You Tube: As close as you want to be to a tornado

If you haven't seen these two videos of the F-5 tornado that struck Joplin, Mo. Sunday, you should take a few minutes to watch. If nothing else, they will teach you the importance of listening to tornado watches and warnings, and having a safe place to take shelter.

These folks sought protection in a convenience store as the warnings went off. They eventually retreated to what appears to be a beer cooler, where they rode out the storm. Somehow, they all survived, but the second video shows how fortunate they really were. The beer cooler protected them, but by daylight it's apparent it was a close call. It had collapsed, and left them a pretty narrow escape route. 

Thanks to Eric the Red for sending me the links. Here's how he describes the scene:

"If you haven't seen this video of the Joplin tornado, it is a must see. Actually, it's more of a must-hear, cos you really can't see anything. But you will note a few things...

- The power being out adds to the surreal feeling

- The waiting had to be excrutiating; the tornado doesn't arrive til 2:00 into the video.

- The glass blowing out from the windows denotes the outer portions of the tornado's wind field, but not the core of the tornado.

- After they all safely get into the Walk-In, you will hear what sounds like machine gun fire; that is the debirs being hurled at the exterior of the "box" they now find themselves in at incredible speeds (200 mph plus). Also puts to rest the idea of the movie "Twister" showing the couple strapped to a pole as an F5 goes overhead and surviving. Throw a pebble thru the air at 200 mph at your head, and you won't be around to talk about it."

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