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Old 12-27-2015, 06:44 AM
 
355 posts, read 271,795 times
Reputation: 416

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Quote:
Originally Posted by TNhomesteading View Post
I have a beautiful long leaf pine tree about 15 ft from my deck. It's verrry tall. I am now seriously considering having it cut because if it falls, it will crush our home.
I have heard that saturated soil and high winds is recipe for toppling pine trees.
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Old 01-01-2016, 03:58 PM
 
Location: Henry County, TN
105 posts, read 97,408 times
Reputation: 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jumeby View Post
I have heard that saturated soil and high winds is recipe for toppling pine trees.
Have a tree guy coming to cut it down this week! It's about 80 ft tall.
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Old 01-01-2016, 11:37 PM
 
Location: southwest TN
8,179 posts, read 14,276,689 times
Reputation: 14787
Until this past week, we had a plan to ride out any tornado warnings by going to the dry creek down the hill - on our property. The chance of tornado here was slim, we figured.

There is no room in this small house that will hold up to a hurricane - the bathroom is on an outside wall. The house is not on a slab and the wind from a tornado would easily life it up.

So we stuck to our plan IF the situation should arise. And it did - and our plan was never going to work because it had been raining for 3 days prior and getting to the "dry" creek/gully was not only not possible but was no longer dry.

Plus, we now have 3 kittens, 2 cats, and 2 dogs.

We were quietly waiting for dinner to finish in the oven when my husband's cell phone began blaring and the message was to take shelter immediately as a tornado was in our area. It's geared for within 5 miles of our house. What to do and where to go - first thought was the truck would afford a dry place for all of the critters and us. In less than 5 minutes, we had everyone aboard and were heading east - away from the movement of the storm - but then it struck us - we had no where to go - there's no community storm shelter, no business that isn't a large open room (i.e. Wallyworld) - and how to get in 2 dogs (one of whom is 70 lbs of petrified dog - afraid of the rain, the thunder, the car), 1 crate with 2 kittens, another with 1 kitten, and 2 more with each of the cats!

So we headed into town where we heard the sirens blasting and drove next to the only 2 story brick building - a motel with steel stairway - and hoped it would protect us. The sky got darker, power went out, the wind kicked up and we contemplated getting a room - but really - with 7 animals?

So the budget has been reworked and we are getting a storm shelter - within the next month.

I was one of the ones who didn't see the need - it's a relatively rare event - but you need a storm shelter for that one time.

So far, in the 3 years we've been here, there have been 4 tornadoes that touched down within a few miles of here. It is a major news event because tornadoes in our area are very rare - but obviously that frequency is increasing.

So maybe you need to consider where in SW TN you are moving - if it's in central TN where Wmsn4life lives, it's probably less important than it is here.

But the question is: is a shelter required - and the answer is no. But is one advisable? 1 week ago, I would have said no - and I've changed my tune.
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Old 01-02-2016, 08:53 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
1,361 posts, read 3,715,425 times
Reputation: 790
NY Annie, I'm glad you will be getting a shelter. Even though we live in middle TN, you never know if that one time a storm comes through, it might be your neighborhood. I'd rather know we were all alive even if the house is gone. It's like an insurance policy you hope you never have to use, but it's there if you need it.
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Old 01-02-2016, 11:00 AM
 
4,743 posts, read 8,449,506 times
Reputation: 4028
NY Annie - glad you're safe, but you did almost everything wrong. As you found out, a dry creek bed may not stay dry (plus there are probably trees around that may crash down - also rescuers probably wouldn't be able to find you). Getting into a creek bed or drainage ditch is a last resort - like if you're stuck in your car with nowhere else to go. Which brings up the next mistake - don't get in your car and drive. That may be an option hours before the storm, but when the sirens are blaring it's a bad practice.

The best thing you could have done (at that point) was hunker down in your house. Put as many walls between you and the outside as possible (perhaps hallways or closets in your case). Cover yourself with mattresses or blankets. Wear a motorcycle or biking helmet and sturdy shoes. You are trying to protect yourself from very fast moving flying debris, because:

Quote:
Flying debris is the greatest danger in tornadoes...

- In a house with no basement, a dorm, or an apartment: Avoid windows. Go to the lowest floor, small center room (like a bathroom or closet), under a stairwell, or in an interior hallway with no windows. Crouch as low as possible to the floor, facing down; and cover your head with your hands. A bath tub may offer a shell of partial protection. Even in an interior room, you should cover yourself with some sort of thick padding (mattress, blankets, etc.), to protect against falling debris in case the roof and ceiling fail. A helmet can offer some protection against head injury.

- In a car or truck: Vehicles are extremely risky in a tornado. There is no safe option when caught in a tornado in a car, just slightly less-dangerous ones. If the tornado is visible, far away, and the traffic is light, you may be able to drive out of its path by moving at right angles to the tornado. Seek shelter in a sturdy building, or underground if possible. If you are caught by extreme winds or flying debris, park the car as quickly and safely as possible -- out of the traffic lanes. Stay in the car with the seat belt on. Put your head down below the windows; cover your head with your hands and a blanket, coat, or other cushion if possible. If you can safely get noticeably lower than the level of the roadway,leave your car and lie in that area, covering your head with your hands. Avoid seeking shelter under bridges, which can create deadly traffic hazards while offering little protection against flying debris.

- In the open outdoors: If possible, seek shelter in a sturdy building. If not, lie flat and face-down on low ground, protecting the back of your head with your arms. Get as far away from trees and cars as you can; they may be blown onto you in a tornado.
Tornado Safety (Online Tornado FAQ)
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Old 01-02-2016, 12:35 PM
 
Location: southwest TN
8,179 posts, read 14,276,689 times
Reputation: 14787
Actually, staying in our 1-story, small house is akin to staying in a trailer and our truck affords us the ability to move out of the way. We live on the crest of the hill, and our property slopes down in the back. In dry weather, that dry creek would be pretty good as it's well down in a gully, in the middle of a forest of trees. My belief still is that forests don't get hit by tornadoes - not sure of the science of that. But recently the 200+ acres across the street was just harvested so we've lost that protection. We would have been safer getting a room in that motel but with 7 animals, that was unlikely. At least the motel was 2 stories high and all cement/brick.

I know that our house would not stand up to even a nearby EF1 tornado and there's no way I'll stay here. So bring on the cement trucks with our storm shelter.
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Old 01-02-2016, 01:21 PM
 
355 posts, read 271,795 times
Reputation: 416
Quote:
Originally Posted by NY Annie View Post
Actually, staying in our 1-story, small house is akin to staying in a trailer and our truck affords us the ability to move out of the way. We live on the crest of the hill, and our property slopes down in the back. In dry weather, that dry creek would be pretty good as it's well down in a gully, in the middle of a forest of trees. My belief still is that forests don't get hit by tornadoes - not sure of the science of that. But recently the 200+ acres across the street was just harvested so we've lost that protection. We would have been safer getting a room in that motel but with 7 animals, that was unlikely. At least the motel was 2 stories high and all cement/brick.

I know that our house would not stand up to even a nearby EF1 tornado and there's no way I'll stay here. So bring on the cement trucks with our storm shelter.
Cement trucks? What type of shelter are you going to get? They do make prefab shelters that are tank type units that you bury in the ground.
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Old 01-02-2016, 03:21 PM
 
Location: Henry County, TN
105 posts, read 97,408 times
Reputation: 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by NY Annie View Post
Until this past week, we had a plan to ride out any tornado warnings by going to the dry creek down the hill - on our property. The chance of tornado here was slim, we figured.

There is no room in this small house that will hold up to a hurricane - the bathroom is on an outside wall. The house is not on a slab and the wind from a tornado would easily life it up.

So we stuck to our plan IF the situation should arise. And it did - and our plan was never going to work because it had been raining for 3 days prior and getting to the "dry" creek/gully was not only not possible but was no longer dry.

Plus, we now have 3 kittens, 2 cats, and 2 dogs.

We were quietly waiting for dinner to finish in the oven when my husband's cell phone began blaring and the message was to take shelter immediately as a tornado was in our area. It's geared for within 5 miles of our house. What to do and where to go - first thought was the truck would afford a dry place for all of the critters and us. In less than 5 minutes, we had everyone aboard and were heading east - away from the movement of the storm - but then it struck us - we had no where to go - there's no community storm shelter, no business that isn't a large open room (i.e. Wallyworld) - and how to get in 2 dogs (one of whom is 70 lbs of petrified dog - afraid of the rain, the thunder, the car), 1 crate with 2 kittens, another with 1 kitten, and 2 more with each of the cats!

So we headed into town where we heard the sirens blasting and drove next to the only 2 story brick building - a motel with steel stairway - and hoped it would protect us. The sky got darker, power went out, the wind kicked up and we contemplated getting a room - but really - with 7 animals?

So the budget has been reworked and we are getting a storm shelter - within the next month.

I was one of the ones who didn't see the need - it's a relatively rare event - but you need a storm shelter for that one time.

So far, in the 3 years we've been here, there have been 4 tornadoes that touched down within a few miles of here. It is a major news event because tornadoes in our area are very rare - but obviously that frequency is increasing.

So maybe you need to consider where in SW TN you are moving - if it's in central TN where Wmsn4life lives, it's probably less important than it is here.

But the question is: is a shelter required - and the answer is no. But is one advisable? 1 week ago, I would have said no - and I've changed my tune.
When we had to go to the community shelter on Dec 23rd, I kept worrying about my pets. It's another reason why I need a shelter at home.
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Old 01-02-2016, 04:22 PM
 
Location: A Yankee in northeast TN
9,531 posts, read 13,372,671 times
Reputation: 20050
Quote:
Originally Posted by NY Annie View Post
My belief still is that forests don't get hit by tornadoes - not sure of the science of that.
Please don't think that. After 'hurricane Elvis' went through the memphis area we drove from memphis to somerville and passed huge swaths where most of what was left of the trees were nothing but 6 foot tall toothpicks
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Old 01-02-2016, 04:35 PM
 
786 posts, read 618,616 times
Reputation: 3061
Quote:
Originally Posted by NY Annie View Post
My belief still is that forests don't get hit by tornadoes - not sure of the science of that.

*********************

Are you old enough to remember the May '85 tornado event, whereby one of the systems slammed thru the town of Farrell, PA clear up thru parts of the Allegheny National forest?

That particular tornado didn't lift, it just bore right thru everything and sucked a huge cattle pond completely dry a few miles west of me. Missed my home and livestock by a dog's hair, give the ferocity of the winds.
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