KNSS Radio>Audio & Video on Demand>>Episode 31: Madness in March Part 1

Episode 31: Madness in March Part 1

Mar 2, 2017|

An early March outbreak in 2012.  Tornadoes confirmed in 13 states.  Two would be rated EF-4 and 9 rated EF-3.  Episodes 31 & 32 of Tornado Talk look back at the massive March 2-3, 2012 tornado outbreak that spawned over 80 tornadoes and claimed 41 lives.  Devastating damage across the ...

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

This is torn. Asked about one of nature's most fascinating phenomenon to share your tornadoes story with us by email Jenin Dan at 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 the calendar said it was still Windsor the nature pays no attention to a calendar hanging on the wall tornado season and use year round to getting mugged any days. This time this year in early march and parts okay it's. Dirty setup. And again and again. This stuff. Intercepts guys lives out. This is tornado top madness in March. Historical look back at the outbreak of tornadoes that stands you day's march 2 and third 2012. For residents in thirteen states to be affected this severe weather setup was one that forecasters worried about days in advance. It gave them the opportunity to warn the public well before threatening cloud appeared in the sky. Brian good it is a meteorologist at wave three TV a local Kentucky. It's been a year we will leave here. Down on February 29 we have Credo that passed through our viewing area. Oh wow that was impressive there were no one was killed from matter injured from that particular that's. October 29 we were so focused on the computer Soledad we re getting at that time. It was our late signify debt on that Friday the second of march. We are going to be ample one hack they trail operate. So we are to make your plans. And how we use it how to lose the alert the public outlet we keep coming went out. First up stunning and alarming call you connect yet received I'm not downplaying enough to where people ignore the potential and put themselves. At harvest risk beat out and about Twitter very careful balance. In its dvd especially to try to figure out away you get the point across without. College and everything to be in and out war and I think the viewers got a sense from my former on television the day before march 1 we were on every newscast for leading but every newscast saying. Didn't look the potential we see for the next day. And we were trying to be serious we were but again not trying to cause huge panic and educate really are here so what potential watch. The school system what does one of the largest in the country your mobile is that there and go ahead in the early dismissal. Port march 2. Based on that and normally normally hear about ultimate decision because of what the whether people save. I didn't get feedback to what McKay I think everybody understood why the school systems were making that decision. And the next day we decide they brought in to meet station at 8 o'clock in the morning. And and I wait this set up at that point do we not met Kevin Garnett and Archie smear artist and he addressed the theater staff. You know like I mean it's something that we didn't air until the street and even as very. To the point with the Stafford said let me be very clear. Someone is going to die day. That is how intense this outbreak potential it's what we needed to be under a game. Pay attention. Brent make quick decisions. And make sure that your families are safe and prepared now. And make sure that the course your own self is that you care how pretty they need even if he can be done about it. So at 8 o'clock in the morning we get our plans finalized. Abby that it leads to jump on television at some point today and whatever we're gonna be able to jump on that point. Even if it's sunny not a cloud in the sky we're gonna jump on a day off to get you would only be a matter of time there. The atmosphere was going to change pretty much explode unsettled and Stefano is a science and operations officer the National Weather Service in Wilmington Ohio. He says days like march 2 are extremely rare that is what you prepare your whole career for. When you do these high risk days walking in the office. It's very different there is being nervous tension. There's a lot of anticipation. You wanna give vent to begin because you wanna spring into action. Skip Talbott is a storm chaser who lives in Springfield Illinois he develops software and is day to day job. His hobby is tracking storms after witnessing dozens of tornadoes skipped made sure he planned for march 2 2012. He industry's partner Jennifer brenly you bull originally chose northern and central Indiana that either chase target dot mourning their plans quickly changed. He's incredibly dynamic assist arms. This eating and location we need Jackson he's pretty girl that target is always moving targets and shaking and I stand. A warning look like we're gonna help. To go further reason for their stuff which was absolutely the worst case scenario for this series. And look at target area is now sitting up along the Ohio River and that's a terrible place to chase because. There's not new river crossings and entering its release down their life to hills lots of trees being quite dangerous to try and approach the storm not Americans don't have that is. Ability to you to keep tabs on. The first wave of storms began a warm front attached to a deepening low pressure system was over the Great Lakes warm moist air combined with extreme wind shear created a volatile air mass. At 9:25 AM the first tornado was on the ground doing EF three damage in harvest Alabama. By noon another twister carved in nine mile path through Hamilton County Tennessee it also produced EF three damage. The atmosphere was right for explosive development of super cell thunderstorms across the Ohio and Tennessee valleys a couple of hours later a long track tornado was about to begin in Washington County Indiana the tornado touched down on the south side of Fredericksburg Indiana as the storm moved across farmland acres to an ES to. An EF three. The twister cross US highway sixty south of new peak and causing EF four damage destroying airedale Industrie is located inside a large factory building. Tornadic winds had reached 170. Miles per hour. There is no way that a nearby mobile home can withstand a storm strength inside the home five people were killed and not only was the tornadoes strong but it was moving so quickly there was little time to seek shelter or chase and. Skipped town that explains. At least. Storm motionless somewhere around us. Is between sixty and seventy miles an hour. For most these cells. And those speeds you really can't chase and we need upstart Carolina pass them basically what you guys do is meet us back in front of the storm. Get your shot. This thing goes ASEAN and get all the way. Jennifer friendly you able had a chasing storms since 2007. She's a professional photographer. An ace capturing storm images all the more interesting she and get talent or in a race to finding good spot to watch. So when we're keeping a high risk thought especially on this storm has really fast forward motion. That's especially the type of area where there are so intrigued and mountains and rivers and you don't happen greeted with flat fleeing breed and see for miles you know that I deal. Junior changing the type of scenario really good to ask about this it just started to find. And I like to call it hurt quite a freeway access. Or your arm perhaps on Apple's highly and you can watch the tornado as it goes I go greening bias fifteen miles an hour and then basically your that you're Darden. The long trek killer tornado continued from Washington into Clark County. If fluctuated in intensity as across the county line. Skip Talbott and Jennifer Bradley you bull had chosen exit nineteen that would take them directly into the community of Henry bill Indiana. Of course not knowing what was about Nintendo Wii X and every doll and so that was our plan and we drove in every goalie Kendall doorway stop. And our heart just absolutely saying when he came to this stop. It's we're really we know we're in the yeah pretty much the dirt out of me. I was supersonic had a history of producing tornadoes and this stop the traffic is all that's done there evil Chinese go whenever you're action. And I mean it can out of breath thinking about it at my heart pounding shall we were looking around me BP. And and of these school buses full of children. The right there and people are out her anger on their porch is they're looking around at this time they wanna get a glimpse of pumping what's going on at Eritrean. People holding up herself firms trying to take video and and that always scared. Scares me so much because. We're just cycle can these people should be under I'm right now. And then you know looking at the radar and how did we have to analyze the situation we have to look and say okay this is what our roads are doing. It was left our landscape looks like this is what the terrain is where we are. And Eritreans and feel there's not good visibility into the west of the freeway it's just all trees. That's not good here on we don't really wanted to write accurate count told people here. Apple fitting dress in addition now looking at the trajectory of us to pursue our weeks here I'll work completely intact here. I can only guess how could I would be way more comfortable what's it goes held a couple miles if we kind of urged. A spot where we kind of watch the storm as it passes. The line of school buses that given Jennifer signed Henry bill were full of students who were dismissed early. Troy Albert is the school's principal who saw the storm that was coming and had a plan of action on. You 45 I received a call from the superintendent. To be that you got about thirty minutes it looked like the path is coming directly toward senator Harry hill. That's when we decided to pull it. Our evacuation plan in place because the elementary students were on the buses we have eighteen buses. I'm majority of the kids were already on the buck. And there are a lot of kids that had he pardoned that day. That had signed out with their parents and had gone home. We felt like at that point when I called him an instead of evacuate in the bunker than bringing back in the building. That it might be quicker for us to ask. Say evacuate snow high school as well so we did miss the high school and within five minutes we were on the road. Tom was poor our buses. Basically. Pretty much out of harm's way angels scary ends in plus 211 solve. This tornado from the Foley stop. And came back to this school and no we evacuated the eleven students in her and brought him into the school and got an estate. Spot and now what approximately about 310 to 312. Somewhere in there. I spent. One last call on BP A system before it electricity went out view. Anybody that was left in the building that I had not rounded up and what would. To take shelter in get in any phase spot and follow our tornado readiness plan. Meteorologist Brian good at wave three TV removal was tracking the storm as it got closer to Henry Hill Indiana. When his weather team saw a light video stream of the tornado if they feared the worst that. Signature was limited to real clear get reported debris fly that he air where's he is a major video but registered dealers added like feet hurt our studio. And at one point I looked over Kevin and David the first image we had a confirmation that being on the ground visually. Was that storm chaser video we have come in our studio and I think Elmo. It Eddie stop what it is doing and hit how much he greens stream with a radar I don't see stop disquiet at the clock. That we put to death. This storm chaser video that moment. And there's this wedge. This terrain on the ground here the gas stations didn't realize this before the town got hit but it is headed right for. People. I'm fortunate and get hurt. Good we knew how mass exodus wedge and you know. We don't normally rate of course trailed until we get the damage affords great about it yes Galbraith at the same time we haven't died yet meteorologist what. The potential streets as you visually. Look at additionally we knew this wind unless you were under ground. Potential free to get hurt was going to be hot. We give it going to be up there close to four range. How do you tell people act immediately try to give Russert can't you know than previous moments support that is everybody understands spot but at this point. We just want everybody don't try to leave her home yet feel like. Appeared takes very distraught about the same spot. And take shelter does pat Durbin there's not much in your mouth that. I mean Storm Chasers get talent and Jennifer Brantley Abel had heart just two miles south of the tornadoes passing near Memphis Indiana where we can tell it was hitting things that will power quest is so useless they laugh tracks significant tornado even before we were able to really see ourselves and and at Indian view. He just always. Super strong and and significant tornadoes. And time had. In front of us we just get an incredibly dramatic you know Watson after the north. Follow briefly retreated. But it still look me. To Greece moral and Guerrero so we knew the tornado was still in progress T-Mobile plus bulletin on the ground. Hands. It's been north of me. Reposition. To you know are you back and we had just great. You this who result structure of the aren't you clear sign up based on my tornado more power classes. And it was right about that time that I was answering Henry bill. And we didn't know and at the time you know where the tornadoes tracking where couple miles away from it. So we don't know exactly what it is hitting. And and so are we can you just watch this tornado we don't know how bad news. And so yes this sort of do you really really significant damage and Nene really huge out. To try to catch that a tornado at that point we moved back to I 65 north and we are gonna try to go back up toward ten rebuilt to. To get he had to get our shot back in that song was really just so fast. On that there was no way to keep model that once you fall behind basically that day we meet China anyways going to be our anti sixty mile an hour. One stuck driver I'm listening to the radio which is you know a really great thing real life. Was happening up and somebody was actually trying to bat down the on ramp they're going Henry personnel are out trying to trying to get I think you got there. It's. Yes a leading up behind me and then once we once we saw traffic. Doing that lets you guys tornado had already crossed the highway realize that this is a bad idea. Honestly you know and I only drive up there where we're just gonna see. On to Greece and across the island are gonna get stuff out kind of traffic numbers vehicles we don't wanna hear the emergency response we just leave the united here at this point. The tornado had caused EF four damage in the town of Henry fill the town's middle and high school had taken a direct hit with principal Troy Albert inside. He vividly remembers riding out the storm and. The tornado then hit and it hit the north side of the building first. Minute drop does dealing above the MGM. Then damaged beach and north into our building and did the front of the building and knocked out for this story in the south into the other kids. CNN it took out all the news story which. I'm thankful that there were no kids in there. He ended just basically flat mid and then they cafeteria. Library. Bigger presentation drew much like a small large group. I'll learning plays they can all look to 200 people still involved flattened but where we're located we're in narrow hallway. We're all together there were 39 with me. And there are 36 with the elementary in the east in their office and done nurses area which put the things that Syria we thought at the time. I'm glad we had QA radios to communicate. Because we're able to communicate with a few groups. And then we were evacuated approximately. I would say 33335. Their relatives of some of the children did not know for sure if everyone was safe. Ironically Brian that it weighs three TV drew anxious knowing that he too had family and Henry down. Premier is really personal. Because my brother lives and he rebounds and he hit your daughter. They both go Hugh Henry bill. The scores did divide between the a major portion of high abortion and they're both. Then that things section. And neither are going to be an escort that day and at the former city Hillary bill. I'm here thinking I hope they're all day and I and I'm just pay attention there were inaccurate about the radar. That's signatures and then also a monster to call me on my only my mom but the bottom feeder shorter coverage. And out that this system stick side actually on the air dead. I'm sorry I gotta keep myself for a minute I have this it's a ball. So I ran out the video was always her mom my golf is the call my mom was upset and crying with Brian. We can get all your brother we know that here he's this work on. The school buses. And we don't know where they are now. And I had to call my mom down because she had another super cell that little weaker version of it but it triggered a tornado signature hit for rock. This could go off buddy get her to calm down if they love you be getting safe spot could hear it yourself. What were better able to Kansas did you try to get there and protect herself the best and what they activity lived through and I Daubach on the air and it's sick until later that night front able track down thankfully they were okay my eldest niece was odd ones about the thinking back to the school. She is still very troubled by about it I mean they were very very fortunate lucky that it. There are almost okay N and bet all other friends are buying bad it just really changed her outlook on and it really affected meat. And it says that you know there's a careful balance the front of the professional on television and I cried but did behind. You're worried about you know family is a very personal effects that takes place there and not one head throw him. Home Henry go principle Troy Albert was relieved that the school safety play and worked. We had down zero injuries on the campus we had one fatality. Regretfully. A neighbor of mine. That lives about a mile away from me. Andy you're the uncle of one of my teachers that the time dole is very emotional at that point blood. I will tell you know I think the community itself as the people that were severely injured this. Well for the most part we eat we lucked out and we did not have very many injuries or casualties. Detroit's neighbor was killed when the tornado took a direct hit on a modular home. Wayne Hunter and his wife had taken shelter but knew well in advance of the tornado was headed their way Brian good said he also knew the family. Laura hunter was one of our. Viewers that we had out of pocket before several counties you know give us federal court no prior to this tornado event. And you know her husband there's video that we're not even to a curious about tracking tornadoes label or don't look at what they're old video camera. From our house and achieve uncommon comedic you know what I think we need to get downstairs. We need to wait nets and unfortunately. He lost his life. That's prelude and head on. And she's a very brave woman she did because afterward they obviously she'd totally devastated and the Washington media back over and over knowing. That there were do we have been a lot of us do we don't weather event. Whether it's every board Credo we want to film it. Because we're intrigued by the excited about it never is one of those moments you down while watching this home video and it Demetriou he had no idea that three pounds he's not a guy. Moments of life in an interview with CNN look Norah hunter said she and her husband Wayne video recorded the tornado until it was so close. They had to run for cover. We knew it was going to be hit and it went going to be tricky. We hunkered down just a blanket over us. And we just hard because. And he insists he's hidden in body was up against me here. We had arms around each other. So low as usual there are located true. Neighbors began looking for the hunters in the rubble actually read in the house. And clipped the wall off lover and got her out and she is silly started saying my husband my husband. Well right next to or we looked and we could see his feet underneath their refrigerator. My name you know. I just anywhere near as lay there like they are good. Can get my kids. Simultaneously. A new sickly tornado vortex rapidly formed from the same super cell immediately southwest of the first tornado. The second tornado quickly intensified causing EF three damage as it tore through the southern portion of Marysville. Wait three TVs Brian good remembers getting the news just moments after that happened. And I remember we were doing the coverage of her track in the super cell. I've attended a piece of paper and on a piece of paper with a handwritten notes from our China desk it said that talent as mayor at Marysville. It's no more I thought something you have to read this I mean this is. It was a very emotional thing to say bit you know this is coming from that's factual base here promote this summer that's. So why are you here ought to Kevin looked over US has something in my hand it to get the future I don't should get you medical nobody got to fit well. Seven three desperate. Apparently the child Mary hill is no more it's been now destroyed. Everyone's got quiet studio I mean the reality we've all gone through tornado outbreaks that are in our careers never really don't think have been decent but didn't change what we're happy that moment. In admits he could corporate parents at that moment it was just the serious. Affected adamant and very emotional one. Bakken Henry dealt a severe weather threat had not ended just fifteen minutes after the community suffered EF four damage waste three TVs trying to set another tornado. Targeted town. As the trail went through. And garrido got hit this episode began to weaken as it toward the department of Kentucky and then the second went into them right on until. And it didn't waste any time whatsoever. And a second tornado was. You know weaker but it just appreciate weird for a imports of our chill a bit like oh no this is gonna take big sacks in past. And how crazy that the company didn't quite. Happy big hill lay down in front of it from the previous Torino I think help. And create. How much you have an aversion would that real that are really didn't have a chance in the ground match got to that was good. So they can help each other out and that's benefit of the scary pull out of this huge move this yeah gasoline here what Gordon of course ripping ourselves that this going to bed you know even. Twenty mouse itself but what happens but wanted to be like that how scary that would have been. I Marcel. This super cell responsible for the first ten rebuild tornado was still producing a twister that destroyed several homes east of Marysville Indiana. Debris was tossed a mile away in Scott county Indiana three homes were severely damaged as the storm continued on its path. That's where one person died more destruction occurred in Jefferson County Indiana through the town of Chelsea the storm claimed for more lives there. The multi vortex tornado across the Ohio River in Jefferson County Indiana this is where this tornado finally ended. It's 49 mile past would conclude in Trimble county Kentucky just four miles north northwest of Bedford. Back in Henry bill Indiana the small knit community had lost cell service and was using old fashioned ways to communicate. In regal principal Troy Alberts said his primary concern was reuniting his students with families. So we're just relying on word of mouth. Four wheelers students on four wheelers coming back if they can help. Bringing blanket view some kids that got wet in the transition from walking over. I just say you know everybody helped out each other in net it was like. All suddenly became a close knit community looking out for each other. Instead. You just for yourself and I felt like that would prime the biggest thing that I think we've taken out of that tornado and even continued today. Storm Chasers get Thomas has a long track tornado that occurred on March 2 2012. Which claimed eleven lives is a deadly as he's ever seen. Let's get knew there was a way for the storm chase communities offer help to those affected by tornadoes. Started talking win another Storm Chasers. All right after that event. Thinking OK as chasers are something. That had a huge impact on people people were killed. Com there we documented. And we felt guilty about that some of us are are going there to see a tornado for the thrill list celebs are going there and selling her what is to make money. And he's not he knew how how convenient that these people. Who are impacted by the weather and how we're documenting I mean has Storm Chasers there's nothing we can do about whether it's gonna happen. And in and it's gonna impact these people. You know as is good human beings how can be trying to help these people they get hit by the weather that we're watching. We got together several us from across the car. We start formulating ideas and we thought okay we can make his charity group that passes. The fund raiser. And we can sell whatever whatever products you can make phone from what we US Storm Chasers. To try and give back something to these tornado victims so stores this was war. A few months after after that event later that year we put out a T shirt and and dvd and Blu-ray. On fundraisers based on this stuff best artists are doing this guy remain regaining the photos and feel we're taking. Palmer gonna sell that for a charity fund raiser guy and. Today's storm assists dot org has collected thousands of dollars for storm victims the organization was able to help many that were impacted that march day. For those who lifted a tornado outbreak it will be impossible to forget. A number of communities suffered losses weigh three TVs prying dad visited Marysville Indiana six months after the tornado. And if this is abandoned. You know there is no sense of wanting to rebuild. At that time everything he had just been laughed I found a refrigerator to edit in Rome are good I would say 8000 yards away fond out but it was then. There is no war. And just stand there in this area. That had eight. Although small store he had the church and you had houses the comedian and he really can lead he why. But he also sensitive and suddenly it deserted town and it was sad because there are just a lot of hopelessness feeling to a lot of the residents a lot of laughs they couldn't Gil had already won a Gillick had been married more and and be reminded of that area. So they distract that they decided. It's a morale to rebuild other apps just stand there have been some that a side Q. I builder comes back out and and I think that is starting to grow warm more than we get further waste the event off for a while there that town. Really. Struggle to actually stay on the map. In Henry real principle Troy Alberts said not one student moved away. Construction was a media on a brand new school belt. Or restoration services. What are building back with the assistance of Hanover Insurance. And had a master plan to rebuild our school. And it would need to be the first thing that was rebuilt in our town we starting construction. Probably the week after the tornado. We were cleaning out the debris and everything like that. And we are back in school on August 6 basically five month. 64 million dollars. If indeed it was a remarkable remarkable fan I'm thankful for every day this that it happened because he's got normal feedback to horse. School doesn't southern Indiana have moved on with their lives but Henry till Indiana school principal Torrealba says he wants to be just as prepared in case. This would ever happen again once you've. Go through you don't want those thirty years. I might lie whether people back to talk to my kids. I'm not every other year and they shared on what he would change bit it would happen again. World 1% Cain who ever happen again but I think more ready yet but nothing happened I I will say the things they. Tornado drill fire drill. Evacuation drills very seriously now. And they know what it means and I hope that continues because there really helpful for my staff and the parents know that everybody safe. Next done tornado talked. Over 300 tornado warnings were issued across thirteen states on March 2 and third 2012. Including Georgia and North Carolina and in the community of west liberty Kentucky. Stories of safety survival and how social media keeps affected communities connected him. Part two madness in March an episode 32 months tornado talked.