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Grizzly Mama

There's a Grizzly who has escaped the City of Brotherly Love..(and she's going back to homeschooling!!)

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Location: Out of Philly, Pennsylvania, United States

"All who have meditated on the art of governing mankind have been convinced that the fate of empires depends on the education of youth." Aristotle - Greek Philosopher.

Monday, March 30, 2009


A good old gully-washer hit yesterday. We were at our very first soccer game - my oldest just started in the local athletic league soccer program. She's pretty good! (I'm SO not a team sport player.) Anyhoo - it was a beautiful day. Over 60 degrees Farenheit and a bit cloudy. We all had our attention on the game and one of the mothers kept getting calls on her cell. Thunder started rumbling, they stopped the game (it was tied 1-1), and she said that the phone calls were people telling her that there were tornado watches and warnings for our area. It was pretty nice out and then I looked to the Southwest. Dang! The sky looked so nasty. The clouds were that really dark brownish-greenish color and the wisps were hanging down and the wind was just tearing them apart ferocious-like.

I hurried the girls into the car and we took off. Within 5 minutes the storm was almost on us. I kept thinking that I've been told too many times that you just can't outrun a storm in a car. I swore I saw a funnel cloud off to the left as I was driving, but it was gigantic - really fat and big and freaky looking. We got home and into the house and then it poured buckets and buckets. I was ready to run to the basement with the kids at a moments notice. I was watching the cats behavior, they weren't hiding but just wanting to stay close to us. We turned on the weather channel and sure enough the warnings are beeping like crazy. It passed very quickly and then we heard the sirens. Fire trucks, ambulances - all heading west. No damage or loss of power for us. It just missed us. A mile down the road heading out of town we saw signs blown over and some telephone poles down when we ventured out to the store.

The pictures today tell the tale. Several mobile homes destroyed - 3 people injured. A farmhouse and barn with the roofs ripped off - and in Denver borough a few miles to the northwest there is lots of damage all over town. Trees down all over the place. There was golfball sized hail in some parts - we got pea sized hail. It hit Philly a bit later with hail the size of a quarter or less - and no tornado.

The weather service is trying to ascertain if a tornado hit, or it was straight line winds that caused the damage. Many people saw the same funnel cloud that I saw.

This is what happens to mobile homes in a tornado:

Here is a pic of the farmhouse and barn that were damaged:

Lots of damage in Denver Borough:


The National Weather Service has confirmed that it was an EF-1 tornado and not straight line winds that caused the damage. The tornado was 1 1/4 miles long and 200 yards wide. Its path of destruction was 10 miles long. It destroyed eight mobile homes, and damaged 200 homes and 30 businesses or barns. Three were injured by the tornado.



Blogger Most Rev. Gregori said...

Thank God that you and the cubs were safe. You were blessed. I have never been through a tornado, but I have been through three hurricanes here and a typhoon in Vietnam, and they were hairy enough for me.

31 March, 2009 01:14  
Blogger tweetey30 said...

Very thankful you and the kids are ok.. I have never been that close to one but have been told its horrible to be. Jeff has here in Green Bay. Anyway glad to hear hear there wasnt that much damage really.

31 March, 2009 05:24  
Blogger Grizzly Mama said...

Thanks, Rev. It came up so fast - that's why I was freaking about driving in the car. We've had a couple of hurricanes hit Philly, but by the time they get up the coast they're pretty weak - still can be ferocious, though. It seems to me that the typhoons in the far-east can be really, really bad.

Thanks to you too, Tweetey. It was one scary, ugly looking sight. Wish I had a camera phone. It was an F1 according the the NWS, but 200 yards wide. That's why it looked so fat! It wasn't one of those skinny, finger looking funnel clouds reaching out of the sky.

31 March, 2009 08:33  
Blogger DirtCrashr said...

Holy smokes! All we have are little earthquakes, I think tornados are much more frightening, and personal.

01 April, 2009 13:29  
Blogger tshsmom said...

I guess I should be grateful for our snow. It beats the hell out of tornadoes!

01 April, 2009 19:21  
Blogger Grizzly Mama said...

DC - I don't know. The earthquakes would scare the crap out of me. Atleast with a tornado you're probably safe in a basement!

Tshsmom - You guys got hit bad this winter with snow. Wish some of it could have come here.

We took a ride back around the old farmhouse yesterday. Unbelievable damage all along that road. If we had still lived out in the middle of that cornfield, I think the house would have been badly damaged. They are almost through demolishing it to make way for the new development. There were many houses with windows blown out, damaged siding, roofs gone and trees down.

01 April, 2009 20:15  

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