The talk around town is that the nasty storm that just pushed through town (which didn’t touch me, here in the Southwest Mountains, oddly) dropped a few tornadoes along the way. Sarah Barry has a story on the Progress‘ website about the storm which repeats the existence of tornado sightings.
In the past few years, C’ville has become tornado country. In 2003, 2002, and 2000, we had tornadoes, which is quite a difference from the years previous.
Did anybody spot anything?
07/06 Update: Via cvilleblogs.com, I see that Bill Emory has some great photos of the aftermath.
4 thoughts on “Tornadoes in Town?”
Yeah, this morning I drove by the Corner on my way to work, and it looked like a warzone. Trees were down over by the Rotunda and by the hospital; I heard that 14th Street and Wertland were torn up, too with a twister. My friend worked at Tropical Smoothie last night and said that the rain was horizontal; chairs were blowing over from O’Neil’s, and the stairs over by Qdoba looked like a whitewater rapid. There was about 4 feet of standing water by the railroad trestle where 14th meets University. I think signal lights were out from the Downtown Mall to 250 last night.
In 1994 I vividly remember seeing a funnel cloud develop for about 2 minutes during a bout of thunder storms. This was way up in the sky above the dorms by Scott stadium. It didn’t get very far along and and it disappeared quickly.
My point being that this has been borderline tornado country for a long time now. I remember hearing people talk about seeing other funnel clouds in the late 90’s, too. Yet the offical line is that there has only been one tornado in Albemarle or Charlottesville since the fifties. As far as I’m concerned, if several people say they saw a tornado and none of them is crazier than I am, then it’s confirmed enough for me.
This time I had a big tree limb go straight through the roof of my shed like a missile. I live in Johnson Village and we got beat up pretty bad, as usual. All those huge, mature oak trees. Power lines were still spread across the road this morning, just waiting to turn passersby into crispy critters. The damage is apparantly so widespread that Virginia Power just hasn’t been able to touch it yet.
Fortunately, we live in the kind of community that never fails to pull together in a time like this to gossip, stare and generally rubberneck at our collective misfortune. Bravo, Charlottesville!
It was an incredibly localized storm. My office is about 2/3 mile as the crow flies west of the Emmet/Ivy intersection. We got a brief bit of heavy rain and the power dipped a couple times, but it didn’t wasn’t anything worse than the average summer squall. I couldn’t believe it when I started hearing the radio reports of cars stuck in floodwater at the intersection and chaos at the Corner. But that is completely consistent with tornado conditions.
FWIW, Mike Davis in his book Ecology of Fear had a chapter about tornadoes in Los Angeles and the city bigwigs’ attempt to cover up the statistics about them.
Correct “tornado conditions” to “microburst”, per NWS explanation in today’s Progress story. I should have thought microburst because my house was hit by one in Arizona a few years back.
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