Alabama\'s December Tornado

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by Guest, Jan 15, 2001.

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  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Dale White / KF4ZLU writes "Some Alabama Hams get blown around in December’s Fury.



    Ashville, Alabama



    On Dec 16,00 it was an unusually warm day in December as I decided to run into town for some late day breakfast at a local restaurant when I hear a weather report come over the car stereo “Tornado Warning” for Tuscaloosa County.


    The car I’m in just came out of the shop about 2 hours ago and had no ham in it So I turned around and headed home.


    As soon as I got there I immediately grabbed the two meter out of the shack and commenced to putting it back in the car. I then pull my “ready to-go” bag out of the trunk and make the rain suit readily available. I then go in the house and take a look at the local radar, yea it’s moving northeast and will probably move through our St. Clair County. By the time I called dad’s house to let them know that there was some stuff headed in our direction, I heard the weather guy say ”Tornado Warning for St. Clair Co.”.



    I rushed to get a few soft drinks out of the fridge and get to the car, when I got there the Saint Clair County A.R.E.S. weather net had already started on the K4SCC repeater in our area. Mark Johnson “KF4HFG”was net control and I notified him that “KF4ZLU is mobile if you need me Mark!” He acknowledged and I headed for one of my known lookout hills over Ashville High School. I got to the spot and stopped to take a look and keep my ears open for the radio and for what was going on around me. Local radar was tracking a possible tornado moving up hwy 23 near Springville and the net had Ken Rich “KS4ZV” following behind it. I then heard Randy Kay “KE4EFI” talking to net control, Randy was keeping a close eye on the radar for the net control and said “This thing should be in Ashville shortly”.


    I sat there and listened even more and it wasn’t long until I heard the sound of trees popping and cracking and the wind began to pick up strongly, and I began to hear a slight screeching noise, I looked around, looked down and my parked car was sliding on the asphalt!! It is time to get out of here I yelled to myself and cranked up and floored it down Hwy 231 south. I then got on the radio and told Mark that whatever this thing is it is in Ashville right now!! He acknowledged and as I calmed down a bit he asked me to turn around and slowly backtrack and look for any damage to be reported to the E.M.A.


    All in all, our net reported several damaged homes, a damaged baseball field at the high school, downed trees and power lines and one injury. We declared ourselves lucky looking back on the 11 lives lost in Tuscaloosa earlier this morning.


    When it was all over the National Weather Service out of Birmingham had declared that straight-line winds were the cause of the damage in our county, not a tornado.



    A.R.R.L. member Dale White “KF4ZLU”

    St.Clair County, Alabama A.R.E.S.

    kf4zlu@arrl.net"
     
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