. At the time it was rated as having done the most damage in dollars of any US storm up to that date.

Only 17 people died, probably due to the warning systems in place. It hit the ground a little before 7:00PM, so at least folks were awake. I remember, as a child of 11, hiding under the bed at home, and listening to the radio. Thankfully our house was not hurt, but our home was less than a mile away from the path of the storm.

I talked recently to a woman a little older than myself, who on that day was with her hospitalized mother. She watched it pass less than half a mile away, refusing to leave her mother. There was no way to take all the patients to shelter, but she was told the nurses scooped the babies out of the nursery and went to the basement. Sandy said it was the scariest experience she has ever had.

In writing an article related to the tornadoes, I learned that this is actually tornado season down there. Or rather, it’s one of two tornado seasons - the summer season (June to September) has more tornadoes, but the deadly spring season (February to April) has more severe ones.