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How were you affected by the storm?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on March 13, 2006

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Photo of Brittany Zschoche

“The thunder woke me up. It was really windy and loud, but only our power went out.”

Photo of Jun Kim

“It knocked out two windows in the front of my restaurant and one in the back. One of the servers called and woke me up to tell me. So I’ve been cleaning up since about 9 a.m.”

Photo of Peter Leach

“I don’t think we’re going to have power for a while because a tree fell on the power lines outside my house. The same tree totaled my car when it fell, but that’s about it.”

Photo of Lindsey Pearce

“We didn’t have any power to make coffee this morning, so we had to go downtown to get some. We’re going to be very upset if we don’t get to watch the basketball game at our house.”

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Comments

Alison Roberts 8 years, 9 months ago

thank you.. lindsey pearce for that riveting statement.

im so sad to be from the same town as her.

kansaskev61 8 years, 9 months ago

It was windy alright....but did the levees hold up?

nb4d 8 years, 9 months ago

I saw a funnel cloud around Sonic at 23rd st.

whatdoyouthink 8 years, 9 months ago

The sirens are to be sounded once a funnel cloud is spotted.

RonBurgandy 8 years, 9 months ago

I live on the outskirts so we didn't have any damage. But everyone I know in town had some problems. I didn't even know it was supposed to storm on Sunday. I just remember waking up to the sirens and wondering why they were testing them at 8:15 on a Sunday morning.

On another note, the Sopranos premiere was a great episode and KU whips Texas. That helped calm down the crazy day.

Linda Aikins 8 years, 9 months ago

Do you think the KU guys knew what happened at Lawrence before they played?

christie 8 years, 9 months ago

Many thanks to the men and women who came from all over the state to restore power. I think the LJWorld should do a story on their relentless work in trying conditions in a very dangerous environment.

crohan1978 8 years, 9 months ago

no one is blaming Prez Bush yet??? Holy Crap!! Thats a shock!! I was sure this would be his fault somehow according to the Lawrence liberals

Linda Aikins 8 years, 9 months ago

Just a few pieces of mulch blew into our grass from under our tree. We are very grateful.

badger 8 years, 9 months ago

Fatty -

snort

TOB, thanks for the info you're posting. I've been having the devil of a time getting the NOAA site to tell me what I want to know. It probably doesn't help that all my bookmarks are still set for the NHC info. I haven't really tried to look anything up on the site since hurricane season ended. I know, because I can usually find them, that they archive the warnings for hurricanes. Do you know if they archive storm or tornado warnings too?

Linda Aikins 8 years, 9 months ago

You should hear the KC folks! I guess KCTV5 stayed constant with Katie Horner and the weather and pre-empted the Iowa game! Then it continued on through the evening and pre-empted the evening shows. Thank goodness the Sopranos was on HBO!

bankboy119 8 years, 9 months ago

I think you're right about the site badger. This is the first time I've been able to load it all morning.

My parents lost a back window of their car. We had golf ball size hail up here in KC.

sunflower_sue 8 years, 9 months ago

This storm moved soooo fast. I woke up to blasting wind and my little one telling me she was scared. I knew hubby was out in the weather so I checked the radar. I called him to tell him he had about 3 minutes to get back home. I was wrong. He had only about 30 seconds. He got caught out in the wind, hail, and rain...but we didn't have nearly the damage that Lawrence had (in the city). Just blew the trampolene about 50 feet but did not knock it over. We were very fortunate.

If you can get yesterday's posts, someone posted a lighteningboy link that had pictures of the "it's not a tornado" tornado.

kcwarpony 8 years, 9 months ago

Hope everyone is all right. My mother just got her electricity back on a half hour ago. I have one of those weather alert radios that badger was talking about and it sounded the severe thunderstorm watch at 5am and then a warning at 7:50am. Then it sounded the alert for a tornado warning a minute before all heck broke loose. Normally the alerts are given with plenty of time but this caught the weather people off guard. I would advise everyone to buy a weather alert radio (one of the programmable ones) and set it for Douglas County.

http://www.nws.noaa.gov/nwr/nwrrcvr.htm

Fatty, that was a hoot!

dlhj 8 years, 9 months ago

Thanks Badger and others for the info- I think you're right sirens don't normally sound until an actual tornado is spotted on the ground. I wasn't outside and don't know what people saw but I tend to agree with another post that the damage was too widespread to be a tornado. I was mostly just wondering about the volume of the warnings that did sound- like I said, I used to be able to hear them being tested while in the basement of the building I work in, and now we never do. I just thought perhaps they lowered the volume of them and was curious as to why.

bankboy119 8 years, 9 months ago

Gootsie,

The Sopranos were interrupted with another warning. Yesterday was not a fun day at all.

Linda Aikins 8 years, 9 months ago

Oh YIP (formerly IP), I'm so glad you and little one are OK. Wow - I've lived in Kansas all my life and never gone through what you went through.

The town looked awful. Lots of trees pulled out that I will miss.

bmwjhawk 8 years, 9 months ago

I live in Lawrence, by the hospital, and we didn't get any damage at all. I don't even think it rained for much more than a minute. I think there was one gust of wind. What a strange deal!

Fatty_McButterpants 8 years, 9 months ago

Our meeting before the Wizard occurred shortly after our arrival in the Emerald City. We walked to the end of a long hall and there we encountered a great big floating head. I asked the head all of the questions that we had. The head replied in a great, booming voice "The Wizard does not listen to the likes of you! The Wizard does whatever he and his minions please!" The floating head continued on but, as it spoke, I noticed some feet underneath a curtain. I walked over, grabbed hold of it and pulled it back. I saw a meek looking man with a goatee, glasses, and a large bong standing there. The floating head tried to tell me to ignore the man behind the curtain, but the jig was up. I asked "the wizard" what his name was and he told me that his name was "Boog".

I was just about to get answers to all of my questions when I woke up, safe in my house, with my little dog sitting next to me licking my face.

enochville 8 years, 9 months ago

The electricity was out from about 8am to 2:30pm. A few branches were down on our property. We only had the first hour of church, which is usually three hours.

sandrat7 8 years, 9 months ago

looking at the pix of storm damage...there is one titled 'pedestrian trapped beneath fallen crosswalk sign'. This picture looks like a fake. I don't think it's funny to have it in with real pictures of real damage. Shame on you, LJW!

Linda Aikins 8 years, 9 months ago

As we drove around town, we saw street signs and tree limbs laying in all four directions. For what that's worth.

Sometimes it's hard to distinguish between a funnel cloud and a bunch of dust, or hanging clouds.

Whatever it was, it didn't need to rear its ugly head on us. Not on game day!

raven 8 years, 9 months ago

We were not damaged by the storm thank goodness. Besides being out of power from around 8 am to 3 pm.

Did they get rid of the sections where you can leave comments under all the articles? They do not seem to be there today? Does anyone know if they took that away?

acg 8 years, 9 months ago

What's with her, anyway, TOB? She's been knocked up for like 6 years.

I was trying to sleep off a particularly nasty Saturday night bourbon drunk when the storm blew in early Sunday. It woke me up, freaked out the fam, the dog and the out of town houseguests and then they all wanted food so I never did get to go back to bed. Damned storm left me with a hangover all day long. And, to make matters worse I couldn't find the game on a local station so I was forced to be all hungover sans the big game. What a crappy Sunday.

redmorgan 8 years, 9 months ago

Both the east and west side of my backyard fence were crushed by our massive tree. Part of my neighbor's massive tree is still in our back yard, and the west side of our roof was stripped of shingles. I watched the entire thing through the window when it happened. It was amazing...I had never seen anything like that before. I live in East Lawrence, and my street really was hit hard. What was so weird was that the wind did not pick up gradually...it went from completely still to 70+ miles an hour wind in seconds. I was watching out my back window and saw huge (60-80 ft) trees being blown so hard by the wind that they were practically bending over. Then, they started snapping like twigs. It was incredible. I'm just glad that no one in Lawrence was killed by this storm.

speedykitty 8 years, 9 months ago

It's was amazing on kmbz-am in KC, the griping about the regular TV programs being interrupted last night. They don't seem to understand what is important, and the number of communities that have been devastated by storms over the years, including areas of Lawrence.

They don't appreciate the direction where most of the storms that hit the metro area come from--west and southwest.

I saw Pendleton Farm on one TV station newscast, once, and they had bad damage at the most unfortunate time of the year.

avhjmlk 8 years, 9 months ago

Actually, I'm not sure there were tornadoes at all. The damage was probably caused by microbursts, which, I think, are very strong downward gusts of wind that just blow crap all over the place. That, or straightline winds that act like saws--shearing things off straight across.

Linda Aikins 8 years, 9 months ago

Badger, what you heard is apparently what happened. It did seem to develop right over town and just had its way with the city. And it's random things, as would happen with tornados - huge trees uprooted and landing next to bags of trash by the curb that weren't as much as blown over. Lots and lots and lots of stuff, but downtown and campus seemed to be the hardest hit.

I'm not sure what the issue is with the sirens; they went off after 911 calls were already coming in. But they were fixed soon after and we kind of spent the day waiting for the storms to reform, but it wasn't until evening that it rained again.

aquakej 8 years, 9 months ago

I think there were tornadoes, but that the city won't acknowledge them because they didn't sound the sirens in time. They wouldn't want to look bad not sounding the sirens when a tornado was around, so they simply said "there was no tornado, and that's why the sirens didn't go off/came on too late". Several people reported seeing tornadoes, and I think people around here know what tornadoes look like. I saw multiple HUGE pine trees (60 feet plus) totally uprooted out of the ground. I don't think regular wind can do that.

dlhj 8 years, 9 months ago

We lost a tree- it sits about 8 feet from our house and fortunately fell directly parallel to our house. It clipped part of the roof as it fell, and ripped all of our power/etc lines off the house, but thankfully did no other damage. Our street was a crazy mess after the storm hit.

The storm came up so fast- I was lying in bed and heard what sounded like a sudden massive hailstorm, it got very loud and then very silent, and then I heard sirens.

The article about the emergency notification freaks me out. Warnings are only intended to be heard by folks outside? If we're inside we're supposed to be glued to the TV for our warnings? What if it's 2 am and we're all in bed fast asleep? It's still "our responsibility" to know about the storm? That terrifies me. I'm all for personal responsibility....and I know in this particular situation it came up so fast they perhaps were unable to sound warnings in time...but shouldn't the warnings be so loud it would be impossible to NOT hear them??? I used to be able to hear the sirens being tested while in the basement of my office- now I never do. Did they decrease the volume and if so why?

Grundoon Luna 8 years, 9 months ago

It reallly shook the crap out of the house. It was very unnerving and I feared that trees were going to come down on my house. Thankfully that didn't happen, though some of my outdoor furniture was destroyed, but that's about it. The power went out long after the storm had ceased. Part of the repair process I imagine, but I was making B&G at the time so it was quite inconvenient.

neopolss 8 years, 9 months ago

Do you live in Lawrence? Then the answer is probably yes, in some form or another. What is surprising is the extreme lack of coverage. I have yet to see a storm graph of what came through here, nor a real explanation of what actually happened. I have talked to plenty around town who saw funnel clouds, and the damage is definately more severe than KC. One can drive K10 and see about where the damage stops (just a bit past Eudora). Nor have we really received an explantaion of why no one was monitoring these developments, or how the weather stations could have missed it.

This weather was certainly a mystery storm.

Fatty_McButterpants 8 years, 9 months ago

Again, the roundabouts delayed our journey, as did the poor maintenance of the yellowbrick road. Shortly before we exited the forest we were surprised by a lion. He roared and roared but he never actually did anything. Seeing as how creatures who are all bark and no bite are unimpressive, I yelled at the lion to be quiet. When I did this he began to cry and Rundle and Amyx began to comfort him. They said that they understood how he felt and that he could join us on our journey. The lion got a big smile on his face and held out his paw. He said, "My name is Schauner. Put 'er there pal!" After the introductions were complete our quartet set off to find the Wizard.

We made our way across South Park and caught a glimpse of a brilliant, green city. It looked as if it were a dream. The closer we got to the Emerald City the more dreamlike it became. Eventually, we reached the door to the city. We knocked and a man wearing bell bottoms, a flowery shirt, and sunglasses answered the door. He said, "Hey, man, um...what's the password." We told him that we didn't know the password. The flowery man mumbled something and then said, "Dude, the Emerald City doesn't want any corporate lackey's to penetrate our utopia. You have to have the password to enter!" and, with that, he slammed the door.

We knocked on the door again and the flowery man reappeared. He said, "Aww, man. I hate confrontation, dude. Get the hint - unless your local, you're not wanted!" He began to slam the door again, but I put my foot in the door so it couldn't close all the way. I told him that we were there to see the wizard and that we needed answers for why the city hadn't been prepared and for why the yellowbrick road was so deteriorated. We also wanted to know why the Wizard and his minions had seen fit to place an ineffective roundabout or traffic-calming device virtually everywhere.

The flowery man thought for a minute but, given his condition, he lost track of what he was thinking about. He asked us for the password and I told him that we had already given it to him. He laughed and said, "Yep, that happens sometimes dude. I'm just glad the fine for it hasn't cost me my student aid" and he let us in.

(cont'd)

badger 8 years, 9 months ago

speedykitty - I hope Pendleton Farm does OK. They're some nice people.

I think that people forget how large an area their TV stations cover, and they get annoyed when the weather warnings are for people forty miles away. I remember being vaguely irritated by Gary Lezak's incessant storm coverage of a severe thunderstorm in Leawood some years ago, because it seemed like he kept breaking into the programming every minute and a half to announce that there were no new developments, and the storm was still hailing on Leawood. I started to perversely root for the storm after a while.

Glad to year you and your parents are all right, bankboy. I'm still waiting to hear from my mom, who lives on the other side of KC. I tried calling last night and couldn't get through, but it's a known issue that her phone and power go out every time there's even the mildest storm, so I've learned in the last few years not to stress if I don't hear from her for two or three days after a big one. If the farm was hit badly enough to displace them, she'd be at my aunt's or grandmother's and would have called.

Not only is the site loading slowly, but there's a glaring apostrophe error on the front page and no way to tell anyone to fix it. GRAAAH

badger 8 years, 9 months ago

CNN had better coverage and was more accessible to me yesterday afternoon, neopolss. I spent about two hours trying to read the LJW storm coverage and see what had happened to no avail (I'd hit the link for a story, shift to another window while it loaded, then come back a few minutes later), but weather.com, weather.gov, weatherunderground.com, and cnn.com had good info.

According to the 'breaking news' blurb on CNN, one of the reasons there was so little warning for some people is that the storm took out at least one set of sirens, if not more, in Douglas County. It also appeared, from what one of the weather sites I was looking at said, that the storm had a sudden shift in intensity literally right on top of Lawrence. It seems to have gone from a fairly normal if severe thunderstorm to mini-tornadoes and damaging winds in a matter of one or two minutes. I can't find the text of the warnings online anywhere. Did they include mention of the potential for damaging winds? It may have been that they were monitoring, but the shift left them seconds to sound the alarm.

For all that we like to trust in our technology, weather is still a lot bigger than we are.

I think the LJ World is having some issues today. The front page keeps loading with no graphics, and comments and pictures from some articles keep showing up and going away. That may have something to do with the lack of storm graphs and information. Perhaps they had some servers blown out, or lost connections to offsite servers that help handle their graphical load.

Fatty_McButterpants 8 years, 9 months ago

I was outside in my garage and I noticed that the wind was really picking up. I tried to go to the cellar but my little dog ran back into the house. I ran in to get him and a piece of the window that had blown free struck me in the head and I fell back on my bed. The next thing I knew, my house was airborne and wind was swirling all around.

For some reason, Sue Hack kept riding by my window wearing a black dress and pointed hat. She was screeching something about roundabouts and traffic-calming devices. Anyway, the wind died away and I felt a thud. I opened the front door to my house and I saw a brilliantly colored little village. My shoes had fallen off during the commotion so I grabbed these ruby red house slippers that were just outside my door. Anyway, I stepped outside and all of these little people began to appear. I asked them what happened and why the city hadn't been prepared for a storm. They told me that I had to follow this yellowbrick road and find the Wizard of Oz in the Emerald City to get my answer. Unfortunately, they said that the yellowbrick road had some detours due to unnecessary construction on Kasold Drive. They sang me a song and I set off on my way.

A short time later I came across this field where a straw man was yelling about how it was the City Manager's fault. I asked him what his name was and he told me that the peasants called him "Mike Rundle". I told Rundle that I was going to find the Wizard of Oz to find out why this happened. He told me that he wanted to go so I got him down off his pedestal and off we went.

Our journey was long and due to the roundabouts (which no one knew how to use) and traffic-calming devices (which, as far as I could tell, served no purpose), we had many delays. As we made our way through the forest we heard some muffled sounds. We started to make our way towards the source of these sounds and, as we made our way around some beautiful new flower planters, we came upon a tin man. Fortunately, there was an oil can nearby and I applied it to his rusted jaw. Apparently, he'd been yelling "it's not my fault" for so long and with such intensity that he didn't realize it had begun to rain until after he had rusted solid. I asked him what his story was and he told me that he was a woodsman named "Amyx". Rundle and I told Amyx what we were doing and he asked if he could join us. We agreed and set off upon our journey.

(cont'd)

YourItalianPrincess 8 years, 9 months ago

Its nice to see everyone in here is doing okay. I was asleep when I heard thunder, and figured .........okay a storm= big deal. Well then about 3 seconds later the house started shaking and I could hear cracking and smashing outside my bedroom window. I sat up really fast, threw open my curtain and crap was flying all over the place. You couldn't even see the fence in the backyard.

I got up really fast hearing the phone ( my sister calling to yell " Get in the basement " ) and went to get my little one who was asleep also. I woke him up, grabbed my cell phone and went out the back door. Things still flying everywhere opened the basement door and went downstairs. I do wish we had a way to get there from inside. The sirens went off as we were headed to the basement.

Of course the door flew open like crazy but we are okay. I have huge branches all over my daycare yard. I'm talking branches I couldn't lift. My landlords guys were over today and cleaned that up and the branch from the tree out front that just missed my car. I would have been so pissed if it hit my car.

The stage that my neighbor next to me built for our hurricane benefit concert flipped over the 6 ft fence in the backyard smashing the chain link fence.

Not to much damage and I'm glad there was no one here in Lawrence hurt badly. It was weird driving around afterward though and seeing all the damage. It was like a movie with everyone out looking at what happened. As you know coming from Cali I'm used to earthquakes. They have no warning for those when they come.

Not sure if someone in here has explained this yet, but what is a microburst and how strong can winds get? The wind or winds that went through were crazy.

badger 8 years, 9 months ago

dlhj -

I think what they're trying to say is that you can't let the siren warnings be your only line of defense. There's really no way, without having damaging levels of sound at the actual siren station, to make them loud enough to have a reasonable chance of waking up people inside their houses, so people need to be sure that they're paying attention to the weather during tornado season.

Also, if I understand the system correctly, they don't sound the sirens until one of their watchers reports an actual tornado on the ground (don't quote me on that, because I'm working from memory on the early warning systems). Usually that works well enough because tornadoes don't start in town. If there were actual tornadoes, it sounds like they formed and briefly touched down in Lawrence with little to no warning that they were forming, which would mean they couldn't get the word from their watchers in time to sound the alarm.

The sirens are only really designed to give a couple of minutes warning so you can get under cover. For most of us, unless we're prepared, that's not really enough time to be significant. I remember more than a few nights of going to sleep fully clothed, with what important papers, ID, and money I would want to have in an emergency in a bag at my bedside, and my shoes in bed with me so that if the windows blew in I wouldn't have to risk stepping on broken glass or having broken glass get in them, all so if the sirens went and I had to run, I could be up and moving to safety in under two minutes.

Starting around thirty bucks on amazon.com, you can pick up a wide variety of weather radios, some of which can be set to come on with a piercing alarm in the event of certain kinds of severe weather. I think that there will be an exponential jump in the number of houses in Lawrence with radios like that pretty soon.

chaddmso 8 years, 9 months ago

About the pedestrian picture...we absolutely did not fake it! It was just an amazing coincidence that the sign struck my poor friend while he was in the exact same position as the character on the sign. It's healthy to try to find a little humor in something like this. You can send our tuition checks to Battenfeld Scholarship Hall. Oh and "multidisciplinary," I'm glad that one of the flying branches did not become lodged in your ass, unlike some people.

l_eustacy 8 years, 9 months ago

Is that Peter Leach the great guitar player from Lawrence? It is! Sorry to hear about your storm damage Peter. I think a benefit concert might be in order.

Linda Endicott 8 years, 9 months ago

Badger, The national weather service will issue tornado warnings if a "hook" echo is seen in the radar picture. This means that the storm possibly contains a tornado, even if one hasn't touched down yet.

I saw them do that many times Sun. when the storms were in Missouri.

bearded_gnome 8 years, 9 months ago

late to read this thread.


KUDOS! Fatty_mcbutterpants, that was wonderful writing.


our power went off at about 8;30am as the extremely loud whoosh hit the house.
we're also in east lawrence, and experience similar to Redmorgan above. some big stuff could be heard bouncing off the roof, but no apparent serious damage. just on my block five large trees were taken out.
power was off until 6am next morning, monday.
I have a big car battery under my equipment table, so had the police scanner operating on battery immediately, a battery portable scanner, and have an amateur radio vhf transceiver can operate on the big car battery.
heard the severe thunderstorm warning, but gnomedog was already telling me this was gonna be a very bad one; the weather should hire him, he's better than they are!
was monitoring the storm spotters; they noted rain west of town at three inches an hour. so, I was expecting severe thunderstorm cum heavy downpours. when the microburst hit, I thought "is that rain, or WIND!?" mrs. gnome and I did fine in the storm, I just had a lot more to do. I had been cooking breakfast when I was so rudely interrupted!
we kept the refridgerator door closed so didn't lose much. that afternoon while giving gnomedog his long walk, the amount of car traffic on our little sidestreets was INSANE there were way too many gawkers!
while walking, about 5pm, we met a young couple with a toddler, who said their electricity had just come on, and everything in their refridgerator was lost. they just live a block away.
gnomedog loved taking a very large amount of time, to look, and sniff. he was very curious!
so, I had more to do at home, was more tired. that's a lot of why you guys haven't seen any of me here since the killer storm of '06...let's hope that's the only one.

bearded_gnome 8 years, 9 months ago

the sirens were apparently fine. at the 111 east 11th st. law enforcement center, the storm really harmed some radio installations, including what the county uses to operate the sirens.

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