Tornado (Indianapolis, South Bend, Marion: custom home, earthquake, living in)
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I have lived all of my 44 years in central Indiana. I have seen lots of warnings and taken shelter in the basement a few times, but the only damage I've experienced was a roof damaged by large hail when a tornado hit southern Marion County in the mid 90's. I remember the Super Outbreak on April 3, 1974. Kennard, a small town a few miles west of our home in New Castle, was blown away. Injuries were minor as I remember, and there were no deaths. My grandfather survived the New Castle tornado on March 11, 1917 when he was 18. He was caught outside and held onto a shrub. He said his feet were off the ground and his grip on the shrub was all that saved him. There are photos at the Indiana Historical Society that show him and others walking through the debris on Lincoln Avenue.
My wife and I have been considering moving to this state...but the tornado thing we read about is kind of scary. We live in Washington right now and we just don't get dangerous weather...so the idea of even a slim chance of being killed in a tornado is too much for us.
But I noticed that a lot of the tornado's happen to the south of Indiana...so does that mean tornado's never occur in the northern areas of Indiana?
In NE Indiana (Fort Wayne) where I've been for 7 years with my family we've had good thunderstorms and on the news I've caught mentions of tornados about once a year hitting relatively nearby places like Van Wert Ohio (they seem to always get hit - I'm surprised there's still people living there or at least any trailer park tornado magnets - the news would have you believe they get wiped out often). Much less frequently you hear about tornados hitting a little west or south in rural Indiana. Friends of mine who are 4th generation Fort Wayne residents have shared with me that the original visitors of this area were told by the locals that Indian oral tradition said that tornados would never touch down where three rivers meet... and as it happens Fort Wayne is founded upon such a location. Granted Fort Wayne is now expansive compared to years ago so any hypothetically protected vicinity might not encompass all of it, however hearing this has made me rest very easy each and every night. I'm always prepared for the worst with flashlights etc, but during even the most powerful thunderstorms I don't feel any stress at all except that I may have to reset all my clocks if the power goes out
My perspective on tornados is shaped by the fact that I actually lived outside Oklahoma City as a child as well as all up and down the US East Coast for most of my youth. I've been through most every weather situation at least once and in Oklahoma where we lived we were considered in the heart of "tornado alley." The stress my family experienced there over the course of just under 1 year was immense. Moreso than any stress via hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, sinkholes, snow storms, etc. Every rainstorm brought a real tornado threat and I found it difficult to sleep when the thought of having to run for cover under a mattress in our bathroom was at the forefront of my mind. That threat of getting wiped out was what led my family to pick up and move out of there. We were adventurous folks, but golf-ball sized hail and tornados were not for us.
Now flash-forward well over 20 years and my wife and I moved out here to Fort Wayne to start a family. We moved out here and our first real introduction was on the news when we heard that there was a tornado watch and that Van Wert Ohio had been hit by a tornado. My wife and I were kind of shocked and of course concerned, at least at first. Years later we now aren't concerned and we have several reasons. 1) seems like the weather alert system for Fort Wayne is excellent - we get plenty of notification regarding any sort of weather situation from snow, ice, rain, extreme heat etc... nothing seems to be a surprise; the meteorology here is really great. 2) tornados are not common in this vicinity at all - sure we sometimes get spectacular thunderstorms blowing through, but other than the entertainment value (I like them) no harm seems to be done by them other than a few cancellations of my evening golf league (annoying but I can survive that ) and 3) every area of the US has weather issues or potential concerns. I know this first-hand. The very mild concern about Fort Wayne's weather including tornados is nothing compared to what I've seen before. The weather here in fact is extremely mild and has remained so over the past few years. Perhaps it is global warming being good to us, but seriously it will be December tomorrow and as in most years I've been here, it will be sunny and only a little chilly outside. The snow we get in the winter has tended to be less than the published 27 inches per year average each winter and usually isolated to January and February (as opposed to Buffalo's real threat of snow from October through April) and to me even the hottest part of the summer is very bearable.
I hope all that said you aren't terribly concerned about tornados, so concerned you might decide to not move out here. That would be a shame because although it is a risk, you could move out here and over the course of 25+ years you wouldn't ever have a tornado hit nearby.
Tornadoes occur less frequently in Indiana than in Illinois which is part of the tornado alley. I did come close, within 2 miles of being in a tornado in Fort Wayne,IN in 1999. Indiana is just out of tornado alley, and some parts of the state like evansville, are probably in tornado alley. The only places I would be concerned about moving to because of tornadoes, would be the mid section of the nation like kansas and oklahoma. Tornadoes happen so random, and you cant never predict your chances of being in one.
my advice is to move into a urban area, because tornadoes have an attraction for rural areas because they are larger
I've lived in indiana for 23 years and i've never seen a tornado. I am deathly affraid of storms.rain.wind etc.. The one experience was about 4 months ago while at work in Vaparaiso, the sirens were turned on and a tornado was spotted in Winfield. My boss called from her house while the tornado was a mile south of her. The only type of bad weather is lake effect snow (which I love), rain and/or hail when it gets bad and the hail and wind were the only weather activities that has damaged my house or car.
If tornadoes are your only concern about moving to Indiana, I would agree with the other posters and tell you it's nothing to worry about.
There are tornadoes here. I don't think anymore than elsewhere in the midwest and south though.
Not to make light or ridicule people who reside in manufactured housing, but that is where the majority of deaths occur. The Evansville 2005 tornado for example, ALL of the twenty something people who lost their lives were inside manufactured homes. There were over 300 homes destroyed or badly damaged in Newburgh and not a single loss of life in a frame built home.
Another thing that has greatly reduced the risk of these storms is the advancements in technology meterologist have. I can assure you if you are near one of the larger media markets such as Evansville, Fort Wayne, or Indy, you will have excellent coverage and adequate warnings. I have been in all three of these areas during storms and the coverage is outstanding.
Buy a frame home, preferrably with a basement, a small weather radio and listen to the meterologist and their warnings and you should be fine.
I wouldn't worry about the Tornadoes too much. They are rare and seldom kill people. Check out this website: Indiana Tornadoes
My wife's house was hit by a tornado when she was a child. It was the June 2, 1990 tornado that hit Darlington, IN. Her mother was the only one of the seven family members who was critically hurt with a collapsed lung and broken ribs. Everyone else just had bruises/broken bones and they lived in a double-wide trailer! I know not everyone gets this lucky, but if you're smart and proactive about tornado safety, you'll probably be ok.
You would not have to be worried about losing your life to a tornado in the Henry County area. Actually you would probably be at more of a risk of walking out of your own home in Washington and getting struck by lightening right on your front porch than you would of getting swept away by a tornado in Henry County. I believe Indiana is a beautiful State and has many comfortable areas to reside at. One thing that is nice about a tornado watch is the thrill and excitement that is felt in the air and through the sky that can have such a scary look but a beautiful look that sometimes can take your breathe away. The feeling of the air and the change in the atmosphere that comes with some tornado watches is simply amazing and can leave an ever lasting feeling of the powerful hand but beauty that nature has to offer.
HUH? Exactly what part of Indiana have you lived in?? You paint such a lovely picture.
I love it here, and am happily raising my kids here without reserve.
I think one has to be married with kids to like it here. For a single, it's very empty here.
It will be less expensive for them to raise a family here than Washington, though, but no nice mountains to see.
Some of the suburban schools here are pretty good.
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