Monday, August 23, 2004

Reminder to self: get out of tornado alley

Not even a month after we moved out to JoCounty last year, I watched a tornado come straight at the house.

From where we live, I can see for about 20 miles in most every direction, especially south and west. I remember watching the weather that evening, in early May, prime tornado season. Standing in the driveway, then running inside and looking at the weather radar and then running back outside and looking at the movement as Lawrence got hammered. Back and forth for about an hour, positive that we were going to get it, we were right in the path of the damn thing.

Just as quickly as it started, it stopped. Sky cleared off, clouds parted, and weather returned to normal.

We have just been through the same thing for the last two hours. It hasn't been any easier this time, and I have lived around the KC area my entire life, you'd think I'd be used to it.

Before, I never really considered the effects of tornados. I had watched them, and been closer to some than I should have, but these two have been different.

We have a local phonomenom called "the Tongenoxie Split." Tonganoxie is a spot in the road between Kansas City and Lawrence. For some reason, tornados are drawn to this town like a magnet. When the storms arrive, they either take a route, or split, to the north or east. For the majority of my life, I have lived to the south and east of this area, and as anyone knows who has studied tornados at all, if you are south of a tornado in the northern hemisphere, you are out of its path, generally.

When we crossed the state line and bought the house in JoCo, we ended up right in the path of most of these storms, before they get to Tongy. I have known this for as long as I can remember. I bought a house on top of a hill in Kansas that is a known tornado magnet. What was I thinking?

Note to self: Move soon.



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