I made a Google Map to illustrate the path of Saturday’s tornado, complete with the location of my house, my parents house and my job. I was just arriving at work, the farthest of the three points from the storm, when the warnings hit. It was all over within about 20 minutes – the tornado had traveled from Picher, Oklahoma where it killed at least 6 people, to northern Newton County where it killed at least 5, across Newon County, through Granby, within a mile of my house, to Newtonia and off on its way to Branson.

It was in Branson, 70 miles southeast, about 90 minutes after it started.

The blue dot north of the path is my parents house. The farthest blue dot north is where I was when it started. The blue dot hiding in the cluster at the southeast, just north of the path, is my house. (The posting of the map is is not an invitation to come visit, unless you come bearing Guiness or a book deal.)

My parents are without power. Obviously, I’m not. I have a few tree limbs to pick up and a big one landed on my mailbox, but everyone I know survived.

Two interesting notes.



  • May 4, 2003 an F-3 tornado hit Pierce City and another F-3 tornado hit Carl Junction. Carl Junction is at the north end of the map and Pierce City is at the east near the center. 90% of the historic downtown of Pierce City was destroyed in about 90 seconds. The tornado that hit Carl Junction was half a mile wide and destroyed or damaged over 500 structures. The Pierce City storm was the result of a thunderstorm moving northeast, over Granby, meeting one moving southeast, over Diamond, and forming a supercell just west of Pierce City. That was a scary afternoon with a wild looking sky, though I didn’t see any funnel clouds.
  • The town of Picher was being bought out by the EPA, more specifically all the property owners were being paid to move, because the lead mining past had left the soil poisoned beyond immediate repair (at least with people living there). FEMA is now heading in to provide relief. I don’t begrudge the folks who lived through this any help they need, but anyone care to bet on whether the federal gubmnt does something stupid like rebuilding the houses that are about to be bought out and demolished by the EPA?
  • The Turner Report (in my “Regular Reads” links) has excellent coverage from all the local and national news sources. Rather than link to a specific story, I’ll just refer you to look at the Turner Report generally.

    Anyway, here’s the map with one photo I took of some sheet metal wrapped around a downed tree.

    View Larger Map

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