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#462506 - Sat Mar 07 2009 03:22 AM The Worst Storm You`ve Experienced?
damnsuicidalroos Offline
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Registered: Mon Feb 10 2003
Posts: 2167
Loc: Sydney
NSW Australia
In 1999 my wife and I travelled up to Hervey Bay in North Queensland Australia and stayed there for 3 days before heading off to our final destination of Fraser Island.

For three days we were caught up in the middle of the worst storm either of us has experienced. Staying in a portable caravan style cabin we felt very close to the elements. Winds of over 100 kilometres per hour were blowing the torrential rains horizontal. There were trees being blown over in the caravan park and some parts of it were flooded.

After the storm had abated we caught a ferry over to Fraser island and driving along the beaches on the island was amazing. There were bodies of large and small birds scattered everywhere and large quantities of fish. Small sharks had been flung up onto the sand and we also saw many large turtles rotting and being eaten by birds.

I`ve been in a couple of serious storms but that one in 1999 lasted the longest and caused the most damage.

What`s the worst storm that you`ve personally experienced?
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#462507 - Sat Mar 07 2009 02:31 PM Re: The Worst Storm You`ve Experienced? [Re: damnsuicidalroos]
sue943 Offline
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Registered: Sun Dec 19 1999
Posts: 36763
Loc: Jersey
Channel Islands    
The 'Great Storm of 1987', lots of damage and several days off school for the children.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Storm_of_1987
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#462508 - Sat Mar 07 2009 04:25 PM Re: The Worst Storm You`ve Experienced? [Re: sue943]
ClaraSue Offline
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Registered: Sun May 18 2003
Posts: 7837
Loc: Arizona USA
I guess I've been pretty lucky in that most storms I've actually been in haven't been so bad. Now, I've been to many areas of the country shortly after a storm that did major damage though.

I have to say that the storm that scared me the most was when, while driving, this dust storm came up suddenly, totally obliterating the road.
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#462509 - Sat Mar 07 2009 05:35 PM Re: The Worst Storm You`ve Experienced? [Re: ClaraSue]
jordandog Offline
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Registered: Tue Apr 17 2007
Posts: 5097
Loc: Ohio USA         
I have been in several tornados and 2 hurricanes, but right now the scariest, that comes to mind for me was the Blizzard of 1978. I was living in grand Rapids, MI, and had a 1 month old baby, no heat, and no power. We were completely buried, could not leave the house for almost a week and if I had not been breast feeding, I shudder to think what would have happened. I was also unable to contact any of my family in Ohio for days and had no idea if they were all right. My husband attempted to walk to the local family store, about 5 minutes from the house, and was gone for almost 4 hours. He literally got lost in the wind and snow and wound up taking shelter in someone's house - a block from where we lived.
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#462510 - Sat Mar 07 2009 11:29 PM Re: The Worst Storm You`ve Experienced? [Re: jordandog]
damnsuicidalroos Offline
Multiloquent

Registered: Mon Feb 10 2003
Posts: 2167
Loc: Sydney
NSW Australia
Thanks for that link Sue . It must have been difficult for the children ( not to mention the parents) to stay at home for several days. How did you keep them occupied and were you affected by the power outages etc?

Clarasue that photo is a little closer than I`ve been to a large dust storm though I did take a photo of one in the Northern Territory in Australia that was seemingly hundreds of miles wide and miles high as well, if we had been caught up in it it would have been pretty scary not to mention dusty, the seals on the old Holden WB ute we were in were hopeless and wouldn`t have helped much at all in keeping the dust out. I noticed that Copago posted a photo recently of a dust storm.

Wow Jordandog what an amazing story of misery you posted.
Quote:

I was living in grand Rapids, MI, and had a 1 month old baby, no heat, and no power. We were completely buried, could not leave the house for almost a week....My husband attempted to walk to the local family store, about 5 minutes from the house, and was gone for almost 4 hours. He literally got lost in the wind and snow and wound up taking shelter in someone's house - a block from where we lived.


Living in Sydney I simply can`t imagine going through something similar.
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#462511 - Sun Mar 08 2009 12:55 AM Re: The Worst Storm You`ve Experienced? [Re: damnsuicidalroos]
Copago Offline
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Registered: Tue May 15 2001
Posts: 14384
Loc: Australia
Hmmm. I've been thinking of this since you posted it, Roos.

There was one on September 11, 2001 (yes, THAT September 11). Due to time differences the US distaster didn't happen until late that night for us here. So I was working in town at the time and some rather ominous clouds were heading our way and we'd heard a pretty good storm had hit the next town over. It's a 40km dirt road home so thought I'd leave work early to avoid having to stay in town. Got about half way and BAM. Lightening was cracking down quite close, the thunder was incredibly loud, the wind was so fierce that bushes were slapping on the ground. Couldn't see a thing in front of me but was too worried to stop completely in case someone ran up the back of me so just crawled along, the rain was horizontal and it was like armageddon was about to hit. We lost a lot of branches around the house and debris was everywhere but after what happend that night we were glad to be were we were.

There was another dust storm which was probably worse than that one the other day. It was at night though and it hit like a train. The dust was incredible and it was getting hard to breath. It's an old house here and really didn't offer much protection. Worse thing was that my son was only a baby and I was still in that first-time-mother-paranoia stage and was worried about all sorts of breathing problems with him. Stayed awake all night watching him.

I did not take this photo but it is in my area. It was taken by a truckie about two years ago. Dust storm coming

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#462512 - Sun Mar 08 2009 08:01 AM Re: The Worst Storm You`ve Experienced? [Re: Copago]
sue943 Offline
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Registered: Sun Dec 19 1999
Posts: 36763
Loc: Jersey
Channel Islands    
My goodness Jill, that photo is amazing.

I can remember you telling us about the dust storm way back when Conor was a baby, you showed us photos of the stuff.
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#462513 - Sun Mar 08 2009 02:14 PM Re: The Worst Storm You`ve Experienced? [Re: sue943]
guitargoddess Offline
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Registered: Mon Jul 09 2007
Posts: 37272
Loc: Ottawa Ontario Canada         
Other than a few bad thunderstorms, the only thing I can think of that has happened here in my lifetime was Ice Storm '98. I was only 10 years old that winter, so I appreciated the couple of weeks that school was closed, rather than sensing any actual danger. It probably had a lot to do with the fact that we were perfectly comfortable in our house. We had our heat and electricity (the power only went out briefly one morning at the beginning of the storm, and that was it). I know many other people who experienced the same storm were not as lucky, but my clearest memory from that storm was playing in the icy backyard with my brother after the actual storm had ended, and my mom almost having a heart attack when she looked out the kitchen window and saw that we were playing on the swimming pool that we figured was perfecly safe because it had frozen over.
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#462514 - Sun Mar 08 2009 02:51 PM Re: The Worst Storm You`ve Experienced? [Re: Copago]
veronikkamarrz Offline
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Registered: Thu Dec 28 2006
Posts: 930
Loc: Carson City
Nevada USA 
Copago, that pic just sent me into panic mode! I'm sure I wouldn't do well in that situation. I had no idea that you could see them coming like that!
"To the cellar, Toto!"

I guess I've never really been in a severe storm...Earthquakes, many earthquakes, but nothing above ground.
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#462515 - Sun Mar 08 2009 03:48 PM Re: The Worst Storm You`ve Experienced? [Re: veronikkamarrz]
Jar Offline
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Registered: Wed Apr 11 2001
Posts: 4224
Loc: Texas USA
Can't say much about actually being in a storm, but a couple come to mind. I was on the train coming home from work (in Chicago) when from the window we all saw a tornado -- egads -- what could anyone do on a train! That was a bit hairy for a while. Not much anyone can do but sit and watch to see if it is coming your way.

Other than that, I've been the recipient of two new roofs in the same year thanks to hailstones here in Texas. The hailstones were golf ball size and did quite a bit of damage. Many people hurt also as it was the weekend of an outdoor festival. I suppose you could call that a storm! They don't call Tarrant County the hail capital of the country for nuthin!
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#462516 - Mon Mar 09 2009 01:07 AM Re: The Worst Storm You`ve Experienced? [Re: Jar]
tsunamicharly Offline
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Registered: Tue Dec 25 2007
Posts: 149
Loc: Memphis
Tennessee USA
In 1969 my family had just moved to Pass Christian, Mississippi, when Hurricane Camille struck. I have since been in five tornadoes and another hurricane, hail storms, derachoes (sp?) and a serious earthquake, but never anything as terrifying or as devastating. Perhaps Hurricane Katrina was worse, but I fortunately was safe in Memphis when she came ashore.
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#462517 - Tue Mar 10 2009 07:03 PM Re: The Worst Storm You`ve Experienced? [Re: tsunamicharly]
agony Offline

Administrator

Registered: Sat Mar 29 2003
Posts: 13266
Loc: Western Canada
Our storms here tend to be fast and furious - yes, lots of golf ball size hailstones - but they don't last long. My worst would be the storm that hatched the Tornado of '87, in Edmonton Alberta. The most intense rain and wind I have ever experienced. The tornado touched down about a 1/4 mile from where I was working, then headed north. Ended up killing 27 people.

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#462518 - Tue Mar 10 2009 09:07 PM Re: The Worst Storm You`ve Experienced? [Re: agony]
queproblema Offline
Mainstay

Registered: Mon Sep 25 2006
Posts: 869
Loc: Kenny Lake Alaska USA     
When I was a young girl Hurricane Donna raged through Florida, and the next year Hurricane Dora. We were without power for several days, and in one of them our sunken living room got about an inch of water standing in it. A large pine bough just missed our roof and Dad had the tree cut down soon after. He was afraid the roof would peel off--some did--but it held. Both times were larks for us kids, and the closest our family ever came to camping.

We were visiting my mother-in-law in Ft. Lauderdale when Hurricane Katrina blew by, but there was very little damage in her neighborhood.

I was in a "church building" with half walls made of split palm trunks in southern Colombia that collapsed when buffeted by a very strong gust of wind during a long, hard, driving rainstorm that covered hundreds of square miles. Unusually strong for an inland storm, though it followed the Caqueta River. Only one person was slightly injured. We were fairly traumatized emotionally, though, and for the next several months took to going outdoors and getting soaked during hard storms for fear our home would collapse. It didn't.

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#462519 - Wed Mar 11 2009 11:22 PM Re: The Worst Storm You`ve Experienced? [Re: Copago]
Schoonie101 Offline
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Registered: Sun Jun 24 2007
Posts: 1178
Loc: California USA
Copago, I remember that Southerly Change you were talking about on 9/11/01. I was staying in Brownsville just outside Wollongong around then. It was rainy and windy for about a week or so.

Not sure what part of NSW you were in but agreed - definitely a bad storm.

However, worst one that I have been in was probably the one I experienced on my way up to Lake Tahoe on my 21st birthday. After a couple attempts to get past the closed highways, my friend and I just said "forget it, we're NOT getting stranded in Sacramento again", lied our way past the cops, got as far as this little dinky town called Kyburz before the road conditions got even sketchier, found a hotel and hit that up. Electricity was out (meaning no heat in the hotel either) and it was absolutely dumping snow. But the local bar had a generator so everyone in town was hanging out there. No question where to go. Even the town mayor dropped by and he was just absolutely hammered - fun to observe. They found out it was my birthday (21st no less) and we all had a great old time, got bought a lot of beers. Real fun after closing time trying to navigate through shoulder+ deep snow back to the hotel. Was actually a disaster but a hilarious disaster at that.

Early the next morning, the roads were opened and since we had a huge gigantic head start over everyone else, we were the first ones into Lake Tahoe.

Considering it snowed well over 8 feet in those 2-3 days and was bright sunshine right after the storm, I can't even tell you how epic the conditions were. Powder galore. No crowds either. Couldn't ask for better!
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#462520 - Sat Mar 14 2009 08:04 AM Re: The Worst Storm You`ve Experienced? [Re: sue943]
picqero Offline
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Registered: Tue Dec 28 2004
Posts: 2813
Loc: Hertfordshire<br>England UK
Quote:

The 'Great Storm of 1987', lots of damage and several days off school for the children.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Storm_of_1987



I recall that storm well, as I was then working as power engineer on the high voltage transmission system. Much of south east England, including the whole of London lost electricity supplies, and there were considerable operational and technical difficulties in restoring them. I was called out, by the Grid Control Centre, shortly after the storm hit London, and was sent to one of the key facilities involved in the power restoration. Just getting there was quite a problem, with large trees crashed down over the roads, and emergency services preventing access to some roads because of dangerous buildings, etc.
When power fails over a huge area, with so many consumers off supply, you can't simply 'switch them back on again' as this would overload parts of the system, and make it trip out again. Even some power stations require external supplies from the grid, in order to restart supplying power; others have what is termed a 'black start' capability, and the grid system has to be rearranged such that the former can supply the latter, before consumers can be connected.
Two days after this storm, I flew a helicopter survey of East Anglia to determine whether there was any urgent overhead line damage, and to see if any large trees were leaning dangerously towards overhead line conductors, and liable to topple. From the air we could observe that many woodlands had swathes of toppled trees within the wood, but the perimeter trees were generally undamaged. Clearly the outer trees were used to being hit by strong winds, and had root systems which could cope, whereas those inside had weak root systems, and failed when a really strong storm wind blew through the woods.


Edited by picqero (Sat Mar 14 2009 08:05 AM)

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#462521 - Sat May 09 2009 01:58 AM Re: The Worst Storm You`ve Experienced? [Re: picqero]
taswegiangal Offline
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Registered: Fri Apr 24 2009
Posts: 19
Not as bad as some storms, but I recall in about 1988 the rain was so torrential for the whole day that I couldn't see 1 cm in front.

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#462522 - Sat May 09 2009 06:14 AM Re: The Worst Storm You`ve Experienced? [Re: taswegiangal]
Pagiedamon Offline
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Registered: Sun Jun 15 2008
Posts: 2592
Loc: North Carolina USA
I slept through Hurricane Hugo in 1989. I awoke to no power, trees strewn everywhere, people's houses demolished, etc.
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#462523 - Sat May 09 2009 06:56 PM Re: The Worst Storm You`ve Experienced? [Re: Pagiedamon]
ysmay Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: Fri Feb 13 2009
Posts: 292
Loc: New York USA
Those dust storms look terrifying. I'm also glad I've never had to deal with a hurricane.

In Saskatchewan (western Canada) I've had my share of really scary blizzards and some big summer storms. The worst for me was way back in 1975 when I was a kid. We never got much rain, but that afternoon the sky turned night-black at 4:30 p.m. and it poured down all night. Almost everyone's basements flooded, including ours. It was just pouring in through our window well like a waterfall - and we had sewer backup. I lost all my childhood books, which broke my heart. The next morning, the sky was a strange orange-green with a rainbow across it. Very weird. The storm spawned tornados that leveled my mom's old brick high school in her home town and did a lot of other damage. It was a scary night.

I was here in NYC for Sept 11 also - a storm of a different kind, but very scary.

Y

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#462524 - Tue Jun 02 2009 03:28 PM Re: The Worst Storm You`ve Experienced? [Re: sue943]
Snowman Offline
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Registered: Wed Oct 31 2007
Posts: 1611
Loc: London England UK            
Quote:

The 'Great Storm of 1987', lots of damage and several days off school for the children.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Storm_of_1987




I was out camping that night

The tent blew away from over my head and I had to chase it through a field. Snowman was a wet boy that night!

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#462525 - Sun Aug 02 2009 08:55 PM Re: The Worst Storm You`ve Experienced? [Re: Snowman]
Aku-Aku Offline
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Registered: Tue Nov 11 2008
Posts: 7
Loc: Oklahoma USA
I'm from Oklahoma, and although my house has experienced 4 near-misses from tornadoes, I haven't actually been in one yet. I actually saw the second one approaching my house, but it stopped, and then began to move backwards. It was lucky for me, but I bet that meant that some people got hit twice.

Worst storm that I actually experienced would have to be the Tulsa Memorial Day Flood of 1987. The clouds were an awful washed-out yellow color. They were said to be twice as tall as the Rocky Mountains. They dumped so much rain so quickly. I remember looking out through the window and thinking, "If the waters get any higher, where can I go? I am on high ground." The waters forced some homes off their foundations. Bridges were washed out, and cars were strewn about like children's toys. Sixty-four schools were damaged. Sadly, Tulsa lost 13 people to the storm. The next day, I went through my yard picking up 11 birds that died. I saw something I had never seen before: a high water mark on the back step that leads to my house.

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#462526 - Tue Aug 04 2009 02:38 PM Re: The Worst Storm You`ve Experienced? [Re: Snowman]
flopsymopsy Offline
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Registered: Sat May 17 2008
Posts: 3654
Loc: Northampton England UK      
Quote:


I was out camping that night

The tent blew away from over my head and I had to chase it through a field. Snowman was a wet boy that night!




I was living in Brighton when that storm hit and we got hit quite badly. A friend of mine was woken by the noise and looked out of his bedroom window to see what was going on, only to see the roof of his garden shed lift off and fly into the playing fields at the back of his house. Without thinking twice he pulled on some wellington boots and went chasing after his shed roof - it was only when he caught up with it and realised how rough the torn wood was against his skin that he remembered he was naked.
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#462527 - Wed Sep 02 2009 10:43 PM Re: The Worst Storm You`ve Experienced? [Re: flopsymopsy]
mountaingoat Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: Fri Jun 22 2007
Posts: 390
Loc: Blue Mountains NSW Australia
In outback Australia I was a kid in a car with my family when a duststorm engulfed us. We wet towels to help us breathe. It was terrifying being swamped by a dirt sunami. My mum said "It is so bad here even the soil is leaving."

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#462528 - Thu Sep 03 2009 07:34 PM Re: The Worst Storm You`ve Experienced? [Re: Jar]
asgardshill Offline
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Registered: Sat Aug 15 2009
Posts: 102
Loc: Texas USA
Quote:

Many people hurt also as it was the weekend of an outdoor festival.




Was that the bad hailstorm where they were seeing baseball-sized hail during Mayfest back in 1995? I remember hearing about it (I used to live in Ft. Worth but was out of the country at the time). I remember that Harris Hospital flooded during that downpour as well.

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#462529 - Thu Sep 03 2009 08:15 PM Re: The Worst Storm You`ve Experienced? [Re: asgardshill]
BurgGurl Offline
Forum Champion

Registered: Wed Dec 03 2003
Posts: 9454
Loc: Pittsburgh<br>Pennsylvania ...
I've lived through a number of ice storms, but the worst one would have to be the one in January 1998. It crippled most of upper New England and eastern Canada. Telephone poles laying across roads, curfews imposed by 4pm, no interstate road travel - period. No power for weeks, months in some places. Federal government had to come in and kill livestock.... A single blade of grass was as big as your finger, that's how much ice!

North American Ice Storm of 1998
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#777875 - Sun Mar 11 2012 07:11 AM Re: The Worst Storm You`ve Experienced? [Re: BurgGurl]
coachpauly Offline
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Registered: Tue Aug 23 2011
Posts: 21
Loc: Hong Kong
Been in some doozys.... but right now I am literally hearing the windows shake in my hotel room near Mount Fuji Japan. Last year I landed at Tokyo-Narita just as the earthquake in Japan hit. This year I have brought snow and blizzard squalls along with howling winds smile

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