And more on the way. They sounded the sirens with twenty minutes to spare, but when you live in Tornado Alley, you get used to it and don’t always take them as seriously as you should:
Meteorologist Larry Ruthi said the path of damage is 1.4 miles wide.
“I’m in downtown Greensburg. There’s really nothing left,” he said.
Jose Peraza said he was driving his oil rig into town when he heard the tornado warning sirens and pulled over to escape driving hail. He hid with several other people in a convenience store freezer.
He said the storm ripped the side off the freezer and when he came out, the twister had chucked his truck — with 40,000 pounds of oil — “like nothing.”
One of the less-damaged buildings was a beer joint, so they used it for a morgue. As I read the reports at midnight Pacific, eight are known dead in Greensburg, plus a deputy in another town.
Video of the mainstreet devastation here.
Rescue efforts have been called off for the night; they expect that all the injured have been rescued form the wreckage, but expect to find more bodies in the morning. Here’s an AP shot of their tourist attraction, the hand-dug “Big Well”:
I wondered why that piece of sheet metal was round, and then a little more googling and I realized:
Yahoo slideshow here. I’ll update tomorrow when a clear and credible charity emerges; but if you gave some money after Katrina you might want to look those folks up again.
UPDATE: My, that didn’t take long. Slingin’ the hot, mean crazy at DU:
Nice spot, mojojojo.