Email me at midwesternmeso (AT) hotmail [DOT] com

Please note: All images and videos on this blog are copyrighted by myself and may not be used without written permission. Any persons or entities who do not seek written permission will be held liable for copyright infringement(s) and will be subject to monetary compensation not to exceed $150,000 USD. (In pursuant to 17 USC Section 504(b) and (c), 17 USC Section 505.)

Sunday, May 06, 2007


I guess I'll just start at the beginning. I called my old buddy from high school who I haven't chased with since last year, and before that Mulvane, and told him this weekend would be the mother of all outbreaks. Derek Shaffer and I met up after I took off of work early at noon on Friday and we picked up Darin in Ottawa. We headed to St. John's, KS and chatted with some chasers from England for awhile. There were two options....go north or south. After MUCH debate, we headed south. We got into Coldwater and headed south, thinking we could catch that Woodward, OK storm. We didn't have much time, and there were three storms fighting for dominance, and we watched a BEAUTIFUL LP (northern storm) which was stacking some plates, until it raced away. The southern storm eventually got its act together and went tornado-warned. We were in Coldwater and flew west where the biggest inflow band I have ever seen fed into a monster wall cloud near Sitka. We drove right up to it and watched the first tornado of the day come down, then go back up. It eventually came back down and had a skinny rope. Another tornado formed and it quickly turned into a stovepipe, it had to be on the ground for at least 15 minutes. We raced north out of protection, dodging IDIOTS blocking the road, filming the stovepipe and watching a new meso form above our heads. A funnel appeared on the road DIRECTLY in front of us, and went back up. A few minutes later it came back down and looked like a thin cone, and within SECONDS turned into a large stovepipe. We were now alone on this muddy road a few hundred yards away from a very large tornado. We watched it hit a farm, I suppose, as powerflashes illuminated the violent rotation. The road we were now on, was mud, and Randy Hicks FLEW by us, fishtailing his way to the wedge. After about 15 miles of white-knuckle driving on this muddy lonely road, we made it back to 183 and got closer to the wedge. I couldn't tell you how many FUCKING RETARDS there were stopped in the middle of the highway. Pull. Over. To. The. Side. We were about 8 miles south of Greensburg where we witnessed the first of the damage. Major damage. We kept driving north where we saw someone in the road waving his hands for help. We stopped and asked him if he needed help, and he said yes, and I told him to get in because gas was leaking very near the hot power lines. We went north and the guy was prety emotional and wanted us to drive him to his brother's house that was back south.

Chasers were now starting to jam the highway, because of damage, and I told him I wasn't driving back that way with those lines and the gas. But, a police officer went by his house and he wanted us to go get him, so we pulled back up in his driveway. We saw flashing lights, so I started flashing my lights for help. That's when Dan Robinson pulled up. We told him our situation as well as Fabian Guerra, and we all went zigzagging back across the power lines. We drove another mile up the road, witnessing some incredible damage, including houses leveled and giant trees stripped to their trunks. A power line was blocking the road, and the ditch was very deep, but I went ahead and gunned it, and BARELY made it back to the other side. This went on for another 2 miles, slowly going around power lines, making sure they weren't hot.

We finally came up to another major block with powerlines totally blocking the road. The only way to make it across was to have two people pull up the power lines and for me to drive underneath them to the other side. So Derek and Darin did, and we made it to this guy's familie's house and dropped him off after speaking with them for about 5 minutes. We ran into Sean Wilson and told him we had just heard Greensburg took a direct hit and that we should probably go help people, because they would need all the help they could get. We pulled up into Greensburg, and it seemed like a dream. People were waving at us walking in the middle of the highway asking us if we could give them a ride. We told them we could only give 3 at the most, but that we would come back for them if they wanted us to. So we took the old man, and two mexican guys into town and came upon a horrific site. Damage you have already seen pictures of. We started to ask people if they were okay. Everyone said they were, and I could't believe they were hardly injured with the damage we were seeing. After talking with Sean Wilson, we started to walk around just completely shocked. After about 30 minutes, emergency personnel started rolling in by the hundreds. They organized a search team, and we decided to walk around to check houses and see if anyone was alive. We started to walk a few blocks east then back south where there were no rescuers. We started yelling "Hello" to houses and looked in basements for people. I have never seen a dead body, and am terrified of the sight of blood, but we kept walking. People were now starting to walk down the blocks in groups and we asked everyone if they were okay. Twenty people who were hiding in a freezer in a convenient store came out. We walked and talk to many people, asking again if they were okay, and some would ask if we had seen so and so or their dogs.

We walked to the east side of town and spoke to MESO team who were taking photos, and helping people. Everyone was now meeting at the Dillon's for a body count to see who was there and who wasn't. We walked back to our cars, and somehow 3.5 hours had passed. I don't really remember a whole lot. We found Sean again and he told us about the elderly lady they found in a basement in a pile of rubble. She survived because she was in her basement bathroom in the bathtub. We then decided that enough rescuers were there and left. We couldn't find a hotel anywhere so we had to go back to Wichita, watching about 300 vehicles heading into Greensburg from everywhere. I'll post more tomorrow.....

No comments:

Contact Me

Contact me @
midwesternmeso AT hotmail (DOT) COM

wibiya widget