KNSS Radio>Audio & Video on Demand>>Episode 32: Madness in March Part 2

Episode 32: Madness in March Part 2

Mar 2, 2017|

Part 2 of our 2-part special about the March 2-3, 2012 Tornado Outbreak that spanned 13 states.  Numerous communities in the paths of over 80 tornadoes.  Stories from chasers, meteorologists, survivors and community leaders.  Continue the story with Episode 32: Madness in March Part 2 Supercell ...

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

Podcast about one of nature's most fascinating phenomenon to share your. Or Tony this story with us by email Jenin Dan act tornado talk dot com. Yeah and dance at a tornado Dockett got content. Now meteorologist. Jennifer near Moore and Dan Holliday tornado Todd is on hand and a large scale tornado outbreak is under way in numerous lives her arrest. Officials and the National Weather Service works fiercely protects the public. You train so long and so many hours for these moments this and the Nationalists are supporting. Think king. Moment chance of seeing this in real life are actually pretty small and then actually sit in front of you. And it's not a simulation fly in you've got to make decisions you've got to make quick decisions communicating threats. Put your whole different state of mind. That is just below the National Weather Service in Wilmington Ohio. He and colleagues across the Ohio and Tennessee valleys have been tracking severe weather for hours on March 2. 2012. And a damaging ES or had made his way through southern Indiana over the Ohio River and anti Kentucky. It would be the worst outbreak for southern Indiana since the late spring of 1990. Tornadoes it would continue touching down into the nighttime hours and the early morning of march 3 2012. This is tornado talk madness in large part to. When the severe weather threat spread further east and in Georgia North Carolina and eastern Kentucky sirens wailed and a number of communities sending residents running for cover. Clocked by last heartland on the floor when the tornado was happy I'm not as our ball flies out then. For much prize. Following his Saturday. Yesterday. Today we're trying to make jokes and making a little items on the go from there. What they saw. Was a mass of black clouds coming across the river skipping the river. And in blasting into this community so that in minutes a once vital community had really been hit hard. One of its leaders killed at city hall and several dozen more buildings or two dozen more buildings destroyed. There was Ohio while I was gone you stopped and show a few tears and wondered what. Why didn't. That this is just you had to deal with a Jennifer. Grey ever. Make decisions and move forward. Tim Cunningham cohost of podcast storm front freaks as working at the weather channel in 2012. Then march 2 who was her day off we were looking and and see that there is possibly going to be an outbreak towards the end of the week. And what I do remember is. Thinking that there were some similarities in that time. So the upper level the jurors that fact we're coming off a Milan Nina wind terror. And doesn't want to let percent to four outbreak and to me that's what got me into whether it was a senate robbery visits Cincinnati. So I saw things kind of come together as operate you know and everybody at the weather channel they're really. Watching it closely doctor Forbes of course was on it in the end it was soft conditions every day. Becoming more and more prevalent there was going to be severe weather event towards the end of the week and I remember that. On the high risk area for the Ohio valley. And we rent a moderate risk in Georgia in the Atlanta metro area but most of dynamics are going up towards the north that's my that was really knows when to be worse on it. And some things over similar remember showers coming through in the morning even through Ohio. And that was similar to sending four outbreak where we had rain that morning and then got the warm sector gets sunshine. And then later in the day with the cold front in the ass long line we got the super cells and tornadoes. Just kind of setting up this thing to an analyst. Really hot that day for march. And it might have been in the mid seventies upper seventies yeah. And I know later on in the day. Remember the dew points weren't as high as we thought they were going to be let us we were still going for severe weather in Georgia. But my focus at that time was what was going on in Indiana and Kentucky and Cincinnati because my family. Listen to Cincinnati. And we are watching these storms my mom and my sister and I were almost found him talking what was happening in Henry now. And then I remember I got the call from my sister are here on late afternoon is that all my gosh we've got debris falling out of the sky. In Cincinnati. And Gillick unique and attributed to was Henry bill tornado just southwest of Cincinnati that. Missed classes I just out here. But I knew wow that's you know that's incredible I've never heard decree calling that far away from the tornado. So that was late afternoon and we still have the storms off to our classical I was off to our western Georgia. A super cell thunderstorms spawned a tornado that did significant damage and Harrelson and holding counties in Georgia it was on the ground for nearly 29 miles and it was raided an EF three's Jim Cunningham was watching the storm's every move that would eventually take it close to her back. Door and it was a tornado warning on it really nice hook shape on the radar good consulate. And velocity is started getting reports that there was damage being done. And there was debris signature on it and it was tracking they kept tracking I remember watching him or did you tracking him towards the northeast. And a lot of these super cells are not operating track more than he's verses northeast. And and I thought well it's going to be close it's going to be close and now my husband and I timers sergeant. The castle police department and he was Al spotting Heatley had to work through this saws come alone with the three boys and I will tell you this much. That it takes a lot for me to get my boys and or storm shelter. And start yelling. It started raining really hard and hale was mixing our members. Standing at the door thinking OK now weren't that they hail core and it thinking okay what's next if this thing is heading towards the northeast like they're saying. This could be right where you know we live so I was getting nervous the first time I've gotten really that nervous and anxious in many many many years. So we went into the basement. Into a closet that part of the closet is actually underground. Most of it underground the other part leads into date part of the basement his day gotten our risk that they never they don't remember ever going to a storm shelter before. I thought this looks to close. It's doing damage. So I put it kids in the closet to stay here and I went down turn the TV on the basement and those watching. Local meteorologists and it didn't like it weekend so lets it act door all the sudden everything stopped it was. You couldn't hear acting outside dot com now. So went out the backdoor and looked back to back and there's a blast the lighting is still lowering. And I ran back and went into the closet. Is an okay kid let's just you know let's. Tell some jokes or whatever and try to get through it incident about 1015 minutes passed and nothing happens like I'm out the closet and turn on the TV and here and missed us to the south. And now was producing you know weak tornado over in east Cobb County for me that it was too close for comfort. And I just knew what had happened earlier in the day with these violent tornadoes and it just was. A very scary thing I don't forget we were coming off of the twenty Lannan April outbreak and people were very sensitive. To any kind of severe weather. So that's that's what I remember from that day. Tornado warnings were being issued across multiple streets watching the radar was a frightening sign this severe weather threatened one community after another. In Hamilton County Tennessee a powerful tornado was doing EF three damage even worried Tim Bradford. Who's the owner of WG RK in Murphy North Carolina his listeners were on edge following weather update. She is the storms move closer. Another tornadoes touched down it was on the ground for over fourteen miles through Monroe County Tennessee it crossed your telescope planes causing EST damaged. By early evening a tornado misery Cherokee county North Carolina hand and right into the town of Murphy. The twister knocked out power to WK RJ radio US and Sam Bradford and his team connected community on face that. Thanks to FaceBook and people sharing the storm damage it was just quite a sight to see. And here in the town of Murphy there were a lot of places that it's good to pass happened. Village residential. Especially in the neighborhood Caltech center which is just so the north of the tender mercies. It's quite a bit of damage their passed over to examine. And actually did some damage to this year Jenny sheriff's office once they're past from the sheriff's office completely destroyed would be willing C store. Endorsed cedar hill restaurant there were some people sitting there dining there when these tornadoes passing through. We're just downstream from there is this the tornado continued its damaged the Sherwin-Williams. Paint store. We have three shot considers that work pretty close together in the tornado did they missed altering it and then headed up toward. Pete street North Carolina and destroyed some homes in that area. Quite a bit of damage. But again we are going for the no lives were lost on marceca and as a result of that storm. Following the storm that carved a path of damage through Murphy North Carolina near bill Hughes was asked how he felt after seeing what occurred. Well Sean first of all because. As us completely legal encountered this for about forty years ago. And I don't think anyone was really expecting. This to an extent and degree of damage little love it was quite shocking experience for everyone involved course. Any dramatic situation like this involvement and no we're property damage. That it will certainly set you back. Mir is used said the northern part of this town was hardest hit. The tornado was rated an EF two with winds of up to 120 miles per hour he was on the ground for 21 and a half miles. Breaking weather warnings are initiated by a look. The National Weather Service office in Wilmington Ohio they watch over fifty she counties across southeastern Indiana northern Kentucky and south west and central Ohio. What happened on March 2 and third 2012 his ass into their minds meteorologist Scott Hickman had an eerie feeling about how the outbreak went on. Fold I hadn't. Premonition if you wanna call us. Fast. Friday march 2 was probably going to be very interesting days in your life is just based on the data that I had to look yeah. And when I came in that morning the storm prediction center eventually. For our area and high risk. Four tornadoes which doesn't happen often. Found in this in this part of the country. For us Jim hate you is that meteorologist in charge of the Wilmington Ohio National Weather Service office. When we saw the tornadoes are actually hit the ground in the areas to the west of us that day your heart just song. It was like somebody restart and your chest and just all of our he emotions were running very very high in the office that day. But the main focus and everybody was cheating is putting out those tornado warnings making sure we did not miss any tornadoes. And then giving people as much lead time is possible to get ready. We call them we pray that we were gonna see in our area what was going on to the west. Signs operations officer so Espinoza the most catastrophic situation they face is a tornado emergency. He says it is carefully issued an the most extreme situations. The tornado emergency is our. Our ace in the back pocket he just can't bring it out. For any situation has to be this it has to be a product it has to be a warning for people saying oh my goodness something that's really different office. We really need to yourself through word of god. And once we started hearing damage reports coming out of Louisville we can circulation she saw there are we knew it was a possibility that we have to shoot from rumors it's. But it wasn't until we go office. Called us on the phone says we don't multiple vortex tornado. On the ground. In our county that's a false move and you're counting. The lineup of circulation are seeing on our radar. That I knew this is just an extension and then we'll tornado we've got no choice. But to issue that tornado warning rumors that were made emergency. So became very immature and very easy decision. When we put together is the sort regulations. The damage. And then the ground truth reports out of Louisville area. There was no other products that. Fit that situation more than paternity rumors cancel the actual decision to do so series. This super cell that caused major damage in hand regal Indiana was also responsible for destruction and Crittenton and Haider Kentucky. National Weather Service meteorologist Andy has so this was tracking that storm. This tornado developed extremely quickly. From a super cell thunderstorms that have produced an EF four tornado in Maryville Indiana and plenty of other tornadoes along its path. When this tornado developed and touched down near 75. It was only six miles south of the terminal doppler weather radar this serves the Cincinnati northern Kentucky international airport. There radar images we were able to get from the TCU radar I was today. For these kind of things that normally only the researchers around the great plains the doppler on wheels. Are able to check out. The reality of issuing warnings and tracking storms is knowing that human lives are being a fact dead. Stefano says that's one of the most difficult part of his job you see anything. Meter logically I got to the free law that's the reason always stop step back and think about it from human perspective and know that tombs are people's homes and livelihoods. Floating around that tornado. It's powerful. Former weather channel meteorologist Ken Cunningham says her colleague doctor Greg Forbes was in the midst of television coverage on March 2 and third it. He knew how serious this outbreak would be an issue the highest alert for residents in parts of Kentucky. Yeah come out with his Tor con. A few years earlier than that massive tornado conditions and acts where. He tried to get an idea what the chances are that a tornado that hit you. We've given it to work on today the ten. Pretty much guaranteed there's going to be a tornado within fifty miles of you so that was like the second coming ever done that so I know it was a terrible event. C a short ton of attending Kentucky verified for those who lived in the towns of west liberty. And salaries fell they suffered widespread damage from the severe storms there were four separate tornadoes that struck in nine different counties. The first tornado in recorded history affected Martin county and it was the first occurrence of an EF two or greater twister on record in many female dolphin and Johnson county's. There is a tornado on the ground and looking their radar signature Isaiah class I just about bet my bottom dollar that that's the case and it is headed right toward more in Canada if you are in west liberty please. I get into a safe location this is a life threatening situation. The tornado that hit west liberty was on the ground for 86 miles. He continued in the eastern Kentucky and western West Virginia it was up to one mile wide as it tore through downtown. Mark Walter is the current mayor of west liberty but at the time the town was hit by a tornado on March 2 2012 he was serving on the City Council. Mark in some neighbors are keeping tabs on the storm's track as a move their way. And we watched good news for. Mornings and we know that. A tornado warning was coming from the neighboring. County of minutes the and as we watched the progression of the of this storm coming toward was thirty. I'm actually looked out. My home and saw cloud formations. And as we call it wall. Storm coming our way and we proceeded couldn't. Go to the basement and we noted that this storm whipped obsessed which is straight for. The panel was liberty. Handmade volunteer fireman in on the radio hour. Kenny G. And I'll call out for all mercy. Personnel and that. It was could be taking a break here. There was impaired vision settlement and that call themselves. Three times which is the distress signal. And at that my decision to hit forward. The hospital. Which my father lived right next to the hospital solos but. Two things to see if we. I had received and at the hospital and enough problems. Personally. Could not get there went back home in. Receive chainsaw and cut Holloway who thought Leo well importantly the road leading to a hospital gown though felt it was and then proceed to the hospital my true enough personnel. And from that point that went to the fire fighter mode a beer ban that went to the city where Serbia we coordinated. Search and rescue at that time. Not only was mark Walter on the City Council he was also a registered nurse and of the distress call came he was ready to put his years of experience to work. He vividly remembers seeing out of town had changed in seconds after the twister roared through. Members downed power poles and power lounge. Everything was introduced completely dark and that was the first you've been coming antennae could not make it into the city US blue collar down parent I'm. Saw part probably why tomorrow and it into downtown once I hit. The main street main street took the blunt of the storm actually Friday at City Hall was the center of the storm kind of cross. From the hospital deal straight through a slim them down. 66 young persons are very slow and what I solved localized. Literally as ever as you've heard that other towns and it looked like a bomb had. Had exploded. There were buildings you know just lying in the road. Cargo term right in front of ours and how someone alert police car alongside. We had a commercial mine field for the villain was gone. In the first glance on the corner I'm a member it was Libyan embassy sure should and we would have to celebrate a hundred year anniversary just saw them to use two years later. And the roof was gone actually Steve was lying in me road. Ralph assailant and nineteen which is the intersection where he must liberty. And there's just unbelievable destruction as well what do what do. Predict no one died in less liberty that afternoon that many residents lost nearly everything they albums. Home aunt who was serving nine years old live across the street from the hospital and then the other hospitals on fuel overlooking. The city was liberty. She. Head took heed the warning. Well down the basement. And that's the last thing she remembers as shoes all perhaps literally lifted. And that landed in the parking lot. The hospital. And my initial. Trip the world due to a hospital. I went door to door to see him one okay. And good neighbors let me know that my hand was in his home and helped her and she was concerned about some things being different was in the dark we didn't know the destruction. The extent of the destruction at that. The next day week we found that are helps those who was pretty much and in shambles and the majority of lying to him here. Parking lot of the hospital. And there's there's a long story very that we did on some plane that that might make her happy we found that her wallet. And she says she approves her range. On the windowsill about the saints in the kitchen. And I just have to look at myself somewhere will likely wind up trying and I'm big band on the head it has something. Misfit that was us. We. Talent go through some debris. And I have two of those Marines and that the Byrd. In a court sat superpower and I letter knowing that we first round for a while we stand down some rings and she was able constant she's and so we've made this like he had been. We found her followed that Heather credit cards and we found her. Some Marines that we found some shoes and we had to laugh a college. Otherwise it is just overwhelming. He was equally is overwhelming for the staff at the National Weather Service in Wilmington Ohio. They had spent an intense day and evening issuing tornado warnings for their region but after the storms left behind damage they knew much more work would lie ahead. Seth and those that it weighed heavily on his mind plus a harder. Of the event where I fell out of control. That it didn't feel like we had the situation it was after the event happened again. Just over it started setting and we were tired we had worked. A very long twelve hour plus days fourteen hour day and already a phone call coming in what are you gonna go survey what these tornadoes aren't you really did. Do we have enough resources to cover decent long tornado tracks numerous reports of damage. And it became overwhelming and he just wanted to stop and say we can do this anymore got a my emotions. I'm exhausted I'm Stan I need to collect myself for president can do that so you do similar teams. And we have great people of this office fast turnaround in form teams formed game plan where we all collaborated and said. We need seem to go to this place we need TV go to this place and once we got. The teams identified in the areas of new media investigated all started filling and we got some great help from the weather service office in Cleveland. Offering up some of their resources. So by midnight we had a game plan. And now let's got to go home put these emotions about it because tomorrow is going to be ten times. Experience and that she. West liberty Kentucky mayor mark Walters had already seen the damage in this town. What he didn't expect to see incredible support from other communities who arrived to help. Within a few hours. Just in the mercy. Command post there was sort of mercy command post. In the in the parking lot of the commercial bank we have over thirty. Fire department rescue squad here in our town. And that resistant. Do you think that set an unbelievable. Have a point. And it is the end in and the other people pulled together in our community but the outpouring. People they came to an hour and a system they've. And they came in they did not come. The teller church organizations. Volunteer groups. I don't know we had some is they came to us that we we had a truckloads of supplies came to us we have the distribution. Area for those who lost so much. We head people that the index church group brother Mike frisbee opened his church and community center. Foray receiving air force supply they could Beatles and and and shared with the with the volunteers the cane. And it was just unbelievable outpouring you know of Libya. Volunteers that came to help this. Community it was a tornado outbreak of great magnitude. Even in the morning of march 3 additional tornadoes occurred in Charlotte in Harrisburg North Carolina. That's worth seven year old boy who was snatched from his bed and thrown 350 feet onto an interstate is the twister struck. He only suffered minor injuries another tornado produced EF three damage in Lanier county Georgia. In all their more than eighty tornadoes injuring 300 and aids and claiming 41 lives there are a number of communities that were impacted that many of them like west liberty and Henry Miller received an outpouring of support. Seth finale the National Weather Service travel to a number of towns that sustained damage all the needs. Feelings of sadness and despair. We're so quickly replaced my. Feelings. Oh lifting and power. And human spirit because you saw so many homes. With so many people. On the rules couldn't lose heart downer making piles or rubble. In a few people that I had to adjust to talk to you because you have to match their emotions and the few people like talk she said. I got people on my road I don't even know who they are but their face and Motorola. Any. That's dean was reviewed numerous times and then I got people surf music which I don't know who they are. That's the human spirit and soliciting went along we looked so much damage to talk to. Community partners and emergency management directors and so many of them said. Response is just tremendous and you see that NEC. Cars lined up for miles in these. How do you results. In all people helping now and as tennis tragic and terrible video images you see all that healthy thing. There's a thief. Next on tornado talked it has been fifty years since a deadly F four tornadoes struck oak lawn Illinois on April 21 1967. More than thirty people were killed sixteen of those who lost their lives were stuck in rush hour traffic. Outbreak in oak lawn an episode 33 of tornadoes stuck.