June 17, 2014

I'm getting a late start here this morning, because we spent a wakeful hour in the middle of the night sitting in the basement...

... while tornadoes taunted our segment of Wisconsin.

I don't think I'd ever heard the tornado warning sirens go off repeatedly. Normally, they go off once, and you're supposed to respond and check media reports to figure out how long to stay in the basement. But last night, the sirens went off at least 3 times. I guess they were trying to wake more people up or to convince sluggish deniers to haul ourselves out of bed and go downstairs. I think this was the only time in over 30 years in Madison when I've gone down in the basement after getting in bed and falling asleep.

But fortunately, sleep loss and a late start to blogging are the only damage at Meadhouse, and I'm happy to see that no one in the area got hurt, though I see "at least 23 homes were damaged and at least six had their roofs torn off."

30 comments:

Farmer said...

Some of our neighbors lost shingles and one ended up with a tree in his neighbor's house. Our roof seems to be okay. One large branch is hanging off a tree and that's about it. What a storm!

MadisonMan said...

I was waiting for a kid to get home -- on his bicycle! -- and was too lazy to get up off the couch. I was also surprised to hear the sirens 3 times (that third one wasn't necessary, IMO -- everything had shifted to the east side of town).

rhhardin said...

I generally get on the bike if it's not raining and enjoy the greenish cast that everything has.

You can hear the sirens in the far, far distance.

Tornados are only attracted to sirens, in my experience.

David said...

Just thunderstorms by the time they got to us. But good ones.

SGT Ted said...

If there aren't any trailer parks near you, you should be ok.

Original Mike said...

We have a siren 200 feet from our house. LOUD.

Didn't go to the basement, but stayed up and alert. Tried to hear if anything was coming, but I couldn't hear very well because of the siren. ("Will you please turn that damn thing off so I can hear the tornado?)

Original Mike said...

"(that third one wasn't necessary, IMO -- everything had shifted to the east side of town)."

Yep.

firstHat said...

Glad you are back and blogging and dodged the winds.

SteveBrooklineMA said...

We carried the kids to the basement on the first siren. Carried them back up when it ended. Then carried them back to the basement when the sirens went off again. That was enough. We just slept down there.

Mark said...

We mostly slept through.

I woke, checked the radar to realize that it was not going west of Mendota, got up and had a beer to see if there was reason to wake wife and kid.

There wasn't, both were suprised to hear about it in the morning but happy for a normal night of sleep. Might be different if kid didn't have bedroom in the basement.

The Crack Emcee said...

Glad you're O.K..

Natural disasters are the stuff that REALLY bind us,...

PoNyman said...

Speaking of, I don't think I've seen a really good Althouse vortex in a while.

Jay Vogt said...

Sluggish denier here. We had exactly the same experience here in central Iowa (though I think an hour or so earlier). I stayed in bed until they made that unbearable for me. I keep telling my family that I hope I live long enough to be killed by a tornado. They think I'm nuts

Michael K said...

"Tornados are only attracted to sirens, in my experience."

Only if there are no trailer parks available.

mrs.e said...

I fell asleep between the two sirens (we heard) and trips to the basement. Got up at the regular time (5:30), no worse for wear.

Uncle Pavian said...

In our town, if you happen to be inside a government building and you don't actually work there, the cops will shoo you out into the parking lot when the tornado sirens go off.

gerry said...

The outdoor warning systems aren't meant to wake you up. They are meant to get people outdoors into shelters.

I hope you have a programmable severe weather radio. So you don't get the flashflood warnings for adjacent counties but do get the tornado warnings.

That, or depend upon the dogs, eh? Do you have leashes bedside? For the dogs, I mean.

rhhardin said...

The North Carolina state quarter has a trailer park and tornado design.

Capitol Report New Mexico said...

In Platteville my wife slept through the tornado (or major wind) wrecking businesses next to the Country Inn where she is staying. Good soundproofing, she guesses. Saw a report that five UW-Platteville structures were damaged.

mrs.e said...

The multiple sirens going off was because Dane County has directional sirens. Imminent threats to your area trigger the sirens.

mrs.e said...

The multiple sirens going off was because Dane County has directional sirens. Imminent threats to your area trigger the sirens.

StoughtonSconnie said...

They only went off twice down in Stoughton. But this post reminds me of the first Althouse post I ever read, on the night after the Stoughton tornado.

Smilin' Jack said...

Normally, they go off once, and you're supposed to respond and check media reports to figure out how long to stay in the basement.

Or you could just look out the fucking window and exercise some common sense. But I suppose the kind of people who do that are not the kind who are attracted to a career in law.

SteveBrooklineMA said...

When it's 12:30 a.m., pitch black, and the rain is pounding, just stick your head out of the window and look for tornadoes. Who needs radar?

Phaedrus said...

Smilin Jack's advice gets people killed every year. What are you going to see looking outside for a tornado in the middle of the night genius?

Since I'm ranting - A child in a mobile home was killed in Nebraska yesterday. Totally unnecessary when storm are predicted for an area like they were yesterday.

Kirk Parker said...

Makes me appreciate not living in an area that needs Tornado Sirens.

(Or Hurricane warnings in season, for that matter.)

All we have is a bunch of volcanoes that, if they go off, are NOT predictable to the hour, day, week, or even month... just go about our daily routines and ignore the Mt. Rainier of Damocles hanging over our heads.

Froth said...

"Normally, they go off once, and you're supposed to respond and check media reports to figure out how long to stay in the basement.

Or you could just look out the fucking window and exercise some common sense. But I suppose the kind of people who do that are not the kind who are attracted to a career in law."

Unless you have night goggles or really, really, realllly good vision, ya can't see a whole lot of tornado on top of you in the middle of the night. Funny how that works.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

One of my earliest memories is of everyone crowding into the laundry room at Eagle Heights (Madison married grad student housing) after a tornado warning.

Here in OR we are relatively natural-disaster-free. But only relatively. A tornado totaled a surprising number of buildings in Aumsville (not far north of us) awhile back.

There's the odd earthquake, and the odd tsunami warning associated with same. Fires routinely ravage the eastern part of the state.

And of course there are floods, and snow -- which is a serious annoyance, given how little attention the government has given to it. A foot of snow is a routine experience in, say, NY; you plow it and get on with your life. In OR, a foot of snow means all human life shuts down until it melts. Seriously. We had such a snowfall this winter, and it just sat there -- not just on little streets like ours, but on major thoroughfares -- for days. Four days of school were cancelled, and this happened on a Thursday, so there was a weekend in there.

Throw in the volcanoes for good measure.

Original Mike said...

Even though we are in the immediate area, it was dead calm at our house. I was ready to head to the basement if the wind picked up, but it never did.

Same thing happened several years ago. Tornado sirens, and an actual tornado 2 miles away, but dead calm at our house.

Original Mike said...

"In OR, a foot of snow means all human life shuts down until it melts. Seriously. "

I was watching the Weather Channel several years ago, in the aftermath of a snow storm (a foot or two of snow). They had one of their people on the ground doing a report from Milwaukee. On camera she says, in all apparent seriousness, something like "it's going to take weeks for the snow to melt and the streets to be passable". I had never seen her doing on-air reports before, and I never saw her again.