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Published 4 years ago with 7 Comments
  • Andover KS Tornado - 4/26/1991 - Experienced from Underneath an Overpass


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  • drunkenninja

    I'm in Vancity, Canada... So only in my worst nightmares.

    • ninjakitten

      Actually, I can make it even worse for you. Although my parents' home was not yet built at the time, the path of the tornado would have gone straight through their living room. The trailer park that was destroyed is across the street from the office building we own (thankfully, the building wasn't there in '91 either).

      • drunkenninja

        I've had scary dreams of tornadoes ever since I can remember, sometimes I swear that I lived through one of these events in my past life (if there is such a thing!). Has there been anything like it since 91 though? or just close calls?

        • ninjakitten

          Well, there were reports of twisters northeast of Wichita earlier tonight, which prompted me to post the snap. I was telling the mister about the history of the storm, and how that is nearly a required history lesson for the kids that grow up in the area. Since 1950, there have been 59 officially rated F5 or EF5 tornadoes recorded in the US and 1 F5 in Canada (sorry). The last EF5 to hit KS was in Greensburg in 2007. I was shocked to see the damage that it caused. It hit at night too, which is extremely dangerous, since you can't see it and most people were at home. A storm chaser I know arrived the next day - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xeXXxaImiB0.

          • drunkenninja (edited 4 years ago)

            I can image educating people on how to evacuate in these situations is extremely important. I remember there was a major tornado a couple years back that killed more than 3 dozen people... that was a scary storm.

            /edit - Was referring to the Joplin, Missouri tornado.

            • ninjakitten

              Evacuating, unfortunately, is not actually the best advice. Tornadoes can touch down almost instantly, and their paths are unpredictable. Twisters have been reported to completely decimate 1 house, skip over the neighbor's, and continue it's path down the street. The best course of action is to shelter-in-place, in the lowest floor of your home and in an interior room. Many people suggest to lay in the bathtub with a mattress over your head to protect you from debris. I don't know about you, but there's NO WAY I'm going to be able to drag my mattress off of my bed into my bathroom and position it on top of myself; especially when you know the storm is coming. I always keep my go-bag of emergency supplies for at least 3 days (a large backpack, easy to carry), a container of drinking water, my EMT pager (which reminds me, I should probably check my batteries), and my hiking boots nearby during tornado watches. You definitely don't want to have to walk out of your house, be surrounded by debris, and have no idea where your shoes are. They're probably stuck in a tree somewhere!

              If you're outside when you hear the sirens, which is actually what the sirens are for, to warn those outside to seek shelter immediately, you should lay face down in a ditch or find the lowest part of the surrounding area. The video that I posted of the people trying to get out of the way of the Andover tornado under the overpass was an example of one of the worst things you can do in that situation. The straight-line winds created by the storm can create a wind tunnel under bridges and overpasses, and slam debris right into you, or even whip you out from underneath the bridge.

              Thankfully, tornadoes of this magnitude are rare. I was terrified of these storms when I was younger, until I really studied them and did some storm chasing of my own. Then, I realized that it takes just the right circumstances to create one of these bad boys. Most storm chasing trips are REALLY boring...

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            • drunkenninja
              @ninjakitten -

              Yeah, I can see why staying put and hiding inside the lowest part of the house can make a lot more sense than to try and run away from the tornado itself. Sounds like you're got this drill down!

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