The National Weather Service has declared that the damage in Michigan City and environs yesterday was caused by straight-line winds, not tornadoes. But I wonder, did they see these bleachers? I don’t see how straight-line winds could possibly have caused this. Watch the whole video to understand why I say that:
It’s those wooden posts that seem like the “smoking gun” to me. Here are some photos that make the same point:
I could be wrong, of course. The NWS certainly knows more about this stuff than I do. But I wonder if their inspectors even saw these particular bleachers. I’d love to know how straight-line winds could blow large, heavy metal bleachers into a set of wooden spikes — at an impact velocity of 100 mph or whatever it was, and with 50 yards’ worth of forward momentum — without bending the spikes.
Looking at the damage, it seemed clear to me that the bleachers had landed on the spikes from above, coming from a vertical, not horizontal, direction. I’m not convinced by the NWS’s statement that my interpretation was incorrect.
Via Google Maps, here’s a satellite view of the location of the bleachers in question. The red line indicates the path they took:
More photos of the bleachers after the jump.