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View Diary: Thoughts On Tornadoes and Moore Oklahoma (179 comments)

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  •  maybe as a rule (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FloridaSNMOM, weatherdude

    cancel school when conditions like this are expected.  As you noted, weather scientists said the conditions were right for dangerous tornadoes and they knew that at least a day before.  

    stay home and use the family shelter, or better yet just get out of tornado alley for a few days

    My heroes have the heart to live the life I want to live.

    by JLFinch on Mon May 20, 2013 at 11:08:22 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  School buildings (8+ / 0-)

      are safer than many homes, especially mobile homes. And lots of houses in the area don't have underground shelters for the same reason the schools don't: bedrock, high water tables, etc.

      •  Where I grew up in ETX... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FloridaSNMOM, Leap Year, weatherdude

        I knew of only 4 homes that had basements, and they were wrapped in 2-3 FEET of tar/asphalt to keep the water out.  In-ground pools had to be kept filled during the rainy season to keep them in the ground, otherwise they floated up..

        Only major buildings (banks, multi-story, etc) had basements and they were a B*%#h to keep dry.  

        "Death is the winner in any war." - Nightwish/Imaginareum/Song of myself.

        by doingbusinessas on Tue May 21, 2013 at 12:35:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Do you live in TX or OK? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TomFromNJ, weatherdude

      I'ave asked this question literally (not exaggeratiing) fifty times or more over the years. Never got an answer.

      Is it really bedrock or is it high water tables? Or is it
      cheap-ass school boards?

      I lived near, but not in tornado alley (I got to see them from the west but not many passed over us) and our house (Clovis, NM) had a small concrete basement.

      Reaganomics noun pl: belief that government is bad, that it can increase revenue by decreasing revenue, and unregulated capitalism can provide unlimited goods for unlimited people on a planet with finite resources.

      by FrY10cK on Tue May 21, 2013 at 04:21:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  There's much more dirt (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        weatherdude, cris0000, Ender

        than bedrock in Oklahoma, if you avoid hills and wadis. The older homes and buildings in most every town/city (and a good many rural 'steads) have fine deep cellars.

        By the 1960s, becoming almost universal by the 1970s, "modern" construction started with an 8" slab of concrete with some plumbing sticking through. Quick and clean, inexpensive for the builder, solid enough apart from roofs to survive most twisters intact so the humans mostly survive.

        Hardly anybody builds homes or schools with solid and usable cellars these days. Haven't done so in decades.

        •  But wouldn't it make sense to build a small cellar (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Joieau, weatherdude, cris0000

          (not the size of the whole building) for tornado shelters in a few public buildings?

          Sounds like cheap-ass school boards to me. But I could be wrong. I'm just asking question. I don't know the answers.

          Reaganomics noun pl: belief that government is bad, that it can increase revenue by decreasing revenue, and unregulated capitalism can provide unlimited goods for unlimited people on a planet with finite resources.

          by FrY10cK on Tue May 21, 2013 at 07:43:47 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It would make sense, (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            FrY10cK, weatherdude, cris0000, Ender

            but nobody wants to pay for it. So they don't. The old city schools almost always had substantial basements, lots of nice stonework. The new ones are like suburban tract homes - long, flat and with lots and lots of glass.

            When I was in high school in Muskogee, Old Central was abandoned and condemned when New Central came on line. No longer a compact multi-story stone building with real beam roof and full basement (with classrooms and storage), but a way too spread out part-brick and mostly glass cheap-o on a slab on the blank edge of town. Soon as we moved in those almost daily tornado drills simply went away, we practiced not a single one in the three years I spent there. Because there was no point, if we got hit by a twister we were all gonna die no matter what we did or didn't do.

            One does develop some fatalism out in tornado alley...

          •  Not necessarily the best solution (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            weatherdude, Ender
            Some of the children killed at Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore, Oklahoma, during Monday's storm drowned in a basement area there, Oklahoma Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb told CNN Tuesday morning. "My understanding, this school ... Plaza Towers, they had a basement. Quite frankly, don't mean to be graphic, but that's why some of the children drowned, because they were in the basement area," he said. Officials have said the storm killed at least seven children at the school.
            http://www.cnn.com/...

            “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

            by Catte Nappe on Tue May 21, 2013 at 09:54:34 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Basements have drain pipes. (0+ / 0-)

              And they don't have to be the size of the whole building.

              But like I said, I don't know the answers. I'm just asking questions. The house I lived in near (not in) tornado alley had a basement the size of one bedroom. Great shelter.

              Reaganomics noun pl: belief that government is bad, that it can increase revenue by decreasing revenue, and unregulated capitalism can provide unlimited goods for unlimited people on a planet with finite resources.

              by FrY10cK on Wed May 22, 2013 at 03:29:51 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  soil conditions (3+ / 0-)

        I grew up in the OKC area (Moore, Edmond, Heritage Hills).
        Bedrock it not an issue.  The soil is a red clay mixture, and for the most part, the water table is far below the surface. I lived in houses with basements, or a storm cellar in the back yard or nothing at all.  I went to private and public schools, and some had below ground meeting areas and some didn't. I always thought it had more to do with when it was built than any political factor.  These events are part of the reason I jumped at the chance to move to Florida 26 years ago.  I still have LOTS of family in the OKC area, both on the north and south sides of town, so the last 3 days have been hard to watch from afar.

        BTW...weatherdude rocks!  keep up the stellar work!
         

    •  If they were home they would be dead too (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      milton333, weatherdude

      their homes were not storm-ready, the school was a tougher building

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