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Tornadoes Currently Pounding Appalachian Mountains, Virginia & West Virginia

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posted on Apr, 28 2011 @ 01:32 PM
Hello ATS!

I'm a long time lurker to this site, and I've never actually posted before, but because this was such a big woo woo event for me, I thought I would give you guys a personal account of what happened. My house was ground zero for one of the tornados that formed in Oilville, Virginia yesterday evening.

First off, while this is a personal account of being inside a tornado, I understand that the physics of the tornado isn't something that strange. What is strange is that I am currently living in my childhood home (my wife and I are children of this new great depression, though the parents live in Virginia Beach, so it's nice having the place to ourselves). I am 27 years old, and I have lived in this house since I was 7 (well, I spent five years traveling the world, and I just got back, but still). I've seen many strange things out in the country, but I tell you this is by far the strangest.

It started with my wife, my childhood friend, and his girlfriend hanging out on the side porch having some beers after work. My neighbors keep horses, and there are plenty around. For a few hours before the actual storm hit, you could hear the horses going crazy and my neighbors yelling trying to keep them under control. It started raining and we chalked up the crazyness to the weird weather. We went in to keep from getting wet, then my wife had to leave to go to choir practice. For some reason, I was overly concerned about her driving by herself (despite the church being only two miles away), and I tried to keep her from going. She thought I was just overreacting and went out to church anyway.

Fast forward about fifteen minutes (it's about 7:45 now), and my buddy and I are playing the Wii getting down on some Lego Star Wars. He stops the game and says to me, "Dude, we need to get downstairs. Can you feel the electricity in the air?" I agreed with him and we went downstairs and outside to the side porch to get a better look at what was going on.

So we're on the side porch again and the rain really starts coming down hard. It sounds to me like the rain is getting even heavier, and I look over the side to see golf ball sized hail pummeling my yard. I call my wife to tell her to wait to drive home until it's safe. The thunder was pretty strange too, as it was rolling, never stopping. It sounded like a freight train in the sky.

Then the weirdness started. The hail stopped, the rain stopped. It was eerily quiet. One of my neighbors houses sits about 100 meters across a field from my porch, and we heard this big "woosh" sound. Suddenly, the field is full of this fog that is coming towards the house (this is strange because the storm itself is moving in the opposite direction). The fog reaches the porch and smells of ash, and we thought this was really weird. Why had the ash and smoke been sucked up from my neighbor's chimney?

It was a few seconds later I realized. I moved farther off the porch to get a look above my house when I see a circular cloud hovering under the black clouds over us. I joked that the cloud kind of looked like a UFO. That's when we put two and two together, and realized we were at the very center of this giant bullseye cloud painted above my house. We were at the very center of the vortex!

We rushed inside and grabbed pillows from the couches to cover us, and ran into a hallway bathroom with no windows. Hearts pounding, the three of us huddled in the corner of the bathroom with a makeshift pillow fort for protection. That's when we heard the drains start making sucking sounds and the whole house started shaking. I looked at the door we had thrown stuff against waiting for hell itself to come through.

We got lucky, though. As quickly as it had come, all the noise stopped. We sat there in silence for a few moments before any of us dared to venture outside. When we finally did, we went back to the porch to see the tornado has just touched down right past my neighbors house I mentioned earlier. More scary for me, it looked like it was heading towards our church, where my wife was!

I know it wasn't very smart, but all three of us ran to my friend's car to make the drive to the church to make sure my wife was alright. Luckily, they had a much different picture of what had happened, and even though we were only two miles away, they saw the tornado travel harmlessly across their field of vision, never coming very close. I got there totally freaked out, and all the other church members thought I was getting worked up over nothing. =P

In any case, like I said, I have never seen anything like this happen in Virginia. It's totally unprecedented. I've seen tornados before, but nothing this big. I'm not a meteorologist, but it looked like it was at least an F3 to me, though given my situation, I wouldn't be surprised it I was exaggerating it. Still, scary stuff.

It was quite a ride, I tell you that. I'm hoping that all of my fellow Southerners are doing alright. Certainly some high strangeness going on here.
edit on 28-4-2011 by Jeremiad because: fixed some typos =P

posted on Apr, 28 2011 @ 01:41 PM
reply to post by bsbray11

Awesome pictures you posted that show the power of these tornado's, thanks for the pics. And unfortunately the death toll is still rising from many different states because of these storms over the last few days. I hope the day will come that we can be better at predicting tornado's much earlier than we currently do.

posted on Apr, 28 2011 @ 02:14 PM
Glad I was in New Mexico for this one I haven't seen many tornadoes in VA ever in fact the last bad one I remember was when I was a little kid. We do get them especially in the western part just before the mountains and the southern boarder with NC but the amount there already is at the beginning of the season is way higher than normal and I just hope is isn't what I have to look forward to for the summer there although I have a feeling it is...My family lives in the southern part of the state near the doppler radar actually and the amount of strong storms we get there is insane hope the house is fine I wouldn't know cause the fam. is on vacation...

posted on Apr, 28 2011 @ 02:14 PM
reply to post by Illusionsaregrander

Thank you my friend, I am with you on your thoughts.

posted on Apr, 28 2011 @ 02:31 PM
reply to post by stealthsurfer

Do you really think it is because people don't have enough warning? I am wondering of those people who died which ones lived in apartments,(upper floors, mobile homes or did not have a basement). I am also curious as to how much the you tube phenoma may have contributed to the death toll. As you can see someone posted at least 4 videos of people very close to the tornado from you tube. Those people lived but how many did not?
I would like to know what exactly caused the deaths and injuries that way I can learn more about how to be safe in a tornado.
edit on 28-4-2011 by dreamseeker because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 28 2011 @ 02:35 PM

Originally posted by dreamseeker
Do you really think it is because people don't have enough warning? I am wondering of those people who died which ones lived in apartments,(upper floors, mobile homes or did not have a basement).

Some casualties may be related to a lack of warning, but for the most part I would say structures in this area are not built to withstand tornadoes. At least not your average residences. People don't put the same thought into storm shelters here as they do out in the Mid-West.

This morning people visiting my family here in Giles were talking about tornadoes touching down in Bland, Radford, and across the border in Mercer and Monroe counties of West Virginia. I haven't heard of any serious damage of the local news except for further to the SW in Glade Springs, where there was apparently some very serious damage to a number of areas.

It seems like the system is over now though, except for some tornado warnings still in effect in North Carolina south of Raleigh and over Wilmington. We all survived over on this end.

posted on Apr, 28 2011 @ 02:40 PM
reply to post by dreamseeker

Yes, I also thought some of those recording the twisters were way too close, and you could be spot on with some dying just to be a Youtuber. As far as being able to warn earlier before one forms and touched down, anyone who lives in places you mentioned like apts and mobile homes would be able to evacuate if they had enough warning. If they choose to ride it out and take there chances then, well, at least they were warned. All aspects of these storms need to be investigated from the storm cells they came from, to the damage left behind etc. Who knows if we will ever have a way to predict these things ahead of time, but it sure doesn't hurt to try.

posted on Apr, 28 2011 @ 02:41 PM
reply to post by bsbray11

I hope builders will keep this in mind when rebuilding structures. Did you know buildings are only mandated to withstand up to 90 mile per hour winds. An f4 -f5 is well above that. That means most buildings above ground would be damage with even a microburst. An F1 tornados winds are 73-112 mph this means most homes, buildings aren't build to withstand any more than a mid F1 tornado.
I am glad that most people made it through but feel very sad for those who lost their lives.

posted on Apr, 28 2011 @ 02:44 PM
reply to post by stealthsurfer

I am used to knowing 15-30 minutes in advance simply because I track storms from two counties away. Maybe they should have tornado sirens go off for any storm that may produce a tornado or winds in excess of 90 mph.
Most people should be alert to changing weather. A tornado always has signs such as severe thunderstorms proceeding it. Tornado education in all areas could help.

posted on Apr, 28 2011 @ 02:47 PM
reply to post by dreamseeker

Luckily where I live here in S Florida we have structures built to withstand hurricanes and of course we know sometimes over a week ahead of time that one is coming, but the tornado's that spawn from cells within the hurricane as it blows over still cause extreme damage. It's amazing the extreme winds a powerful tornado can have.

Edit to add - People who live in trailers still choose to stick around sometimes even after mandatory evacuations. To me thats crazy since not only do they know a category whatever hurricane is gonna hit their area, but tornado's could spawn as well. After hurricane Charlie in 2004 several structures were just twisted in a whirl and you could clearly see it was from a twister. It would be interesting to see what the wind speeds are in something like an EF4 or EF5, it's gotta be at least or above 120 mph.
edit on 28-4-2011 by stealthsurfer because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 28 2011 @ 03:02 PM

Originally posted by supergod
haarp. haarp. haarp. haarp.haarp.
thats not cold and warm air mixing at least not to me it isn't

im gonna have to agree, the weather is getting out of control lately...

posted on Apr, 28 2011 @ 03:03 PM
Tornadoes devastate South, killing at least 269

PLEASANT GROVE, Ala. – Massive tornadoes tore a town-flattening streak across the South, killing at least 269 people in six states and forcing rescuers to carry some survivors out on makeshift stretchers of splintered debris. Two of Alabama's major cities were among the places devastated by the deadliest twister outbreak in nearly 40 years.

I live in north Texas and we have seen some bad storms latley, but nothing compared to what other states have been seeing, and still will see.

I know the weather is crazy this time of year, but Im not sure if it has been this bad before.

posted on Apr, 28 2011 @ 03:11 PM
What is going on man, nature is surely pissed off. Im kinda nervous actually, because it seems the tornadoes are inevitable at this point, i dont have a basement or storm cellar or anything, im probably going to die tonite.

I live in Portsmouth, Va right next to Norfolk, its going to be right on top of me, i Will lose power, thats a given. I will post a forum tomorrow "I Am Alive"
just to let you guys know.

posted on Apr, 28 2011 @ 03:23 PM

Originally posted by Watts
It feels like Earth hates us.

"After centuries of abuse from mankind...Mother Earth is P*SSED!"

I made that Quote up, but it sure does seem to fit with the way the Earth is having a major case of indigestion.
edit on 4/28/2011 by MadDogtheHunter because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 28 2011 @ 03:35 PM
I too am a long time lurker/reader of the 'Fragile Earth' threads in particular. I live in SW. Pa and was stunned to actually witness a funnel drop from the sky. It was about approximately a month ago.

Like Antar noted upthread, we had the weird yellow/green "look" to the atmosphere at the time heavy rains stopped; egg size hail followed, and as I was watching the hail pummel my car, my youngest son and I saw the swirling clouds just drop the funnel on a near by hilltop (where a WalMart is being built by the Irwin exit of the PA Turnpike). It was later determined that the tornado was an F2--which is unheard of in hilly SW PA. The funnel tore thru 2 townships, actually went across the Tpike and then hit a densely populated area (Ft. Allen neighborhood, Hempfield Twp). To people here it was a shock, as the 'hills' are supposed to not permit funnels to really take form. We have had 'microbursts' in the past...but those are also rare.

My heart breaks for the suffering in the Southern US today. The weather events of the past days are so overwhelming that words fail. Prayers up.

posted on Apr, 28 2011 @ 04:08 PM
I posted this in another thread, but I thought I would post it here aswell.

US Annual Tornado Death Tolls, 1875-present

It seems these storms were the worse it 40 some years. My thoughts are with those who were affected.

edit on 28-4-2011 by ProjectBlue because: affected not 'effected'. /facepalm

posted on Apr, 28 2011 @ 04:27 PM
Not the first time we have had bad weather won't be the last
Unless you have evidence to back up that it's harp don't say its haarp

posted on Apr, 28 2011 @ 04:39 PM
This is highly unusual. I used to live in WV and VA. McDowel county (Shudder), Monroe county, Far up near the panhandles, Near Charleston, Mercer county, and very near where these tornadoes went through. I don't remember the counties in VA I was too young then. Ironically I NOW live in Oklahoma. I have so for 9 months.
The entire time I have lived in WV, I cannot recall there ever being one tornado, much less this many and to this degree. It is unprecedented. The mountains and terrain are not suited for tornadoes. They shouldn't be able to hop or climb mountains the way they did.

I always look for a logical explanation. And maybe this is natural...but it is NOT normal. I think there is more like this, yet to come.

The areas of WV and Appalachia are already so impoverished. They didn't need this on top of it.
edit on 4/28/11 by kylioneXsushi because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 28 2011 @ 05:02 PM
Probably a different tornado. Mom is only around 60.

We have someone talking about Pipestem, makes me feel closer to you guys. Been a while since I've been there.

I would imagine this will calm down as Spring moves in further. It should become more stable, am I correct? At least that's my affirmation. That the way I want to see it happen.


Originally posted by berkeleygal

reply to post by cybertroy

Mom remembers one in West Virginia, but that's long ago.

My Mother went through that tornado. It came through Shinnston WV in 1944. She was 10. She lost quite a few classmates to this tornado.

Here is a link to the story.

edit on 28-4-2011 by cybertroy because: re-wording

posted on Apr, 28 2011 @ 05:04 PM
This is such a weird story. I grew up in tornado alley and I don't even know how many tornadoes I've been through, because I lost count. But people in that area tend to know a lot about tornadoes, because we get the most adventurous meteorologists (heh!) and we all trade information as well as get advice on the radio and the news. Anyway, I was always told that tornadoes skip over valleys between two steep hills. And I never saw anything to make me think that wasn't true.

I don't know if anyone remembers what Oklahomans call "the May 3rd tornado" in 1999? It was three miles wide and even for us, it was a monster. The radio deejays were freaking out. People referred to it as the finger of God. I lived in Norman, which is right next door to Moore. Moore was always getting demolished by tornadoes. But the tornadoes never went into Norman. They'd sometimes come right up to the edge of the town on either side, but never in the town itself. People said it was because Norman was built in a valley where the river had cut down, and the land formation protected it.

So it is really really weird to me to hear of tornadoes in the mountains. Sometimes tornadoes form in places you wouldn't normally see them, like here in the Pacific Northwest, but that is rare. To see this sort of massive tornado in the mountains in an area that doesn't normally get tornadoes at all is really setting off my radar. Something is wrong with this picture, and don't tell me it's global warming.

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