It was brought to my attention that never-before-seen video of the Andover Tornado was posted on Youtube.
As you view the video there is an important safety tip. You hear the photographer say, “Its in the exact same place it was.” If a tornado appears not to be moving but growing larger it is coming right at you! Unfortunately, that was literally true in this case as the photographer’s home was hit.
The video is also noteworthy is you can hear the “waterfall” (starting about 1:45) sound of the tornado when it is relatively far away and then the “freight train rumble” when it gets closer (starting around 3:05 and continuing until around 7:00). You also hear sirens of police cars trying to warn people in the path (the town’s tornado siren never sounded because there was so much voice traffic on the police frequency the siren activation tones could never get through to the siren). At 5:00 you can hear the police cars telling people the tornado was coming and get to shelter. They were heroes for putting themselves in harm’s way.
There is video of the aftermath of the tornado, including damage to the photographer’s home here. It, too, is dramatic.
The warnings we did for Wichita and Andover saved about 70 lives as estimated in a study done by the Centers for Disease Control. In the photo below, I am explicitly warning the City of Andover (the others are John Holt and Melissa McDermott) at the moment this photo was taken, more than 15 minutes before the tornado arrived. That type of specificity helped
the warning gain credibility and prompted people to respond correctly. I am proud to say the City of Andover, Kansas is now a WeatherData® client using our SelectWarn® system to precisely trigger their sirens — digitally, and without interferrence — in areas threatened by the tornado and not sounding sirens outside the tornado’s path. I just did their annual start-of-storm-season recurring training last week.
Andover was one of the first “video age” tornadoes with multiple photographers photographing the storm. While these videos are helpful in educating people as to the terror of tornadoes, I continue to be concerned that someone is going to be seriously injured doing this.