Tuesday, March 28, 2017

17th Anniversary Of Downtown Fort Worth Tornado

I was surprised today when I read it was 17 years ago today that I experienced my first Texas tornado. It seems way more recent than that.

A couple hours from now, 17 years ago, I was driving to downtown Fort Worth, heading south from my Haslet home location, in far north Fort Worth. The house was in Haslet, the mailbox was in Fort Worth.

I was heading to the University of North Texas Medical Center area to meet up with someone, for reasons I no longer remember.

As I headed south I was seeing a weather phenomenon the likes of which I'd never seen. A big dark greenish gray wall of clouds, looking a sort of ominous which seemed to be obvious danger. Lightning was bolting in the greenish gray cloud.

I was a couple miles south of my abode, driving on Blue Mound Road when my phone rang. It was the person I was heading to meet telling me to turn around, that something bad was underway in the downtown Fort Worth zone.

At that point in time it was not  known by the caller that that bad thing was a tornado.  All she knew was everyone had been ordered to head to a safe place.

I did as instructed and turned around. By the time I got back to my abode the proverbial all hell had broken loose.

Huge balls of hail pounded the roof with a volume of noise which made it sound as if the roof could not last long before being pummeled into oblivion.

I do not remember at what point I learned tornadoes had struck Fort Worth. At some point in time during the following hours I learned a young man had been killed by grapefruit sized hail which struck him as he was heading to his car, hoping to move it to cover.

Eventually we learned of the tornadoes, and gradually of the damage done, and others killed. It was hours later I learned the person I had been heading to meet was safe.

I do not remember if it was the following day, or several days later that I pedaled my bike past the barriers blocking off downtown Fort Worth and took photos of the damage. You can see those photos on the webpage  I made about the Fort Worth Tornado. That is three of the photos, in thumbnail version, you see above.

Today, on this 17th Anniversary of the deadly, destructive Fort Worth tornado, the forecast for North Texas is for possibly severe thunderstorms, with hail. The type weather which spawns tornadoes...

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