Thursday, October 18, 2007

Severe Weather...Without Warning? Not Usually.

The Tulsa Oktoberfest was affected by the severe weather yesterday, as 30+ people were injured when a tent collapsed in 60+ MPH winds. One is in critical condition, and six in serious condition. The responsibility of public safety falls directly on event coordinators when weather watches and warnings are issued. Ignoring them and assuming nothing will happen works out fine when nothing does. But when things do happen, that doesn't mean they are "caught off guard" because "it usually doesn't".

Reporting on the injured crowd at Tulsa's Oktoberfest, News Channel 8 says, Organizers say they knew about the weather forecasts and thought the winds and storm would pass. Rain and hail made the situation worse and came so quickly that no one had time to prepare." What I don't understand is how these two sentences can be put together.
  1. There was a slight risk for severe weather forecasted 2 days before
  2. There was a moderate risk for severe weather forcasted the day before
  3. There was a moderate risk for severe weather all day the day it happened
  4. There was a tornado watch from about 7:45am until 10pm
  5. There was a thunderstorm warning issued at 7:08pm
  6. The storm hit at 7:30pm
Now granted, most normal people wouldn't follow number 1 through 3. However, 4 and 5 are pretty blatant. There was plenty of time to prepare, and there was plenty of time to protect the public. The people that were there do hold some of the responsibility too, but that's a different rant.

2 comments:

Sniderman said...

JMo,

you and I both know that people hear what they want to hear so they can do what they want to do. When it doesn't work out, they get upset... but rarely at themselves.

There's no counting the number of times I'll say... blah blah blah and rain's moving out by morning and most of the day will be great...

then some individual comes back and says, "but you said it was going to rain all day".

Happens all the dang time.

AND... if officials at big events ACT like it's not a big deal, the public (at times not acting any smarter than cattle) is lulled into thinking "oh, it must not be a big deal".

Prepare to take care of yourself.
Monitor the situation for yourself.
Then, take care of yourself.

NOAA wx radio ain't that expensive when it comes to your life and your family's well-being.

JMo said...

Time after time again, examples surface that should make everyone want a weather alert radio. November 7, 2005 comes to mind. 22 people were killed in that overnight tornado in Indiana. That's insane.