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March 3, 2011

Tornado Alley Delivers Deadly Storms

There is a stretch of land in the middle of the Untied States nicknamed Tornado Alley. During tornado season this area of the country sees more tornados than any other part of the world. Over the past few weeks, there have been random tornados hitting towns throughout the southeast and Midwest section of the country but the storms that hit a couple of days ago brought the most destruction.

Picher, Oklahoma was the town that saw the worst of the tornados that hit the Midwest. Six people lost their lives in the Picher and 22 individuals died throughout the south and Midwest. The U.S. has seen 100 tornados this year already. May is the busiest time for tornados in Tornado Alley, meaning that the worst may be on the way.

As I’ve mentioned before, the deterioration of the environment seems to go hand in hand with the increase of cataclysmic weather. While there have always been tornados in Tornado Alley this season seems to be especially vicious. The largest amount of people that have been killed in Tornado Alley was 519 in 1953. If tornados continue to occur in the fashion that they have been, there is a chance that the death toll this season could eclipse the current record. It seems as if the weather is so out of control that warnings can not come quick enough for people to take proper cover.

Some tornados have struck in the night, making it impossible to alert people because they are sleep. Other tornados have swept through towns with a fierceness that decimates any attempt to take cover. The people that live in tornado alley are used to twisters sweeping through their towns but these storms seem to be something new and different.

My father is from Alabama and there have been many times we were driving through Alabama or Georgia and there were tornado warnings and watches. He was never unnerved by them because he is from Alabama. A twister is just a twister to many people that grew up around them Tornados are a fact of life for some people and it can become commonplace to hear the warnings and the watches and not be terrified. If you were terrified every time there was a tornado threatening your town, you would live in constant fear from months at a time. However, it only take one time for a tornado to be taken for granted for lives to be lost. I will admit that a few years ago a morbid interest drove me outdoors during a tornado warning. I was curious but the tornado was far off and I could barely see it off in the distance. I should have taken cover but instead I was outside, watching and waiting. A foolish thing to do indeed.

We have advanced warning systems in place but honestly, the warnings are only half the battle. The towns that lay in the midst of tornado alley are sometimes given a few minutes notice before a storm is upon them. There may not be time to take cover. That is why it is so important to take cover as soon as you here the warning go out. The storm may not hit but just in case, try to may yourself as safe as possible.

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