Spent the day on Sunday down in Lone Grove with Jeff Smith, I was able to participate in Mission Of Compassion and although I had some reservations about going down there, I had a wonderful time. It is not often that we as chasers are able to help in the recovery process after a tornado, we basically focus on the forecast, the nowcast and the chase so this was a little different for me. It was difficult to go in and view the damage in Lone Grove and at times it felt like I was back at Greensburg. This was a killer tornado and the damage was reflective of that
especially south of town in the mobile home park. What were once trailers were basically nothing more that splinters now. Of course there was stuff everywhere and while my sister and I walked around and took pictures and video we realized that the "stuff" was once some ones life. It is something that most people just simply do not understand.
To me, it was very clear why and how so many people died in this tornado. Most of the deaths came from the mobile home park and in driving through the local area it was very apparent that these people had basically no where to go. The park was located to the east side of a north/south road and had only one way in and one way out. There were not any tornado shelters nor were there any low areas that provided any real protection. With the tornado moving from southwest to northeast, driving away or escaping in a vehicle was not an option once the tornado was south of the trailer park. I spoke with a survivor who told me that they waited to see just where the tornado was going to go and when they thought about leaving, they did not have time.
Had any of those people tried to escape via driving out of the park they basically had only two options, drive north into town and go east or west on hwy 70 or drive south to the next county road and go east or west. Both options would no doubt have been costly as the tornado appeared to grow to its strongest and widest width through this area. It looked to me like the maximum tornado width in this area was 1/4 to 1/2 of a mile wide.
While we noted some massive damage some of which did appear to be in the EF-4 range,
WE DID NOT SEE ANY SIGN OF SCOURING OF THE ROAD, STREET OR CONCRETE ANYWHERE NEAR LONE GROVE! This includes 7-8 miles south of town where we picked up the damage path all the way through town and back north of town 4-5 miles.
The pictures and reports of what was referred to as "peeling off of the pavement" was simply bogus. The road had a small washout and had been unimproved for over 3 years per one of the locals who lived just down the road. It is a shame that some felt the need to sensationalize this tragedy and terrible destruction for self promotion.
I plan on posting video and some more pictures as I get time. A big shout out to Jeff Smith for putting MOC 6 together and for allowing me to go. Thanks Jeff!
On a different note, some of my video from Greensburg has been shown on the promo for The Weather Channels "Tornado Week" Tonight more of my video will be shown as the latest show tells the story through the eyes of the locals in Greensburg. And then on March 29Th my story including my interviews and video will air, some of the video has not been seen before and should prove to be interesting. If you have had any interest in Greensburg this may be something to see.