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Volvom

Anthro Artist, Finland
I am very curious about nature disasters, like flooding, tornados, hurricanes etc.
Myself, I'm not ever experienced anything else than just few pretty mild thunderstorms and flooding, because Finnish climate and ground is stable; only sometimes those mild floodings, thunderstorms and hailstorms and small tornados which we call trombi (they usuallu don't do anything than lift few things and topple trees).
I always wanted to see real tornado in my life, but looks like that it's not going to happen ever, so I watch all kind of documentaries and videos about disasters.
Closest case in my life was 2011 tsunami in Japan, when my friend lost her husband and youngest daughter.
In school, I made huge seminar work about this.
Also we had mild flood in South-Ostrobothnia few years ago in autumn time.

So, do you ever experienced something? Share it here and if you have any pics or other stories, tell it!
 

Saokymo

Art Cookie
I've been passed over by a tornado once in Austin. It was a very interesting happening, and we're quite lucky that no one in my immediate family there was injured at the time. My stepsister and I had just returned to the house from running errands, literally not 5 minutes before the storm hit. We had noticed the clouds were very dark and ominous on the way home, but didn't think too much of it because Texas.

Then the power went out. We had just enough time to register that yes, the lights were in fact out when the winds came up. It was a feeling like being inside a vacuum cleaner - a very loud roaring/rushing sound and a subtle feeling of being sucked in by air pressure. The poor dog was howling like mad; I'm sure it wrecked havoc on her ears. We all huddled together as far away from the windows and waited for the scene to pass. It didn't take more than a minute at most, but it felt like it was forever.

The strangest part was walking through the neighborhood afterwards and seeing just how totally random the destruction was. Our house was fairly unscathed - only a few roof tiles missing and some downed tree branches in the front yard. Other houses were smashed in, missing their roofs entirely... it was surreal. I remember passing by one house that had a very old oak tree completely uprooted. The trunk was laying on their SUV, and unfortunately pinned the woman's purse beneath it. She was trying to get at it, but there was no way any of us could move the tree to help. Luckily the rest of their house seemed okay. A few blocks over the scene wasn't so happy - there was a fire raging. We could see the light from the flames and hear the fire engine sirens on their way to put it out.

That was the only time I ever had direct contact with a tornado. We've had some close calls in this area during the spring seasons, but with the way our particular spot of land is laid out the worst of the storms usually slide around us.
 

TheMintyBun

The most squishy of the buns.
Flooding in vegas, peoples cars being dragged down stream, children and pets being drowned, mudslides from the mountains, its all pretty intense. Happens at least once every couple years.
 

AsheSkyler

Feathered Jester
First hand losses? No. I have been very fortunate to always be a half-step out of the way.

Before the April 2011 tornadoes in the southeastern USA that everybody makes a fuss about, there was a very nasty outbreak in April 2010 that leveled most of the town I was staying in at the time and a few adjacent communities. I helped people pick up what I could. The whole town was pretty much shut down for a week or two to get everything cleaned up before schools could attempt to open and businesses continue around the wreckage. The problem with tornadoes here isn't so much that they're common, but all our hills and trees make them hard to see coming. Most people who see a tornado here usually end up getting picked up by it. I've heard a couple of visiting storm chasers say they were just gonna stay out west where it's nice and flat, 'cause it scared the crap outta them trying to chase a twister in our area. :p

And tornadoes always seem to happen at night! I have lost count of how many frustrated evenings I've spent huddling in a storm pit waiting for the all clear so I can go to bed. I am very suspicious of "considerate" tornadoes that come out during the day.

Flooding is supposed to be pretty common. Every now and then we'll get a news video of people wading around in waist-deep water and the associated nuisances of a flooding that size. I've always lived up on hills and mountains, so I just keep an eye out for the rare rockslide and make sure any bridges I have to cross are safe. The slides at least are small, I've never heard of a devastating one locally like you get out west.

Oh yeah, we did have a nice blizzard once in 1993! I was too little to remember much more than having a fabulous time in all the snow, but it knocked most of the state out of power for a week or two. It sounded fun. Camping out with the wood burning heater, cooking on it, melting snow for water. No damage that I recall from stories, but rather inconvenient though.
 

Kioskask

Active Member
There was TONS of flooding in and around my town a few years ago, some buildings had to have people rescued from them by boat.
This is what happened to some of the villages around here.
GD4106521@TEWKESBURY,-ENGLAND---9198.jpg
 
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PlusThirtyOne

What DOES my username mean...?
When i was a kid, about 13 or so, we lived near a small island that was flooded completely and submerged under 8 feet of water at the deepest point. My home was right on the waterline and we watched as houses, cars, trees, whole sections of road and the bridges got washed away by thick muddy water. My (future) boss' home and farm were partially washed away, 20 families were evacuated and lost their homes, thankfully not their lives and my family and i had front row seats. That was a real fucked up winter...
 

Volvom

Anthro Artist, Finland
Wow, so many interesting stories already! Of course all those things are not funny at all, but still interesting!
I totally forgot about blizzards but well, we always have that f*ucking snow every winter and I HATE IT! Winters can be sometimes rough here (but I'm sure that they're nothing compared to Alaska), everything is so freezed that no one wants to go out, but still every time Finns just shrugs and go out to do snow works that roads are open >A> And also our craziest ones are playing in the snow totally naked!
We have max -35ºC (-95ºF) sometimes more, cold here.
 

reptile logic

An imposter among aliens.
If you count naturally started wildfires that burned into the urban interface, then I have experienced many. I was a wildland firefighter for ten years. Otherwise, just one flood.

One winter we had a heavy snowfall immediately followed by a heavy warm rain. The resulting runoff swelled all the creeks and rivers in the area. The creek next to my sister's house went from ankle deep to over four meters deep; moving at about 40 kph. The torrent cut away the bank under my sister's house until the deck collapse into the water. We cut the deck from the house with chainsaws to prevent the water from pulling the house wall down as well. The water level subsided just as the house foundation was beginning to be undermined. The house was spared. Other neighbors were not so lucky. No loss of life.
 

Volvom

Anthro Artist, Finland
If you count naturally started wildfires that burned into the urban interface, then I have experienced many. I was a wildland firefighter for ten years. Otherwise, just one flood.

One winter we had a heavy snowfall immediately followed by a heavy warm rain. The resulting runoff swelled all the creeks and rivers in the area. The creek next to my sister's house went from ankle deep to over four meters deep; moving at about 40 kph. The torrent cut away the bank under my sister's house until the deck collapse into the water. We cut the deck from the house with chainsaws to prevent the water from pulling the house wall down as well. The water level subsided just as the house foundation was beginning to be undermined. The house was spared. Other neighbors were not so lucky. No loss of life.
Of course huge fires are counted too. At least, they're disasters too.
Must be pretty hard work O__O Not to mention, that I fear a lot fires... Never experienced, but still I fear that someday my apartment burns away, that I lose my cat or I die because of it >A> I have fireworking card after I took few classes when I was in car mechanic school years ago.
 

amethystos

boo hiss
I have the same weird infatuation with tornadoes as you--in high school, every said I should be a chaser because it's all I ever talked about--but until recently I would be very scared to encounter a tornado in my home. That's because the water table in southern Texas is incredibly high and there are only a few inches of dirt to dig through before you hit limestone. Basically, NO basements or storm shelters for miles. And very, very common tornadoes. I heard the sirens go off about four times there--three times in my home and once while working at Sea World (I would paint this stuff for guests).

Thankfully, one tornado ceased entirely before reaching my home (daytime tornado), and another dodged it (also daytime tornado). There was one that started to dissipate but clearly wasn't there yet that actually did pass over the house (nighttime tornado). It would be unlikely to be categorized as an F1, since there was no damage to structures, but it shook the house as if there was an earthquake. A good two/three inches of shaking back and forth on the second floor. I was torn between whether or not I should run screaming through the house and wake everyone up (a good ~10 people living there at the time) or ride it out, since the tornado was supposed to have dissipated. Also, my mother would kill me if it turned out to be nothing. I decided that death by mother was worse than death by tornado, and thankfully it was just residual winds or something.

I have since moved to Minneapolis, where they have a LOT of weird practices. First, they test the tornado sirens on the first Wednesday of the month--even when there are thunderstorms in the area! We tested our sirens and did drills in Texas, but it was illegal to do either on a day with clouds in the sky. That way, if there actually would be a tornado, they could look at the sky and know right away that it isn't a drill. If a severe storm hits on the first wednesday of the month, people here will be screwed. SECOND--they are very quick to issue tornado warnings here. If there is a slight rotation in the storm, they may even turn the sirens on. Which is VERY annoying and unnecessary. There has been only one instance where a tornado has been in my area since I moved here two years ago. It hit a little bit to the west, and the storm was clearly moving in the direction of my household. Soon, the sirens went off--and I took these ones seriously. Hopefully the neighbors did, too. I grabbed my wallet, checkbooks, phone, charger, and nintendo DS. I got my boyfriend to do the same thing, since I knew we had a few minutes to spare after tracking the storm all day. He was very upset/annoyed but listened to me because he's great. We went to the basement and to cheer him up I said we'd play smash bros on our DS. About fifteen minutes went by before the power was cut, and then from the basement we could hear and see the house shaking. Outside, trees were crashing down. Once again, it appeared to be residual--but he stopped being annoyed and acted very appreciative that we had taken all of our stuff down.

There are at least a dozen instances where members of my family have been nearly hit by a tornado. And remember that tornado at Sea World? Well, Sea World has actually been hit multiple times, but that was the only time there was a threat while I worked there. Everyone was playing it off like normal, with only our large roller coaster offline (it gets hit by lightning from 10 miles around). Just as they announce a park shutdown (which takes ~1hr to evacuate everyone), I saw the meso cloud over the large lake in the middle. I actually filmed it with my crappy phone and showed my manager! It's been too long and the video is lost, but that was pretty neat!

This is a long post, but let's talk about floods now! Flash floods happen any time it rains in south texas. We have bridges over 20-30 feet trenches because they will fill about 30m after it starts to rain. We close roads during the storms, and any idiots who go around the signs will pretty much always die. It only takes 6 inches for your car to float! They arrested a relative of mine for doing just that...they just needed to make an example and dropped the arrest charges after a few weeks, and it made that family member turn their life around, so it's all good. One road actually was demolished because it had killed so many people. We have these posts everywhere to indicate the size of puddles and ward off dumbasses. The habitual flood of that area completely submerged the 8 foot pole (almost 3 meters i guess?) and when that happens, the dip in the road just looks like a puddle. Hail happens all the time--two storms this year already with tennis-ball sized hail. They happened within a week of each other, so I'm sure insurance companies had fun with that. Moving here, everyone talks about flooding as a major problem, which was very strange for the first few weeks since I never saw water more than 3 inches deep. As it turns out, they judge severe floods based on how much it damages the soybean crops in nearby areas.

What else, what else...I guess a PSA. Please conserve your water! Water in morning or evening hours, never at noon! Handwatering is ideal! Do not automate sprinklers to hit tree trunks or sidewalks! Take 5m or less showers! Pay attention to the levels of your local aquifer! All of these are instinct from living in a drought-stricken state (remember the limestone problem with basements? that means the ground can't absorb any floodwaters) but should be common knowledge everywhere since water is a precious resource.

Okay, done! :3
 

AsheSkyler

Feathered Jester
Take 5m or less showers!

How in the world do you shower in under five minutes? That is amazing! My best was ten minutes with the threat of a thunderstorm. For me to pull off five or less, I'd have to collect the equivalent water into a basin and have a sink bath. Which is actually quite refreshing.
 

ImagineKarma

Karma's Imagination
I've only had experienced a tiny 3.0 earthquake once. I live nowhere near a fault line, but there's lots of stress cracks under Lake Ontario.

I've also had experienced a few freezing rain storms. The most recent being December 22, 2013. The tree in our backyard is more than 120 years old, and it lost several limbs that night. Luckily, none of them fell on our house. The sound the branches made as they fell was akin to the sound of a gunshot, followed by the sound of crashing waves. An hour after the first branch fell, the power went out when a large tree down the street fell onto the power lines and gave us a pretty light show as sparks flew, especially with the ice buildup on other trees acting like little lights. The power to our house was restored 8 hours later, but some areas had to wait until a week or two after Christmas until the power was restored to everyone in the GTA.
 
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Elohiim_Koshiiri

Terradorable
So, do you ever experienced something? Share it here and if you have any pics or other stories, tell it!

I lived during George Bush's presidency if that still counts. owo
 

SodaBubbles

I will deliver the explosion
I used to live in California. I lived through several big earthquakes, 1987, 1990/1991, 1994. I moved in 2003 so I haven't dealt with anymore. Those were the worst, the one in 87 hit my area badly enough that I remember distinctly falling down while trying to get under the kitchen table and the microwave looking to be whipping back and forth wildly. I was 8.

In South Carolina in 2008 I think, I was out to watch the Lippizzaner Stallions performing and we were stuck in the entertainment center for 2 or 3 hours while we waited for a tornado to pass overhead. Ordinarily, we get hurricane type winds (though usually the full force doesn't get this far in). In 2010 I think, after moving a short distance to Georgia, we experienced 75mph winds that blew down two trees in our back yard (one of them crushed the back fence), ripped siding off the house, and blew the neighbor's tree completely out of the ground.

Oh! And in 2004 right after I moved to SC, we had a huge ice storm that tore down trees, took down electrical wires, and so on. That doesn't seem much to people that see huge amounts of snow, but for SC and GA, 6 inches of pure ice and 5 degree weather is practically a national distaster lol.
 

Elohiim_Koshiiri

Terradorable
I always wanted to see real tornado in my life, but looks like that it's not going to happen ever, so I watch all kind of documentaries and videos about disasters.

If me and you someday become good comrades, like overseas penpals etc? I would totally take you stormchasing in oaklahoma/kansas. I REALLY WANNA GO !!! It looks fun and exhilarating to do!
 

Volvom

Anthro Artist, Finland
Oh! And in 2004 right after I moved to SC, we had a huge ice storm that tore down trees, took down electrical wires, and so on. That doesn't seem much to people that see huge amounts of snow, but for SC and GA, 6 inches of pure ice and 5 degree weather is practically a national distaster lol.

Ah, I know! I always just wonder with my "WTF?" face when I see from news that snow storm totally make performance in USA and everyone is in huge disaster just because of that snow. Of course, like you said, that doesn't seem much to people that see huge amounts of snow and in Finland is normal weather in the winter.
 

Saokymo

Art Cookie
Ah, I know! I always just wonder with my "WTF?" face when I see from news that snow storm totally make performance in USA and everyone is in huge disaster just because of that snow. Of course, like you said, that doesn't seem much to people that see huge amounts of snow and in Finland is normal weather in the winter.
Couple points to keep in mind about the Southern US and winter weather:
1) Across much of the South, our infrastructure (roads & bridges) is not built with snow or ice in mind... cos we usually don't get that much a time, and what we do get usually doesn't stick around for much more than a week or two at most.
2) Southern cities don't really keep snowplows and winter-weather response vehicles on hand for the same reason - we usually don't get enough severe winter weather to justify the off-season costs of maintenance & storage. Most places will salt or gravel the roads before a storm hits, but that's usually the extent of their preparedness.
3) It's not just snow. It may look like it from pictures and video, but trust me - it's not. What usually happens is a messed up mix of ice, sleet and a bit snow to make it look good. It's dangerously slick for your feet, let alone vehicles on roads that aren't designed to handle that kind of weather in the first place.
 

Volvom

Anthro Artist, Finland
Couple points to keep in mind about the Southern US and winter weather:
1) Across much of the South, our infrastructure (roads & bridges) is not built with snow or ice in mind... cos we usually don't get that much a time, and what we do get usually doesn't stick around for much more than a week or two at most.
2) Southern cities don't really keep snowplows and winter-weather response vehicles on hand for the same reason - we usually don't get enough severe winter weather to justify the off-season costs of maintenance & storage. Most places will salt or gravel the roads before a storm hits, but that's usually the extent of their preparedness.
3) It's not just snow. It may look like it from pictures and video, but trust me - it's not. What usually happens is a messed up mix of ice, sleet and a bit snow to make it look good. It's dangerously slick for your feet, let alone vehicles on roads that aren't designed to handle that kind of weather in the first place.

Ah, that explains a lot. Thank you!
 

SodaBubbles

I will deliver the explosion
Yeah black ice is common in say, Minnesota, but it's dangerously common here in the South because of the fact that our weather systems tend to give us what @Saokymo said, a big mess of slushy rain/snow
 

JinxiFox

Insanity can be such a beautiful thing.
Three major hurricanes, quite a few tornadoes, two earthquakes, (minor but did some damage) and a blizzard. And a few wildfires.
 

amethystos

boo hiss
How in the world do you shower in under five minutes? That is amazing! My best was ten minutes with the threat of a thunderstorm. For me to pull off five or less, I'd have to collect the equivalent water into a basin and have a sink bath. Which is actually quite refreshing.
3 minutes is the norm for military. You wet your hair (30s), soap and rinse(1.30), wipe down the dirt/grime (30s) and then get out. 5 minutes allows you to properly wash your hair. Just sayin :9

And I can confirm about the black ice in the south. It's happened once or twice in two years of Minneapolis living (where it snows for most of the year). It happens every winter in the south and no one has vehicles properly equipped for it. TONS of crashes. They don't even have ice scrapers, they have to use credit cards to try and get the ice off. The gigantic icicles are cool, though.
 

Saokymo

Art Cookie
And I can confirm about the black ice in the south. It's happened once or twice in two years of Minneapolis living (where it snows for most of the year). It happens every winter in the south and no one has vehicles properly equipped for it. TONS of crashes. They don't even have ice scrapers, they have to use credit cards to try and get the ice off. The gigantic icicles are cool, though.

To be fair, people in the south will crash all over the place for the slightest hint of precipitation. Seriously - check out the DFW traffic maps when it's raining here. The entire city chokes itself to a standstill because the roads are slightly wet. It's really no small wonder why a few inches of ice and snow shut everything down.
 

AsheSkyler

Feathered Jester
3 minutes is the norm for military. You wet your hair (30s), soap and rinse(1.30), wipe down the dirt/grime (30s) and then get out. 5 minutes allows you to properly wash your hair. Just sayin :9

And I can confirm about the black ice in the south. It's happened once or twice in two years of Minneapolis living (where it snows for most of the year). It happens every winter in the south and no one has vehicles properly equipped for it. TONS of crashes. They don't even have ice scrapers, they have to use credit cards to try and get the ice off. The gigantic icicles are cool, though.
One of many reasons I probably wouldn't last very long in the military. XD
But I also have hair down to my waist, which is a dress code no-no, so I might be able to narrow down to five or less if I had my boy cut back.

The menfolk of my family have warned me heavily about black ice, but I've been fortunate enough to never crossed paths with it. My husband is excellent on snow and ice, but I am not, so I become a good ice driver by simply letting him do all the bad wintry driving instead of me making a bigger mess. :p
Although I'll likely have him teach me someday. On a backroad somewhere without much traffic

To be fair, people in the south will crash all over the place for the slightest hint of precipitation. Seriously - check out the DFW traffic maps when it's raining here. The entire city chokes itself to a standstill because the roads are slightly wet. It's really no small wonder why a few inches of ice and snow shut everything down.
And don't forget, we must buy out all the milk and bread when the sky starts falling! :D
Heaven forbid we ever do the same thing with anything practical like lamp oil, batteries, candles, canned goods...

It is always so very embarrassing when my milk and bread honestly do run out during a threat of snow. Makes me look like one of the Chicken Littles. >_<*
 
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