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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 09-13-2008, 03:52 AM
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Default Re: Hurricane insanity

Those are great stories Michael and Scott. I'm guessing, Scott, that you meant it scared the "----" out of you, not the "---"?

My grandparents had property north of Toronto. Back in the 60's a tornado clipped the corner of the roof off their house! Somehow you don't expect those things in Ontario...

Yes. I drink microbrews. And I'm proud of it, dammit!
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  #22 (permalink)  
Old 09-13-2008, 04:05 AM
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Default Re: Hurricane insanity

Quote:
Originally Posted by Poto View Post
Those are great stories Michael and Scott. I'm guessing, Scott, that you meant it scared the "----" out of you, not the "---"?

My grandparents had property north of Toronto. Back in the 60's a tornado clipped the corner of the roof off their house! Somehow you don't expect those things in Ontario...

Yes. I drink microbrews. And I'm proud of it, dammit!
We know you're short but do you have to make a big deal of it?
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  #23 (permalink)  
Old 09-13-2008, 05:47 AM
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Default Re: Hurricane insanity

Macrobrews give me gas.

I'm also a microbiologist.

We always wonder whether larval ecologists will ever metamorphose into real ecologists...
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  #24 (permalink)  
Old 09-13-2008, 01:15 PM
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Default Re: Hurricane insanity

You young whipper snappers dun no nutten bout hurycanes.
The long Island express came up the Atlantic at 100 miles an hour with 180 mile an hour winds, slammed Long Island forming Shinnecock inlet. It was on the afternoon of September 21th, 1938 when it started. I lived on an Island on Long Island sound. My story is too long for this post, suffice to say that the Mahogany table top that ended up in our front yard from a smashed Chris craft was made into a work table with soldered together beer cans for legs. Made a lot of balsa planes on that bench. Just remembered that I used my dad's discarded double edge razor blades to cut the balsa. Mom always thought I was going to cut my fingers off.

I never knew how many people died.

Enough reminiscing, Google the Long Island express or the hurycane of 38
There has never been one like it since.

The old salt.

New England Hurricane of 1938 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Great Hurricane of 1938 - The Long Island Express
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  #25 (permalink)  
Old 09-13-2008, 04:47 PM
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Default Re: Hurricane insanity

Quote:
Originally Posted by BobSwenson View Post
You young whipper snappers dun no nutten bout hurycanes.
The long Island express came up the Atlantic at 100 miles an hour with 180 mile an hour winds, slammed Long Island forming Shinnecock inlet. It was on the afternoon of September 21th, 1938 when it started. I lived on an Island on Long Island sound. My story is too long for this post, suffice to say that the Mahogany table top that ended up in our front yard from a smashed Chris craft was made into a work table with soldered together beer cans for legs. Made a lot of balsa planes on that bench. Just remembered that I used my dad's discarded double edge razor blades to cut the balsa. Mom always thought I was going to cut my fingers off.

I never knew how many people died.

Enough reminiscing, Google the Long Island express or the hurycane of 38
There has never been one like it since.

The old salt.

New England Hurricane of 1938 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Great Hurricane of 1938 - The Long Island Express
Bob,

I lived in Orlando when Hurricane Donna hit in 1960: 1960 - Hurricane Donna -- South Florida Sun-Sentinel.com. It wasn't too bad in Orlando, but the Florida Keys had 128 mph sustained winds and 150 mph gusts as a Cat 4 hurricane. In Orlando, it was only a Cat 3 hurricane with winds of 115 mph.

I remember waking up in the middle of the night hearing a strange popping noise just outside my bedroom window. I looked out and saw that a big Palm tree was leaning towards the house! I woke up my father. He went out with some rope, ran it around the palm tree, and then around a nearby pine tree to pull the palm tree away from the house. This was in the middle of the hurricane when sustained winds were something like 90 mph. Gutsy guy.

It turns out that palm trees have a strange root structure. The have a root ball just below the surface of the ground. Coming out of the root ball are hundreds of small rootlets. The popping I heard was the rootlets letting go one-by-one.

When we woke up next morning, the house was safe and sound, but there were trees torn up everywhere. Our pine trees did fine and the other two palm trees (about 30 feet tall) were OK too (they were shielded by the house, but the big life oak in the front yard had tilted about 10 degrees. We had to trim off several of the lower limbs.

I remember making some money by cutting up trees from a neighbors yard. Unfortunately all I had available was a double bit ax. I leaned that swinging an ax looks like a manly thing to do on TV, but when you do it for hours on end... Let's just say that reality was a bit different than TV! After a couple of weeks of that, I made some pocket money but I never picked up an ax again.

Regarding "young whipper snappers"... I bet most of the younger folk here don't even know the definition of "whipper snapper", much less snapped a whipper!!!

Regards,

Dan.

p.s. Donna killed 50 people in the US.

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  #26 (permalink)  
Old 09-13-2008, 05:10 PM
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Default Re: Hurricane insanity

I've never personally experienced a serious storm. Lucky, so far. In my earlier post I mentioned that I'd lived in Tornado Ally as a child but that we never had a problem.

During college I celebrated buying an old pick-up truck by making a read trip from school (FSU) to my old hometown (Huntsville, Ala.) in summer of 1974. When I got there I was struck by how much it had grown. Farm land was being cleared for new developments everywhere. My friends showing me around kept talking about the tornado that had come through the area but I was mostly struck by what I could see.

We stood by the side of a road along a clear-cut high up Monte Sano that had a great view of the valley. They described a tornado that had begun in Tennessee and come down through through Alabama and past Huntsville and had been a half mile wide in places. Fortunately it had traveled through rural areas but it had been only one of many.

I tried to imagine the destruction when my friend said "this is it", gesturing at the clear-cut area. What I thought might have been for a new housing development or utility right of way was tornado destruction. I saw fresh dirt, no sod or shrubbery, no trees, just a clear path with parallel borders at least 500 yards wide all the way down the mountain. It looked like the area had been bulldozed. Finally, I realized that it was too wide for a utility line and too steep for housing. The trees on the edges of the cut were standing but dead. De-barked. Apparently, when the tornado gets close enough the air pressure is so reduced that the bark just explodes off the trees.

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  #27 (permalink)  
Old 09-13-2008, 05:30 PM
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Default Re: Hurricane insanity

Michael,

While I don't like hurricanes, they don't scare me too much. Tornadoes? That's a different story.

My father live in the central states for much of his life. He one told me about a tornado hitting the area (out in the country). When he went out to look, he saw the remains of a horse-drawn wagon with the tongue rammed through a tree about thirty feet in the air.

When I was stationed at Tyndall AFB in the late '60s, I had an '59 Yellow English Ford Zodiac that gave me lots of trouble. So I sold it to a Sergeant who lived in base housing.

We had a tornado (pretty big one) hit base housing. Wrecked a lot of houses. I ran into the Sergeant about two weeks later and asked him how his house was. He said that the house was fine, but when he walked outside after the tornado passed, the car was gone! About a week after the storm, he got a call from the base Security Police who asked, "Do you have yellow English Ford?" After he replyed in the affirmative, he was told that a base helicopter had spotted an yellow "bubble" about 300 yards off shore in the bay at low tide. That was about 1/2 mile from his house!

I'll take a hurricane over a tornado any day.

Regards,

Dan.
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  #28 (permalink)  
Old 09-13-2008, 05:36 PM
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Default Re: Hurricane insanity

Agreed, tornadoes are too dangerous.
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  #29 (permalink)  
Old 09-13-2008, 07:31 PM
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Default Re: Hurricane insanity

Interestingly, hurricanes can have some curiously dangerous consequences: When I was a kid, my family and I were camping our way from Kingston (between Toronto and Montreal) to Halifax, Nova Scotia on the east coast of Canada. As we headed toward New Brunswick, a hurricane made its way up the east coast, and basically went right over us as we huddled in rain-soaked shelters in Fundy National Park. The roads to Nova Scotia were washed out, and I read the whole Lord of the Rings trilogy while we were holed up.

No, that's not the dangerous consequence.

Many years later, as I was becoming an oceanographer studying red tides, I learned that that very hurricane had hit the Bay of Fundy at the same time that a serious red tide of a toxic phytoplankton was occurring. The intense rain from the hurricane washed the red tide down the coast into Maine, and pretty much every year since then they've had toxic red tides in Southern Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. And the organisms appear to be slowly making their way along the coast, and may end up in Long Island Sound in the next few decades.

The toxic red tides lead to the closing of the shellfishery along the coast every year, and cost the industry tens of millions of dollars annually. And recently the red tides have also appeared on Georges Bank, one of the most productive fisheries in the US, contaminating the scallops to the point that they cannot be harvested.

So the effects are extremely costly, potentially fatal, and lingering.

The thing that I find curious is that this had never happened before. Apparently, even though these red tides had been happening in the Bay of Fundy since before recorded history, a hurricane had never gone through during one of these outbreaks, causing its movement into new waters.

A chance in a million. But that's what drives biology - a chance in a million. Or a billion.
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  #30 (permalink)  
Old 09-13-2008, 07:36 PM
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Default Re: Hurricane insanity

I work with a friend that one night in November we all went out to eat (actually Toyota pays for us to go out to do something as a "team" twice a year). So he stays out later than normal, and a tornado hit his neighbor hood. All of his neighbors died. I asked him if he was ever able to recover any of his possesions, and he replied that the only thing he recovered was his checkbook. It was still on top of the microwave where he left it. Then he said his microwave was in the front yard and everything else was gone.
He took it well though.
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