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Tornadoes rip across Central Florida, casualties

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by NDub, Feb 2, 2007.

  1. NDub

    NDub Guest

    Mah' god. Is anyone seeing these TV images? Hearing these county and city officials talk? This is horrible.

    I'm looking at a house right now... well, what was a house. Seriously, it's flat. Another 'house' is in the backyard tree.
  2. GB-Hack

    GB-Hack Active Member

    I was up very late last night when a meteorologist came on to warn everyone. They were saying there was initially one eye, but then others sprang up within the front that moved across the region.
  3. Football_Bat

    Football_Bat Well-Known Member

    14 dead? Yikes.

    Wonder if FEMA is going to be all over this one now that Jeb's out of office.
  4. NDub

    NDub Guest

    This looks bad. I'm a youngster but I've seen plenty of tornado damage in my lifetime. I cannot recall ever seeing twister damage this bad.

    I mean, it's just flat.... There's nothing!
  5. I have relatives who live in the vicinity. Fortunately, they were spared save for power outages, but they said those neighborhoods look like Iraq without the gunfire.
  6. HeinekenMan

    HeinekenMan Active Member

    I woke up this morning after hearing the thunder. I started to hear some wind as I was checking the weather warnings. So I grabbed my 3-year-old and put him in bed with his mom. I left our little girl in her crib because I really didn't want to wake her at 5:30 a.m. I won't make that same mistake again. This storm was too close for comfort.

    I kept a watch on a warning for a storm that appeared to be tracking just to our south about 10 miles. That's the one that hit The Villages. It missed us by a good amount. Then I saw a warning for the storm that hit Volusia County. That is to say that I saw the first report of rotation. It was still dark out. The rotation was said to be about three miles to the north. By then, the tornado had already caused havoc. It tore through DeLand. I have a funny feeling that a home that I almost rented last month is among those that were seriously damaged. In fact, I think it might have been destroyed. We were about to sign that lease when we found a place with more acreage for less money. Now I'm really glad that we made the change.

    I got a reply this morning from an editor in DeLand. He hadn't been to the office yet. I asked him to let me know if I could do anything to help. I figured that I could shoot some footage and do some interviews for them. But I was more concerned that people needed things like food and clothing. I never heard back from the editor. I assume that he's super busy with this story. From the photos, though, it looks like the storm might have hit the office or something. I've sort of been freaking about the whole thing since this morning. I know a lot of folks in DeLand. I just wrote a feature on a downtown mural that was recently finished in the city. I'm assuming that building was spared, but I really don't know. For me, it's being holed up at home with my kids and wondering what happened that is the toughest part.

    I have to cover a soccer game tonight, and that will require me to drive through DeLand. I haven't read recent updates, but they had been encouraging people to stay home. They had a lot of debris blocking roads and downed power lines and so forth. I'm hoping that I can get through it all.

    Most importantly, though, I hope everyone around here is okay. There haven't been any death reports in Volusia County, but I know I'll run into a few athletes who lost their homes and so forth.

    What really sucks about this is that it comes on the heals of the Christmas tornado that destroyed most of the trailers in three neighborhoods just north of the city. The county asked for FEMA to help with those who were displaced, and FEMA denied the request. I have a suspicion that it was because the people were poor and, in some cases, illegals.

    I'll give you an update after I get back from my game.
  7. Bill Horton

    Bill Horton Active Member

    And this comes in the same 24-hour period in which ESPN talking head Colin Cowherd called Southerners "Tornado bait."
  8. HeinekenMan

    HeinekenMan Active Member

    At my game tonight, I learned that a classmate of one team's players was killed. That was in Lake County. On the way to the game, I took the route I thought would take me by some of the damage. But I guessed wrong or the maps I looked at where off a bit. I did see a lot of skid marks on the road. They were fresh, and I presume that most of them were from people being swept off the road by the winds. Actually, I later heard verification of this from someone who was on the scene in that area.

    That on-the-scene individual was a sheriff's officer. I spoke with her briefly after the game. As it turns out, her office was the one in DeLand that was badly damaged. I have heard that it was destroyed. She said an entire wall was gone. She went to work at 3 a.m. and was working security at the game at 8 p.m. So she had a long day. And there were tears welling up in her eyes. I found it a little strange, but I think she was finally reflecting on everything. She probably didn't have that chance during the day. The storm hit about an hour after she left the office. She worked and worked and took all sorts of reports. She actually started to tear up for the first time when she told me that she didn't know where she was supposed to file her written reports. She said she had to call someone. That's just a small part of the chaos that envelops a community when something like this happens. Everything is just thrown in flux.

    On the way home, I decided to take what I expected to be the quicker route. I knew it took me by the deputy's office, but it never dawned on me that the area was the very place I had been seeking on my way to the game. As it turns out, a major roadway was shut down. Cruisers were parked in the middle of a four-lane that opens into six lanes a little further down the way. They re-routed me, and I followed a huge piece of demolition machinery down a country road. It went into another blockaded area.

    I noticed that they kept a fairly wide perimeter around the damaged neighborhoods. That's probably a good idea. On the way to my game, I noticed a few sinister-looking individuals who seemed to be waiting in their driveways for nightfall to come. Basically, there were guys standing next to box vans that were parked in driveways.

    Oh, and that house that I almost rented was most likely okay. While it was directly in the path of a tornado, I believe the thing took a hop over some trees and then came back down about a mile east of that rental home.

    Of course, it was on a much smaller scale than New Orleans. But I couldn't help but make the connection. The sad part is that this sort of thing happens all the time. It's just a little shocking when it happens in your back yard.
  9. The Commish

    The Commish Guest

    And Wisconsin AP keeps everything in perspective with this "News Alert" sent out just before midnight:

    MILWAUKEE (AP) - Florida's storms have wiped out last year's group of 18 endangered whooping cranes that were led south from Wisconsin by ultralight in a project to create a second migratory flock of the birds in North America, a spokesman said.
  10. Columbo

    Columbo Active Member

    Eerily like the Osceola tornadoes of nine years ago.

    My van almost got blown off the Skyway bridge from St. Pete to Bradenton that night.

    Never been so frightened.
  11. Football_Bat

    Football_Bat Well-Known Member

    I had a close brush with a tornado 8 years ago (God, I can't believe it's been that long). I was working at a radio station, giving out warnings, and the sirens were going off everywhere. Suddenly a huge howling wind struck and the power went off. I practically dove downstairs.

    The tornado didn't give us a direct hit, but it blew the uplink tower down. It hit and leveled a Kroger's about 2 blocks up the street and tore a path through town.

    It was a huge outbreak. Later I took a map and plotted the path of one of them, and it must've passed right over my folks' house.
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