'Never mind toasters, blenders and slow cookers. Joplin, Missouri, tornado survivors Kayla and Ricky Smith had a more practical request for a wedding gift — shelter from the next big storm.
'The Smiths were on the leading edge of an odd trend in Tornado Alley: Engaged couples using bridal registries or word of mouth to request donations so they can purchase safe rooms, which are strong, pre-fabricated shelters typically installed in houses or garages.
'Several tornadoes have ravaged the Midwest and South in recent years. A month before the May 22, 2011, tornado in Joplin, which killed 161 people and destroyed 7,000 homes, hundreds died in a series of deadly tornadoes in the South. And a tornado in Moore, Oklahoma, in 2013 killed 24.
'The devastation raised awareness about the need for safety in homes that don't have basements. Safe room sales skyrocketed, aided in part by the availability of Federal Emergency Management Agency grant and rebate programs that help pay for them in some states.
'The pre-fabricated rooms feature thick steel walls and doors that can withstand winds up to 250 mph. They are windowless with no light fixtures or electricity. Most are small and built in a garage or closet. Safe rooms typically cost $3,000 to $7,000, depending on the size. A few are buried in the yard like shelters of years past.
'The Smiths weren't yet married when the tornado came through Joplin. Kayla was with her parents in a car that was spun off the road into a yard. Ricky took shelter in his apartment stairwell. When he emerged, the building was gone. All were relatively unscathed. […] Above article from ABC News
Storm Safe Rooms
Flooding, severe weather devastate Texas. Six people died and at least two others were missing Sunday after heavy rains in Texas and Kansas caused severe flooding. In one case near Austin, which received nine inches of rain this week, a vehicle with two people was swept off a flooded roadway. In hard-hit Houston, rising rivers and creeks prompted Harris County officials on Saturday to ask about 750 families in the Northwood Pines subdivision to voluntarily evacuate(.)
Flooding from TD Bonnie prompts closing of portion of I-95 in SC. “We are at the mercy of mother nature,” Lance Cpl. Matt Southern of the S.C. Highway Patrol said Sunday. Bonnie, the second named storm of the year, made landfall just east of Charleston around 8:30 a.m. Sunday at the Isle of Palms, according to the National Hurricane Center. Winds caused by the storm reached 40 mph Saturday night but had dropped below 35 mph by Sunday morning, according to U.S. Air Force data reported to the hurricane center.
Extreme Weather Facts
Extreme Tornado Facts
- Close to 2,000 thunderstorms are going on around the world this very moment. Lightning generated by those storms will strike 6,000 different spots on earth in the next minute
- The average Lightning Stroke is 6 miles long.
- The Temperature of lightning's return stroke can reach 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit. The surface of the sun is not even that hot! (Sun's surface is around 11,000 degrees Fahrenheit).
- The greatest snowfall ever in a single storm was 189 inches at the Mount Shasta Ski Bowl in February, 1959.
- A good sized thunder cloud can contain a mass weighing in at about 8,750,000,000 lbs. (That's the weight of ten-thousand 747 jet airliners.
- The average Thunderstorm is 6-10 miles wide.
- The average Thunderstorm travels at a rate of 25 miles per hour.
- Approximately 100,000 thunderstorms occur in the United States each year. Approximately 10% of all thunderstorms are severe enough to produce high winds, flash floods, and tornadoes.
- Thunderstorms cause an average of 200 deaths and 700 injuries in the United States each year.
- Tornadoes cause an average of 70 fatalities and 1,500 injuries in the U.S. each year.
- The strongest tornadoes have rotating winds of more than 250 mph.
- Tornadoes can be more than one mile wide and stay on the ground for over 50 miles.
- Tornadoes may appear nearly transparent until dust and debris are picked up or a cloud forms within the funnel.
- The average forward speed is 30 mph but may vary from nearly stationary to 70 mph.
- Waterspouts are tornadoes which form over warm water. They can move onshore and cause damage to coastal areas.
Extreme Hurricane Facts HERE