Why I Get to Hate Thunderstorms...and you don't get to judge

I agree that the Indianapolis media gets a little over zealous about bad weather...and by over zealous I mean they can make it into a three ring circus. I agree that it is a little over kill at times, and that yes it gives the average person another reason to worry and be anxious over what is usually nothing.

Snowmageddon...annoyed me. The ice I kept getting stuck in because my apartment complex doesn't pay for "ice removal" was really the biggest issue once I unearthed my car from it's ice coffin.

Every thunderstorm isn't severe, and we don't have to pretend it is. If nothing is changing about the storm, lets not interrupt programming to tell me the same exact thing over and over again for an hour. However, if there is a severe storm, with rotation in your viewing area and you can help save lives, then yes interrupt the programming. Give the people who need the info the facts. Yeah you know what it might just be raining in our neck of the woods, but the viewers in another part of the viewing area may need a heads up.  Stop.Your.Whining.

Am I over how over hyped the coverage as become? Yes. However, I ask you this, what if there wasn't enough coverage and lives were lost? It happens...and it happened to me.

Televisions stations in Toledo weren't freaking out about the storm line on June 5. 2010. People (friends of the family) actually thought nothing of it and went to bed. Yes the sirens went off, but once the warning for that county expired, we were free to leave the hospital. We were even listening to a Toledo radio station, and yet they kept on with their regular programming. I understand that they may have announced the initial warning at 10:52 (we got in our cars just before 11), but KISS FM made no attempt to keep their listeners informed.

About the time we hit the hail core, I even said to my sister, "You know I guess Lady Gaga (Paparazzi was playing) must be more important to them than keeping the listeners informed." Baseball to softball sized hail had started hitting us, and I saw the EMS spotter on the overpass...and now I was getting very worried. Mom kept driving and Amy followed her.

Then the hail stopped. Then the rain stopped and the wind picked up...I'm sort of guessing that is when we hit the "alleged sister tornado" the National Weather service suspected happened, but since no one "saw" it there isn't really evidence it existed.

In one flash I think I saw the tornado hit the transformer by the police station. In the next, this beast was on the road right in front of us:

I apologize for the dramatic music...I did not make this video. A security company is the only one who got "good" footage. Other people posted footage, but you really can't see anything. It was very dark out there and the only time you could actually see it is in flashes of lightning. It has some still shots as well.

Also, the cars in the video ARE NOT US. We were coming from the other direction. The people in the cars in the video were unharmed.

                                    Until You Have Been Face to face with one of these, you have no right to judge me for my anxiety.

you can see more of their tornado footage: http://www.draconidigital.com/tornado.htm

Did we try to get Mom to pull over: Yes. I tried to find my phone to call and warn her, but there wasn't time (and after being at the hospital for almost 24 hours she may have been too tired to actually see it in the brief moments it was visible). Would we have survived had we not epic failed tornado safety 101 and stayed in the car: Probably not. Another girl who tried to get out of her car and get to safety was also killed that night. Plus, with all the debris stuck in the ground by the storm...I'm not sure we would have made it out without getting impaled. Basically, the frame of that rental car saved our lives. By the time we saw it, we were too close..oh and btw that was just about the time a DJ reminded people of the Tornado Warning for Wood County and that folks on 795 better take cover. Really? Now? Thanks...for nothing. It was now about 11:25 (the video was taken at 11:23, the high school was hit at 11:30 and we were between those 2 hits). Yes there was NO mention of the tornado warning from just before 11:00 until 11:25.

It chewed us up, batted us around with debris and spit us out the other side. My sister and defied the laws of nature and physics and aside from some bumps, bruises and jacked up backs, we were fine. Our mother was not as lucky. She was killed instantly when a barn hit her car, cutting the top of the car off.  The barn hit us next, but it didn't make it through the windshield because her car had slowed it down.

Had we actually KNOWN about the tornado warning, things would have probably gone very differently that night. Instead the media failed to keep us informed.

Bottom Line: We need to find a middle ground here folks. Bad weather is not always severe. It isn't always panic worthy. Actually, most times it isn't. However, when it is the media needs to be able to keep the people who need the information in the loop.

For the rest of my life I will probably always try to arrange things so I do not have to drive in the rain. I will get anxious ANY time I have to drive in a thunderstorm. Tornado sirens, will always make me check the radar. I will have little tolerance for people who whine about *necessary* storm coverage when it isn't effecting them. I may be annoyed by how over hyped it is, but when lives are *really* at stake I would rather put up with the dramatics than have people not know what is coming...or worse coming right at them.


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