Tuesday, May 12, 2009

An "inland hurricane" hits Carbondale.


Last Friday, as a massive storm system we now know was a meso cyclone, roared through southern Missouri and Illinois. Soon after lunch we sheltered in our safe spot at LRRD as sustained winds of 80 mph hit. It's being called and "inland hurricane," and that's an apt description because the damage is very similar. Nearly every block in Carbondale was at least partly blocked as trees came down, often taking overhead utilities with them. News articles here, gif animation here, and here. Not much on the national news, though the damage from this will likely approach that of a major hurricane hitting the Gulf coast.

In Illinois, the damage covers several counties, and we're told Carbondale took the brunt of it. Hardly a home stands undamaged. I counted over 30 trees destroyed on the 3-acre lot my in-laws own.

A 36-inch red oak came down on the back of our building, giving us quite a shock. Like many huge old oaks that were destroyed, it was simply uprooted. Constant rain over the last two weeks left soils saturated, and many healthy trees were destroyed this way. Bad luck.

We just regained power the Internet connection today, though many of us will be without power for several days at home.

Top image is the NOAA Radar, which I captured an hour or so before the winds hit us.

Update: Radar imagery from the University of Wisconsin. A week after the storm, many thousands of homes (including mine) are still without power, and Carbondale estimates over 3,000 trees came down in the City.

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