Trial Balloon

Trial Balloon: August 20, 2009 Archive

Know Your Tornadoes

Posted at 5:20 AM on August 20, 2009 by Dale Connelly (16 Comments)

Yesterday afternoon's tornado in Minneapolis is most notable for what it did NOT do - it didn't take any human lives, thank goodness. There was property damage, and unfortunately some insurance policies don't pay for mayhem caused by "Acts of God" like earthquakes and tornadoes.

But if this storm was an act of God, He was inconclusive with regard to intent. Is there something displeasing to the Divine about a record store like the Electric Fetus? If so, wasn't the development of the mp3 enough of a calamity? And Lutherans meeting at the convention center will have to argue about whether the tornado's visit was a slap or a high five directed at them. Perhaps they weren't the target at all. Wildlife suffers when the weather turns violent. I'm guessing the South Minneapolis squirrels are still chattering about the rides some of them had as their treetop homes were pushed, spun and dropped onto houses and cars. This may, in fact, be a wake-up call for our bushy tailed neighbors.

One remarkable feature of this storm is the relatively small number of Youtube videos posted of a tornado hitting a densely populated, camera and cell-phone-rich environment like South Minneapolis during the daytime. People were either caught unawares, or used common sense and took cover when things started flying around.

Which is not always the case, as demonstrated by one of Youtube's most-watched tornado videos.

I love it that the disc jockey on the car radio tells her listeners to "be safe" and "don't try to chase them, it's not a good idea", and the guy responds to her with "we're not chasing it. Right beside it, though." That's different, of course. If everybody stays in their lane and obeys the posted traffic signs, nobody gets hurt.

Have you ever seen a tornado?

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