Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Firsthand Tornado Report

Back story:  Longtime readers will recognize the names Red and Barbara, our great friends in the DFW area.  Red and Richie transferred from AA NY to DFW when it had just been completed.  They had the idea that Texas would be infinitely more pleasant weather- wise than NY.  That's before they found out firsthand about the blue northers, 30-degree temperature changes in an hour and so forth.  Richie skedaddled for Southern California, but since Red and Barbara had three kids and good schools, they stayed.   Additionally, Barbara is a registered nurse and they were able to work out a schedule that had one of them with the kids 24/7.

Today:  Their daughter Kirin and her husband George live or lived in Rowlett, TX, some 19.6 miles NE of DFW.  It's a small community - the 2010 census listed a population of 56,000.  No further data is available; clearly it was felt that there wasn't going to be any noteworthy population surge. 

George and Kirin gave a full report. They had about 5 seconds to cram into the bathroom (her son and his son were visiting) and the five dogs were first into the bathtub.  There they sheltered, but meanwhile they were treated to what "sounded like a freight train" and the roof blew off, followed shortly by the rest of the house collapsing.  Somewhere during all of this, a tornado (of the nine reported)  flipped one of their cars into the swimming pool.   

They emerged from their shelter and none of them had so much as a scratch.  They are sheltering with one of George's brothers; he has extensive family in the area.

The latest report is that 446 homes there were hit; 101 utterly destroyed and 83 severely damaged.  The water tower very near to their former home has been drained and is being inspected for structural damage, but to be safe all of the homes still standing within a football field of the tower have been evacuated. 

Of note:  the figures noted above were gotten from reliable sources (the Dallas newspapers and Google) but the witness accounts may have been clouded by the reporters being in shock from the fact that their former home no longer exists.    

No comments: