Monday, December 28, 2015

GARLAND- ROWLETT TEXAS TORNADO 2015: The Night of the TORNADOES Experience ... The "Cutting EDGE of the WEDGE" Edition ... (TASTE OF TEXAS PT.28)

View from Rockwall Harbor east looking west to Rowlett ... The long lighted line on the lower right is the I-30 Freeway bridge crossing Lake Ray Hubbard

Part 28 of the "Taste of Texas" series will be a local posting to look at the devastation and experience of the tornado that hit the Garland and Rowlett areas of the Dallas- Fort Worth Metroplex this last saturday night December 26, 2015. I chose to post this because I had the opportunity to get a fairly close experience of this head on driving right into the vicinity/ area ... this is the closest I've been to one of these or lightning strike, I have never chased these either, as these guys in the video below do, nor had radar or daylight to be able to get a sense of direction it was going, so for me personally, it was quite a unique experience. I have seen a couple of these before at a further distance, and in daylight to where I could determine how it was moving, once in Texas and once in Kansas that I can recall right off hand, both those were much more narrow and smaller, this thing was very wide/ large in comparison. There were several around the Dallas area, some miles south, and further north, but this one I was near had winds I read of around 160- 200mph. Saturday evening I was on my way to my daughters home in Rowlett around the Lake Ray Hubbard area for our annual familia Christmas party, which was postponed till the day after Christmas because of folks schedules over the holiday. I had not expected what I would experience on the way ... I mean ... you hear of tornado warnings in this part of the country and get numbed to it I guess, at least some of us do ... and dont give it the thought we should. Besides, it was really a beautiful day out, been running around town with a buddy earlier in the day and it was 72 degrees with clouds and a chance of some showers, which is actually 20+ degrees above normal ... so I'm happy. This morning for instance (monday), it was low 30's with some rain and snow mix with a high today in the upper 30's and windy ... which was not reason to be happy today (I prefer warm weather and the summer).

It had to be around 5:45pm when I left my North Dallas home off Marsh Lane and LBJ Frwy ... I jumped on to the LBJ/ 635 Fwy eastbound, in a hurry cause I had to make a couple stop's on the way, and it's about 30 miles. It had just turned dark, and I had on news radio to try to get the traffic report, because the day after Christmas is even a busier shopping day than Black Friday making traffic heavy, and it was reporting that there was a tornado warning somewhere I believe in southern Dallas County and west in Fort Worth ... I think (?) ... I didnt listen as closely as I should ... just listening for freeway back- up's to avoid. My other daughter who lives in the Dallas/ Lovefield area then texted me, telling me there is a tornado warning in my area further north in Northwest Dallas ... I didnt pay much atencion I guess, and just called her and told her I heard something about it, no problemo, and I'm on my way to her sisters house out in Rowlett. Then a buddy of mine called ... telling me that the sirens were blaring all over Northeast Dallas over there where Dallas and Garland meet's, close to LBJ Frwy and Plano Rd is where he's at ... still, I just blew it off as paranoia talk. By the time I got just down the freeway about 5 miles to between the Dallas North Tollway & LBJ Frwy interchange and the North Central Expwy & LBJ Frwy interchange, it just suddenly started to rain so hard that I had to reduce my speed significantly, the rain was so hard I couldnt hardly see where I was driving. Another guy then called me and told me that sirens were blaring around the City of University Park area in central Dallas, so I went back to the news radio, but they were reporting that they were getting hundred's of phone calls from various parts of Dallas that sirens were going off, and they said that they cant confirm nothing, and the sirens just may be programmed to react even at a minimal threat, so again ... I thought nothing of it, just over sensitive sirens or whatever, I dont really know if they're programmed or set off by folks at some control center. I made a short quick stop to pick up something and jumped back on LBJ Frwy.

By the time I got to Garland on the LBJ Frwy ... it was bone dry road, no rain at all ... so I thought ... cool. I then connected on the LBJ Frwy and I-30/ Thornton Frwy interchange to go eastbound on I-30 ... it was cool for a few miles, then around the Bush Turnpike interchange on I-30 Frwy ... it suddenly started pounding rain again, so hard you had to slow down, by the time I got to the long bridge of I-30 that passes over part of Lake Ray Hubbard, while crossing the bridge, the rains stop but the winds pick up so hard that it's hard to steer the car, an 18- wheeler in the lane just left of me, where it's trailer was starting to tilt from the wind, looked like it was about to blow over, so I slammed on the gas and zipped by it to get out of the way ... the radio news now reported that about 10 cars got blown off the freeway I was on, from straightline winds alone, I didnt hear any announcement of a tornado touching down in Rowlett though, but I may have just missed it. I am crossing over the bridge, cant see the lake waters because it's night, but look on the horizon across the bridge seeing dozens of lightning strikes and transformers in the distance blowing up. I was now pissed off at myself for getting on the damn bridge, and just remember saying loudly ... "awwwhhh fuck man! ... here we go! ..." ... and got ready to slam on the gas and go for it. There is nowhere to go with no exits and surrounded by water, but straight to the other side and towards it! ... I didnt see anywhere to U-Turn either ... I noticed several cars instead of continuing to drive across, pulled to the side of the bridge and stopped with emergency lights on, which I didnt feel was a wise option, being that if the winds blew you off of the bridge, your car would end up in the lake, eh? Because of all the lightning strikes, is the only way I was able to see the cloud rotation and tornado straight ahead, when they flashed up the night sky. I rushed at high speed to get across the bridge to the Dalrock Rd exit (you have that small Rowlett area of peninsula to exit before it goes back over water toward's Rockwall). No one or my wife who were already at my daughter's house called me though, so I just figured all was cool where they were in Rowlett.

Being night and how dark it is, I couldnt figure out which way the tornado activity was going or how far away it was either, just depending on lightning strikes to give me a quick glimpse of light. From what I was seeing, I was "assuming" it was further east in Rockwall, and not to the left/ north in Rowlett and Garland (?). I head down Dalrock Rd toward Hwy 66, a few miles and the rain stops again, but the winds pick up again, about a mile before Hwy 66 lightning strikes to my right outside the car about 10'ft/ 15'ft away, I dont know what it hit, but large sparks fly at least 20'ft into the air, the bang is so loud that I couldnt hear right for at least a couple minutes after, and all I seen was my car inside just lit up like a bright blinding type white to where I had to suddenly stop. Then I start to haul ass again and slam on the gas to try to avoid if any trees come crashing down or whatever, all you could see out there, was dozens of lightning strikes and transformers blowing up, loud bangs, a unique loud roaring type sound of wind, and sirens in the darkness. By the time I get to Hwy 66, part of the tornado or winds already hit that area, there was power out and destruction to structures. I rush as fast as I can go for a few miles down Dalrock Rd and on to the left fork where it turn's in to Princeton Rd, and head down Princeton Rd. towards Liberty Grove Rd getting closer to the area of where my daughter's house is, I didnt even think of trying to call her or her husband/ son- in- law. By the time I get to their house, it's all calm and some folks were already there watching news reports on the tele downstairs, they started asking me what I seen?, what's going on outside?, and what it looks like out there? I went upstairs and some teenagers were in the game room shooting pool, and my wife was up there too ... none of us even knew that this massive tornado just randomly bounced over the house and the entire block just barely missing it.

The aftermath was more than I thought, seeing the devastation when the daylight came the next day, I couldnt believe all the destruction that I passed by, as it wedged it's way through random areas, skipping a couple blocks here and there, with a bouncing type hit and miss edge to it, because I wasnt able to see clearly what was happening in the night ... hundreds of homes and businesses destroyed in Rowlett and Garland ... I think about 11 dead, and many injured. My daughter in Dallas just told me today that she Googled the tornado path which went right over her sister's house in Rowlett, I confirmed it here on the route map ... in fact it went directly over every house on her block, so it just randomly skipped their house and street as it bounced up and down it appears. My buddy Wolfgang called me and told me a lady he knows died in her car while on her phone at around I-30 & Bush Turnpike, she is young, married with children she left behind. I guess we shouldnt take a tornado warning lightly, when it finally dawned on me what was happening, I just started to move quickly is all, I didnt get scared, because I didnt have time to I guess, everything was happening so fast and I was just trying to figure out what was where, and how to get out of any path, etc., when it's dark and you cant see shit, it's a challenge. No doubt it was an experience I will not forget. I didnt even think of taking pictures as some folks did, I was just thinking of getting around this. Despite the weather/ tornado issues in the surrounding area, by 9- 10pm we had a full house and really good Christmas party going, the tornado came and went quick, within an hour after it passed, the weather was calm and perfect! Below a collection of aftermath photos, video, newsread ... I also found a video on YouTube of some guys that chase these things who done an excellent job of recording this, they were driving part of the same route of I-30 I was, out in the Rowlett- Lake Ray Hubbard area ... which was exactly what I was able to see from my car at that area ... so Thanx to these guys for catching it on film.

Word Out ....

12/ 26/ 2015 Rowlett, TX Destructive Tornado ... Thanx to BASEHUNTERS CHASING

***** 5NBC/ DFW: At Least 11 People Killed in North TX Storms: Police ... (newsread/ video)

***** DALLAS NEWS: 'Total devastation': Nine tornadoes confirmed; storms leave 11 dead, hundreds without homes ... (newsread/ photos)







***** RCJ MUSIC/ ART'S HONOUR ROLL SOCIETY (my hand- selected music/ arts picks)

***** RCJ/ THOMAS PICKERING: GOOGLE+ (video posts)

***** THE RESISTANCE/ PERIL'S OF THE POWER POSSE (inspiration for hope & change) ... to be viewed as a "profit- see", not a "prophecy".



Ahab said...

I'm glad you and your loved ones are safe, Ranch Chimp. Tornadoes are never to be taken lightly.

Ranch Chimp said...

Thank You Ahab (always see you over at Infidel's site) ... I know, I dont usually take it light, it's just I had thing's on my mind and probably ignored too much, because I alwayz hear of them.