Here’s the latest on today’s tornado(es) in northwestern Indiana about 40 miles west of South Bend:
A severe thunderstorm and a possible tornado swept off Lake Michigan Wednesday evening, downing trees and power lines and causing some injuries.
Heavy damage was also reported at a boat show scheduled to begin Thursday at the Washington Park Marina on Lake Michigan, police said.
LaPorte County 911 Assistant Director Beth West said some injuries were reported in the county, but she did not have any details.
Sightings of funnel clouds in the area midway between South Bend and Gary were reported to the National Weather Service, but no touchdowns were immediately confirmed.
Additional police officers were called in to work in Michigan City because of the troubles from the storm.
NIPSCO spokesman Mike Charbonneau said about 3,800 homes and businesses were without power in the Michigan City and LaPorte areas immediately after the storm moved through.
“The storm hit pretty hard in those areas,” he said.
West said the storm hit especially hard in Westville, where the wind scattered a lumber company’s entire stack of lumber across the railroad tracks.
Here is a very, very, very rough — and entirely unofficial, and probably quite wrong in terms of the details — map of where the tornadoes or cells that seemed to do the most damage went, based on the radar loops and the various initial reports of damage:
UPDATE: In other news, because my aborted attempt at “post-storm chasing” tonight proved utterly futile, and because its futility is currently dominating the homepage, I’m going to delete those posts and put them in sequential order after the jump, so the historical record is preserved while more important posts are bumped back up to the top of my blog for now:
Continuing from the post below… WNDU is reporting “huge trees down all over the place” in the Beverly Shores area, after a tornado hit earlier this hour. Previously, NWS spotters sighted a tornado hitting the intersections of routes 12 and 35 in Michigan City, and WNDU reported 20 downed trees lying across route 431 in Westville, and a semi truck blown over two miles north of Westville.
And now, there’s a new tornadic cell making “landfall” (off Lake Michigan), causing rotation in the Dune Acres/Chesterton area (west of Michigan City).
But we’re safe here in South Bend. WNDU’s meteorologist says: “If you live in South Bend/Mishawaka, you’re going to get a little rain, maybe a bolt of lightning, and that’s it. The worst weather is going to continue to be in our western viewing area.”
Here’s an archived animated radar view. Be patient, it takes a while to fully load.
AT 601 PM CDT…NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE RADAR CONTINUED TO INDICATE A TORNADO NEAR BEVERLY SHORES..MOVING SOUTHEAST AT 30 MPH.
THE TORNADO WILL BE NEAR INTERSTATE 94 BETWEEN MILE MARKERS 30 AND 32 BY 610 PM [7:10 EDT].
HUGE lightning strike and thunderclap just now!! Holy crap!!
UPDATE, 7:18 PM: Now, a new tornado warning is in effect for northwestern portions of LaPorte County, our immediate neighbor to the west:
AT 607 PM CDT…NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WITH STRONG ROTATION. FIRE DEPARTMENT PERSONEL IN MICHIGAN CITY REPORTED FUNNEL CLOUDS OFFSHORE OVER SOUTHERN LAKE MICHIGAN AT 609 PM CDT. THIS TORNADIC STORM WAS LOCATED NEAR MICHIGAN CITY…OR ABOUT OVER MICHIGAN CITY…AND MOVING SOUTH AT 25 MPH.
UPDATE, 7:23 PM: WNDU has a spotter report that a tornado hit near the intersections of 12 and 35 in Michigan City.
UPDATE, 7:31 PM: As of 7:21, the latest NWS tornado warning advisory says:
…A TORNADO WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 700 PM CDT (800 PM EDT) FOR NORTHWESTERN LA PORTE COUNTY…
AT 617 PM CDT…SPOTTERS REPORTED STRONG ROTATION AND A POSSIBLE TORNADO IN MICHIGAN CITY AT THE INTERSECTION OF ROUTES 12 AND 35. THIS SEVERE STORM WAS LOCATED NEAR TRAIL CREEK…OR ABOUT OVER TRAIL CREEK…AND MOVING SOUTH AT 25 MPH.
LOCATIONS IN THE PATH OF THE SEVERE STORM INCLUDE… LA PORTE… WESTVILLE… OTIS…
IN ADDITION TO THE TORNADO…THIS STORM IS CAPABLE OF PRODUCING DESTRUCTIVE GOLF BALL SIZE HAIL AND DAMAGING STRAIGHT LINE WINDS.
UPDATE, 7:36 PM: WNDU is reporting 20 downed trees across US-431 in Westville. And a semi truck blown over, two miles north of Westville.
It looks like there are possibly two tornadoes moving SSE through far western LaPorte County now.
What I find most interesting, though, is this paragraph:
Republican Alan Schlesinger, a former state legislator, had 3 percent. The poll had a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.
This raises the intriguing possibility that Schlesinger’s actual support could be in the negative numbers. :)
A year ago when I started working at my current employer I had an interesting e-mail exchange with Brendan. I noticed during orientation that my company provides benefits to same-sex partners in the same way they provide them to married couples. This is interesting in that it sets up an area where gays and lesbians actually have MORE rights than their heterosexual peers. As there is no legal standing for homosexual couples in this state (or any other except Massachusetts) there is no way for the company to verify this status so they offer the benefits on good faith. You could theoretically include any same-sex roomate/housemate in your benefits, you wouldn’t necessarilly have to be gay, but it certainly provides a more flexible option, as marriage is required for partners who are not of the same sex.
Well that practice may now be illegal, or so claims a woman who works for Honeywell International here in Washington. Why? Because earlier this summer Washington passed a law that makes discrimination based on sexual orientation illegal. The woman claims that it is discrimination that she can not extend benefits to her live in boyfriend, the same way a gay coworker might, and based on the law I think she may have a point.
There are certainly obvious solutions, some more complicated than others. First of course is creating legal civil unions for couples of any orientation, but like most states, the voters of Washington have thus far rejected the idea of gay marriage. Next, you could and might have to stop offering benefits to non-married couples, which of course puts them at a disadvantage to companies in other states who can still offer those benefits as an incentive. Finally, and most costly companies may have to start providing benefits to ANY roomate of an employee, regardless of orientation or relationship status.
It is certianly and interesting, and by many unforseen consequence of the law.
Another one of those “moonbat” liberals has come out to publicly criticize the Bush administration’s handling of the Iraq war. Oh. Wait. No. It was John McCain.
Joe Lieberman has collected the required 7,500 petition signatures to earn his way onto the ballot as an independent candidate. “The people have spoken!” Somehow, though, I doubt the Lamontistas will be spinning it that way…
Actually, Lieberman submitted 18,500 signatures, but the Secretary of the State’s office — my dad’s former employer — stopped counting after 8,215 of the signatures had been officially validated, because there was no need to continue.
Some folks on this blog, and elsewhere, seem to think that fearing Iran, and worrying that its president might do something irrational, is simply a favorite pastime of the “the Nattering Nabobs of Neo-Con-ism,” but not a worthwhile or justifiable emotion. The Daily Mail eviscerates that viewpoint.
The Soviet Union has never existed, there has always been only one Germany, Ã¢â‚¬Å“GoogleÃ¢â‚¬? has always been a verb, and so forth.
Tropical Storm Debby is slowly strengthening over the eastern Atlantic, but with the forecast sending her out to sea without ever “doing” Dallas, Houston, New Orleans, Miami or anyplace else, it looks like Debby will be a non-issue for us landlubbers — and attention is now turning to a blob of clouds that isn’t even a tropical depression yet, let alone a named storm (which isn’t stopping me from calling it “proto-Ernesto”). Dr. Jeff Masters explains:
Forget about newly-named Tropical Storm Debby, now churning west-northwestward into oblivion in the open Atlantic. The area we need to focus on today is a tropical wave near 10N 53W, about 500 miles east of the southernmost Lesser Antilles Islands. This new wave is a threat to develop into a tropical depression later this week, once it crosses into the Caribbean. NHC has assigned this disturbance the name “Invest 97L”, and has tentatively tasked the Hurricane Hunters to investigate it on Thursday afternoon.
While the wave does have the potential to eventually become a serious hurricane, it also has a number of hurdles to overcome, and it is more likely that it will never become a hurricane.
Getting our season tickets. Woohoo! Goooo Irish, beeeeat everybody except Trojans! :)
It was named at the latest (11p EDT) advisory. Everything the NHC has on it can be found here.
UPDATE BY BRENDAN: Mark Sudduth at Hurricane Track says of Debby: “There is not much to discuss regarding the 4th named storm of the year. It might become a hurricane and it looks like it will likely move on a path that will keep it away from any land areas. So - good news with Debby.”
In addition to Debby, there is also a tropical wave east of the Lesser Antilles that could become Tropical Depression 5 soon, and might potentially become a bit more threatening to land areas, though it’s far too soon to say how much so, or where. Anyway, here’s a satellite view where you can see both Debby (center) and proto-Five (left):
As predicted, the tropics are finally getting active.
On a somewhat related note, I want to again recommend Margie Kieper’s blog, which is running an excellent series of posts in the run-up to Hurricane Katrina’s anniversary, detailing the devastation all along the Gulf Coast. It’s the “hidden coastline” revealed. Definitely worth checking out, especially for those who came here after watching Spike Lee’s movie.
First of all, I want to once again welcome any new readers who are visiting my site for the first time. For some background information on why the heck I was in Spike Lee’s movie, click here.
Secondly, a request: if anybody DVR’d or TiVo’d the movie, and has the ability to digitize the portions containing me and e-mail them to me (tips [at] brendanloy.com), I would greatly appreciate it!
Thirdly, an explanation for those who missed it: I was unexpectedly featured again this evening in Spike’s film, When The Levees Broke, during the closing credits. Basically, each and every interview subject was asked to identify themselves on camera, and I identified myself as “Brendan Loy, blogger and hurricane buff, IrishTrojan.com.” That little plug has directly resulted in roughly 500 extra hits — almost 200 of them in the four minutes immediately after the comment aired. More importantly, unlike the interview segment in Act I, the clip in the credits showed my USC sweatshirt! :)
Anyway, again, welcome to my blog!