Storm Season 2012 - Tornado in Savoy

Savoy, IL
Been waiting for the first major event to start this thread. Some of you may know I'm a storm chaser, and I attended a storm chasing conference a couple weeks ago in Denver. We discussed a lot of topics, including lessons learned form last year and what's coming this year. Last year was a record year for tornadoes, and sadly deaths. Weather models are sketchy for this year, but seem to indicate that it could be similar. Unfortunately it's already starting, and hitting close to home:

13 killed as tornadoes rake Midwest states

BRANSON, Mo. -- At least 13 people were killed overnight as a line of tornadoes marched across the Midwest, flattening parts of several towns. Hardest hit was Harrisburg, Ill., where 10 deaths were reported, along with nearly 100 injuries.

Forecasters warned more twisters could strike the Tennessee Valley and southern Appalachians through Wednesday evening as the storm system moved east.

Ten of the deaths occurred in Harrisburg, Ill., officials said. What is thought to have been a tornado swept through the town around 5 a.m. local time, destroying 35-40 homes, according to local TV station KFVS12.
Branson was hit hard, but they just bumped up that death toll in Harrisburg a few minutes ago.

I'd like to remind everyone to make sure you have a functioning and properly-programmed weather radio in your home. Don't depend on the tornado sirens to save you, as there are countless examples of people dying or nearly dying by depending solely on these. You may not hear them and they may not work. There are also now smartphone apps that function as a weather radio, and can actually warn you as you enter or leave a warned area (

Over 500 people died in tornadoes last year, which is the most in decades. These things can and do kill. Please be prepared and pay attention to watches and warnings. Don't be stupid and assume "that tornado won't hit me, last time we had a warning there was nothing". That last warning has nothing to do with the next one.

I'd be happy to answer any questions on this topic if you'd like. Feel free to post here (so everybody gets the benefit) or PM me.
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i grew up and graduated from high school in Harrisburg. The 10 live lost were all my grandmother's neighbors. my aunt saved her by laying on top of her in the bathtub, where they remained trapped until rescuers saved them this morning!! my aunt said that she could feel the tornado lifting her out of the bathtub!! CRAZY!!

needless to say, my grandmother's home is completely destroyed. they found one of her neighbors 4 blocks away, the tornado carried her so far!

really puts a shi**y ILLINI bball season in perspective!!
We had a huge storm go through our town last year with baseball sized hail ($70K damage to our house and one car). Weather is nothing to take chances with.

I was home with my two daughters and we went to the basement (put our shoes on and brought flashlights and a whistle with us). I stuck my two teenagers under a sturdy oak desk. They were telling me to get under there too. I told them there was no room. The hail was deafening. When all the air sucked out of the house I found myself and my 90lb dog stuffed under that desk. I don't even recall going under there with them.

Coincidentally while we were being 'brave' in the basement my wife and son raced home and found the power out. Being unable to open the garage door they had to weather the storm in the car on the drive. Most of the windows and the sunroof were shattered by the hail. It never occurred to me that they couldn't get to safety literally 50 feet from me and that I wouldn't know it. Fortunately it was only $$$ in the end.
Savoy, IL
Something that may be of interest to Dayton and should be of interest to everybody is the very long but detailed story here:

This guy is a physician, as well as a storm chaser. He was chasing the tornado as it rolled into Joplin last year. He spoke at that conference in Denver. It was really an amazing story. Kind of amazing to hear the healthcare side of it, especially when a hospital took a direct hit.

One thing you are starting to hear more and more, and that was reiterated by this doctor, was the problem of head injuries in tornadoes. Contrary to popular belief, it's starting to become clearer that many of the most serious injuries in tornadoes are not due to piercing wounds or cuts, but due to head injuries. This guy said every patient he worked on in Joplin that died on him was due to a head injury.

What to do about it? Depending on where you live, some TV weather guys have started telling people to put on a helmet when you go to your basement or interior safe room. Sounds dumb to many, but it really could save your life. Your head is very heavy and relatively not well attached to your body. In tornadic winds, your head flies around uncontrollably. That bicycle helmet you never wear just may save you.
Southeast IL
the hospital in Harrisburg was evacuated. we had a unit meeting today and first thing they told us was Harrisburgs hospital was evacuated with hospital in Carbondale taking most of their medical/surgical patients. we took 4 of their psych patients, since there are not many psych units in hospitals in Illinois, we took all of them that we could.

they told us the hospital had major structural damage so I dont know if it will be repaired or rebuilt.
The mobile app is a great idea. Unfortunately it doesn't look like they have a Blackberry version.
Southeast IL
wow.....yesterday(friday) was a deadly day. saw a small town in Indiana is essentially wiped off the map.

of those that died, I wonder if they had no shelter to go to, or if they ignored the warnings.
That's a winner!!
All safe here in Clermont County, OH, at least in my house.

In the southern part of our county, near the Ohio River, a town called Moscow was destroyed. One of my wife's coworkers lives in Moscow, she is ok, but we do not know about her house, they say 80% of the town is completely leveled. One of their village officials was found dead. Sad day in Moscow.
Savoy, IL
Awful day yesterday. I was chasing, started through southern IL and into SW Indiana, and barely into northern Kentucky. Was on the north side of a tornadic storm, but never quite got into the right spot. Once these storms got past you, they were gone, moving at 60+ mph. So far the death toll from yesterday is over 30. Friend of mine (Skip Talbot) shot the first part of this video north of Louisville (KDR Media is my video broker):

Hope this is a reminder to everybody to pay attention when forecasters are calling for severe weather. Don't think it won't happen to you, because that's when it does.
I can see the adrenalin rush of chasing these things but be careful. The hunter can become the hunted sometimes.

As an aside (and I know a great many of you don't care much for grammar and spelling ;) ) but the plural of tornado is actually either tornados or tornadoes. Ditto with the plurals of zero and volcano.
The camera never lies
Just read were the toddler has passed away.
Former Krush Cow
South Bend, IN
How bout that tornado in Champaign/Savoy by the airport.
Savoy, IL
I've driven 2000 miles this season chasing tornadoes. Shot this two miles south of my house. Figures.

Taken right by the Carle Clinic on Curtis/Mattis.

Orange Krush Class of 2013
Stanford, CA
Would have been cool to go for a walk through that park when it was flooded and the only thing exposed was the walkway (top link in captainhindsight's post).