A clutch of tornadoes ripped across the South and Midwest yesterday, killing at least 28 people, and injuring many more. It took a lot of people's homes and cars with it too.
Tornadoes are one of the few things that actually terrify me (along with lightning and heights). Their raw destructive power is only matched by their impending sense of inevitability when a video shows one bearing down without mercy or pause on anything in its path.
It's can be easy to dismiss a tornado as simply wind, or discount a death toll because it's just numbers in a news story, and stories about tornadoes are often full of numbers. Statistics on damage cost, wind speeds, sizes of hail, power lines snapped, how many were injured, all contribute to the mix. But when I see homes and vehicles, a family's abode and its car, the thing that took the kids to baseball practice, it really strikes a chord.
The massive tornado in Louisville was reported to be nearly a mile wide, and from this video alone, I believe it. We've seen cars and trucks destroyed by tornadoes before, but here it looks like parts of the town have simply become giant vehicular graveyards. In one shot alone starting at around 0:56 seconds in, I count 11 vehicles in at least some state of wreckage, with many flattened like pancakes.
What does give hope is the fact that even though there was still potential for more destruction, with a storm still in the vicinity spawning multiple twisters, people don't wait for emergency crews to help out the victims. They run into the damage, and start the search and rescue operations immediately. And that's incredible.