Tuesday, May 08, 2007

tornado stories











































a massive F5 tornado ripped through Greensburg, Kansas on the evening of May 5th. reports say that 95% of the town has been destroyed. everything has been destroyed. this is mind boggling. at this point 9 people are confirmed dead.

i am particularly drawn to this story because the town in which i spent my youth was also ravaged by a tornado. the date was June 13, 1981. Early in the afternoon that Saturday a category 3 (max. wind speeds 158-206 mph) tornado 0.4 miles away from the Cardington city center killed 4 people and injured 56 people and caused between $5,000,000 and $50,000,000 in damages. the entire downtown of the small town of Cardington was destroyed - as were hundreds of homes - including an entire trailer park.













[downtown Cardington... more photos]

i remember seeing a mobile home literally wrapped around a tree. i was 7 years old at the time. my other memories include having a hard time sleeping - because of the lack of electricity and the loud noises of machinery and generators outside our house. Our church next door served as a soup kitchen and shelter for many weeks following.

i still have a t-shirt that reads I Survived the Cardington Tornado - June 13, 1981.

so yesterday, while listening to The Maxwell Show on WMMS 100.7 in Cleveland they were talking about the Greensburg tornado so I called in to discuss my own tornado experience. You can listen to that segment HERE [i'm the first caller... approx. 4 min 50 sec. in]. I said "hey, i lived through a tornado..." later he asked me me where i was at the time and i said "we weren't home at the time at the time the tornado touched down..." i didn't clarify that we were nearby at my grandma's house... but anyway - some guy (the third caller) said "what was that first caller thinking - saying he lived through a tornado - but he wasn't home at the time.".

well i still lived through it and the tornado tore up our town.... i didn't think much of it at first - then my wife started laughing - saying i got called out on the radio! then i couldn't stop thinking about it... i wanted so bad to call back and set the record straight so that i wouldn't look bad... but we were heading to Wal Mart... we needed ground turkey and a golf glove. so all through Wal Mart i started thinking about what i could have said. i guess this goes to show that little things can eat away at a man's ego.

to prove this fact - maybe that is why i have gone to great lengths to research the Cardington tornado - as if to validate my story that i told on the radio.

ego and tornado's... to powerful things that can destroy many...

6 comments:

troy. said...

So there was this one guy who taught something a while back about turning the other cheek...

Tim said...

word.

Bryan said...

I've never "lived through" a tornado, but I've had recurring dreams about them since I was about 8. I've had so many that now when I dream about a tornado, I'm not scared but rather fascinated. Sometimes I think that I would love to see one. But then I see stories about towns being destroyed, people dying and Helen Hunt's truck flying through the air, and I'm reminded that its probably best that they only visit me in my dreams.

And for the record Tim . . . I believe you.

skeptical3 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
skeptical3 said...

I was traveling from Ohio State University to Toledo on route 23 that very day. About the time that I was due west of Cardington, I was dealing with extreme winds, lightning and rain that didn't fall but flew eastbound. Once I reach Toledo approximately one and a half hours later, WTOL tv reported that Cardington had been hit with a tornado about an hour and a half earlier. I may have been closer to the storm than I realized. Years since then, I've been able to fly over the town and see old foundations and new buildings. I have yet to see a tornado in my life. I just hope it.'s not the last thing that I see.

m.davidson said...

i too was 7 at the time of the cardington tornado our place was ran over and destroyed.my mother brother less then yr old sis and i were smashed to the floor by a freezer and then we were all lifted up.and up.and up.felt like 3-4 stories up and then we were slowley being brought down to the same spot we started.the only diff was there were no floor no walls no home at all.we were sitting in mud on the foundation but the same area of our home.my family lived.my mother was in shock brother was wrapped in tin and my knee was cut really bad.but we all made it and im proud of the scars i carry today.