Denise Cummens Greg Aamot English 122 3 March 2013 Allen W Taylor- The Night the Sirens Blew Everyone experiences at least one terrifying event in his or her lifetime. How we assimilate the event shapes our attitudes, or maybe vice-versa. It can become the catalyst that lead, to phobias; sometimes it even earns itself a fancy title with “syndrome” attached to the end of it. So many of us just call it a memory, but one can share with eight other people.
People need to always remember that, tornadoes are not simply violent forces of nature; consequently, they are threats of weather that turns into tornadoes as, it forces change for those who live in its path of destruction. If we go and look back at that historical day through the readings of, “The Night the Sirens Blew. ” We get the recap of the worse tornado outbreak in the Twin Cities, which was in 1965 and worse of six strong tornadoes that occurred around Minneapolis and St. Paul Minnesota on May 6, 1965. This was nicknamed “The Longest Night” and is the most often remembered for the two F4 tornadoes that hit Fridley, Minnesota.
Where thirteen people were killed in the six tornadoes that touched down in the Twin Cities area on that historical day. People that lived through that day recall what happened to the author, first it was famous WCCO radio personality Dick “Chappy” Chapman, who was the main broadcaster the night of the outbreak. He remembers that night began shortly after 6p. m when the first funnel cloud was spotted neat Norwood Young America, just west of the Twin Cities. Chappy, recalls that was the beginning of a long night and he left the microphone on until 1a. m the next morning.
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Chappy recalls his conversation with Joe Strub from the Weather Bureau. Joe was an outstanding guy who really knew a lot about storms. At the time of the historical outbreak, he was working on tornado research and found that these storms would “pulse”. In another words, the storm would build-drop-build-drop. This is how he explained this storm was so massive that is literally “chewed” up debris and flung it all over the place. Joe also recalls being a pioneer in lobbying for safer trailer park tornado prevention measures. He wanted “cement tie-downs” and reinforced storm shelters in every trailer park.
The many people that Allen Taylor talked to about this historical day, also talked about the things that lead up to this massive night of tornadoes, like the St. Patrick’s day blizzard aftermath of March 17, 1965 and many bad flooding and so we were used to all the interruption in the news due to all the bad weather, until the night of the tornadoes. So after all the blizzards and flooding the Weather Bureau hooked in a “tie-line” between WCCO and their offices, so when bad weather hit all they had to do is pick up the phone and report right then and there.
All the people that talked to Allen about the night the sirens blew all recall the many tornadoes that swept across the Western and Northern portions of the 7 county regions and that they ranged from F2 to F4, which killed thirteen people and injured 683 people. If it was not for the National Weather Bureau, local officials, and the outstanding communications by local radio and television stations. Most of the credit needed to go to the annoucers of WCCO with saving countless lives. It was also the first time in twin Cities history that civil defense sirens were used for severe weather.
The Weather Bureau said “we didn’t hesitate a bit” to sound the sirens. It was the first time that the air raid alarm was used as a tornado warning since the system was instituted in May of 1959. So with all the things that happened on that night and it is not hard to believe that everyone will experience at least one terrifying event in his or her lifetime. How we assimilate the event shapes our attitudes, or maybe vice-versa. It can become catalyst that lead, to phobias, and sometimes it even earns itself as just a memory to recall sharing with others.
So the author who recalls, the events in our childhood shape our world and our perceptions. He says even though he was only five when this historical night took place he can recall the colored lighting and the once-in-a-generation power associated with these storms left an impact on him and all the people who lived through that night. The two main reasons he said he wrote this book, was because he has always been interested in storms and wanted to recall that night, and he had a great joy of being able to talk with the people who lived through those tornadoes that night.
Those tornadoes wiped everything out! In today’s dollar the damage was 1. 2 billion dollars, making it the swarm of tornadoes and one of the costliest outbreaks in US history. That night was the main storm surges which spawned 24 tornadoes in one evening. It is his hope by reading this book you feel the emotions of the people who survived that night. Allen hope is that you enjoy the most researched documented book ever written on the worst tornado out break ever to hit the Twin Cities.
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