Saturday, September 23, 2006

Oneonta storm damage

Things got a little intense last night. We were narrowly missed by a tornado! A waning storm suddenly intensified. We ran to our safe place with no time to grab the camera... the dark clouds were beginning to rotate.

When we went into town this morning I took the camera. (Click any of the pictures for a much larger view.)

Near the high school there was a lot of debris.

The fieldhouse is not what it used to be...

News crews were on hand.

Television reported that two infants were injured and trapped inside that SUV the previous night.

Power crews were everywhere. So were sightseers. This is a huge amount of traffic for Oneonta!

This was the strangest damage. Only the flagpoles in the middle were toppled.

Another view of the former flagpoles.

Was that scratch on the courthouse wall there before?

Two huge limbs are missing from this old courthouse tree. I wonder if it will survive. The column supporting the bell was apparently damaged when the limbs fell.

The Co-op roof had a problem.

So did their sign. (Note the snapped tree also.)

More roof damage.

I'm not sure if this building was still in use or not.

Lot of this kind of thing in the area.

This was atypical tree damage.

Most were like this -- as if they'd been twisted off. I believe this is characteristic of tornadic winds.
Updated: I've been told that strong straight-line winds can have the same effect.

This one looked like had a problem already.

We didn't make it down the side streets, which were alledged to have the most damage... We didn't want to get in the way of the cleanup.

Update: Preliminary reports from the National Weather Service indicate F2 tornado damage (113 to 157 mph winds) in Oneonta.


Unknown said...

glad you are o.k.!

Anonymous said...

Yikes, glad it missed you. It always amazes me when people from areas that get heavy storms like that are frightened by the earthquakes we have here in California. To me earthquakes are a piece of cake -- it's storms like that which make me worry!

R.Powers said...

I'm glad you guys made it through without injury.
Your pictures tell a great story, thanks.
...and as an ex-first responder, thanks for having the unselfish common sense to not get in the way.

Ontario Wanderer said...

Ah yes, this is what I do not miss by not living in Kansas. You did not mention any deaths or major injuries. Good!

lisa said...

Tornadoes are definately the scariest, most unpredictable of storms. I'll never forget my 3rd grade science book-it showed a blade of straw impaling a telephone pole, as a result of tornadic winds! I NEVER would have believed it had I not seen it myself...this was much before the time of really good photo re-touching, so I am inclined to believe it.

Sheila said...

Well, I completely missed the news of the storms on Montgomery's tv stations. Did a lot of areas lose power? Hope you all get it cleaned up pretty quick.

MamaHen said...

Hey Karen! I was on my way home from Birmingham when this happened and my sister and mother called to tell me what I was heading into! It was impressive from a distance too; lots of lightning. Glad ya'll are okay. Our place was okay, thank goodness. I had a sick feeling of deja vu heading down to the house but our side of town was okay. Not even any power out and Fred slept through it. I talked to the couple that owns the Herb Shop though and it scared the bejeebees out of them. I didn't know the Co-op got hit too. Too bad it didn't take out Wal-Mart. Just the store itself; don't want any people hurt.

Anonymous said...

I've lived in the Midwest all my life and have never seen a single tornado. But things like this make it all too clear how suddenly that record could change.

I'm glad you're okay and that no one was killed.

Gary said...

Your storms often come by us first but I don't think we got anything from this one. They usually go just north of me and continue on north-east toward you.

Hattiesburg Mississippi

KFarmer said...

I'm glad you all are safe- those things are just too scarey!

Anonymous said...

Another good reason to live in the Arctic.

meresy_g said...

Glad it missed you. I can't believe all the damage. Even though I miss summer, I don't miss the strong storms.

Rurality said...

Someone emailed me that they are probably going to cut that whole courthouse tree down. Yesterday they had removed more of the damaged limbs, and I could see that it was a lot worse than I'd first thought. There are actually several large limbs missing and lots of gaping holes where they used to be... That was such a nice tree.

My gardening class has planted flowers there for the last couple of years... I guess impatiens are NOT going to work there next year! (They need shade and there's not going to be any.) Guess the hostas will need to be moved too.

It was a fairly narrow area that the tornado actually touched down. If you know the area: The damage was limited to right around Hwy 75, from the Shell station/High School area down to the Co-op. Power was out for about 2000 people but I think it's all back on now. The Shell was open yesterday but not able to take credit cards yet.

Now Annie! Since my favorite grocery store closed I admit I've been shopping at Walmart even though I hate it. But I dislike the other 2 remaining grocery stores, "Flood store" and "Can't ever find anything you want store".

Anonymous said...

The preliminary storm report is at It is not up-to-date, because during our flyover I found another damage path in the woods about 1.25 miles SW of the first house damaged on Tidwell Hollow Rd. The number of damaged buildings is significantly greater than 51.

The flagpoles are a mystery to me, too.

Blount County EMA

Rurality said...

Thanks very much Max! The pictures there are very good. I suppose the one of the smashed burgundy car was from the tree on Adams Ave that I kept hearing about. I didn't realize so many houses were damaged.

mountainmelody said...

Wow--thanks for the pictures! I was out of town and missed the whole thing. (Not that I would wish myself in the path of a tornado...)