Friday, May 31, 2013

WRECK-TURE Wreaks Havoc In Midwest

The body count is still not complete from Saturday night’s Tornado Terror in Missouri, and already the Weather Channel is broadcasting a new round of watches, warnings, and blood-red parallelograms of punishment being leveled against more of the Midwest. For a nation that has barely processed its much bally-hooted Non-Rapture event, it seems we have moved directly on to circumstances that bear a frightening similarity to what was kinda sorta projected by the Biblical Billboard crowd: bunches of people, some sucked right out of their shoes, leaving this earth and meeting their Maker in very short order.
Sadly, these people died. But, they’d be just as gone had they been raptured. Not a comfort at all, but pretty darned WEIRD, in my opinion. So, whether you tend to think God is pitching batting practice with hailstones, or that the cow emissions and SUV flatulence have finally formed a lethal miasma that will now routinely spawn F-4 tornadoes, the thing is, it’s getting SCARY out there.
Joplin has seen over 100 deaths, but over 1,000 people are still missing. Hopefully these people will be checking in as hospitals release them and emergency crews dig them out, but when you look at the extent of the devastation, you can’t help but wonder if the death toll is going to climb far higher. It’s enough to make you want to hire Mike Mulligan and his trusty steamshovel and dig yourself a good old fashioned basement.
It has been interesting watching the live coverage, particularly when the storm chaser filming out the front windown of his car saw a telephone pole lift off like the Ghost of Christmas Cracked and fly over his car in a fully upright position. Honestly, I think I ducked myself when I saw it. So the best hiding places seem to be basements, storm cellars, meat freezers, and clinging to Jim Cantore’s back. I don’t know about concrete structures. A bunch of people were killed in a Home Depot when a concrete wall fell on them. (and yes, I would totally avoid the aisles with the screws and nails, power tools, and lighting fixtures, too) Heck, get OUT of the Home Depot and run to the mattress store! Get between a pillowtop and a boxspring and hang on with your teeth!
It seems quite a bit of the country has been subjected to weird winds, watches and warnings this spring. Last month St. Louis Airport got dinged by a twister. This weekend they had one near Minneapolis. Alabama, Mississippi and Georgia saw some terrible damages only weeks ago. Joplin was toppling. Tuscaloosa is now just Loosa. Lives were lost, homes destroyed, memories obliterated in a matter of minutes.
Let’s take a look at the Fujita Tornado Damage Scale to see what it means:
F0 — Light damage. Chimneys crack, branches break, trees are torn and signs are shellacked.
F1 — Moderate. Roof shingles take flight. Mobile homes are moved or flipped. Automobiles go off in non-GPS approved directions.
F2 — Considerable Damage. Roofs torn off. Mobile homes are mincemeat. Railroad cars are overturned. Trees uprooted. Cars go airborne.
F3 — Severe. Walls disappear from well-constructed homes. Entire trains go belly up. Whole forests flattened. SUVS go sailing.
F4 — Devastating Damage. Solid houses leveled to their foundations. Large objects become missiles.
F5 — Incredible Damage. Strong frame houses lifted and tossed. Sometimes pureed. Cars fly the length of a football field. Any tree still standing is debarked.
Joplin’s damage was recently assessed to be at an F5 level of damage in many places. It’s an effective reminder of how temporary life is, of how quickly it can be taken from us. I hope we can all pray for those affected, and may God have mercy on us all.


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