Thursday, December 29, 2005
My ultimate goal is to compile an accurate historical account of the significant tornadoes in Mississippi from 1950 to the present, and possibly at some point extend that work to cover the entire 20th century. Why? Well, first and foremost, I've found that even the records of some of the more notable events are flawed, in that they don't reflect all counties affected by an event.
For example: On March 3, 1966, an F5 tornado struck Jackson, Mississippi, and would come to be known as the "Candlestick Park" tornado, named after the shopping center it destroyed soon after forming. It continued into my county, killing twenty-six people here, yet if you look in my own county's listing of significant tornadoes, there's no mention of the storm at all.
Another story: On April 1, 1983, an F2 tornado did damage in several counties in central Mississippi. I was working late in my own business when it came through. Hearing what I assumed to be hail, I hunkered down in an interior room as the storm raged. I heard a corner of my building lift up then slam back down onto the wall. Upon exiting, I realized that it was not hail, but rather gravel from my roof that had been picked up and slammed against the windows of my office. Cars on the highway out front were in the median and off the sides of the road, as if they'd parked in random directions and locations. Out towards home, there was a distinct path of wind damage and numerous trees uprooted. A cinderblock building that was being used as a church had a wall blown out. A cedar tree at a relative's home was completely uprooted and dropped just a few feet from her home. Yet for my county on that date, there's only a record of "Thunderstorm winds." This, in spite of the fact that the NWS issued a tornado warning.
Inconsistencies like that are what I'd like to help put an end to. I won't be able to assemble a complete record, I'm sure, but I do want to collect as many news stories, personal anecdotes, and photographs as possible for an eventually published reference work. That's where you, my internet friends, come in. If any of you live in Mississippi, are originally from here, or have friends or relatives here, please contact me with your stories. I'll share those that I collect personally here, some that I'm sent from readers, and I'll tell a few of my own as well.
I'll also provide links to other sites from time to time that have interesting photos or footage of tornadoes, and when I finally get my ducks in a row for an honest-to-goodness domain of my own, I'll upload my own videos, photos, and such for your perusal.
And because it's just as much a part of me as severe weather, I'll talk about politics, philosophy, and theology occasionally as well. It's just too time-consuming to try to maintain more than one blog such that the topics aren't mixed. BoKnows (my old blog) won't be updated any more, but the posts there will remain there until they're archived on a yet-to-be-determined location. And to think that I abandoned it when I'd finally gotten up to #21546 in the TLB Ecosystem.
So now that you know what to expect, come back often. I'll be here.