Friday, February 02, 2007
Beware tornadoes that strike at night
Tornado watches went out yesterday. Getting the call this morning that a tornado likely touched down in Florida wasn't surprising, but the strength and damage reports that have been coming in are disturbing.

Tornadoes that strike at night are the most dangerous, especially if they hit at 3 a.m., when people are sleeping.

We haven't seen much with the rush to the airport. Getting on the plane, we knew at least one person had died. Getting off in Orlando, we found out 14 were killed and that that number might grow.

We're driving north now toward the demolished neighborhoods. Not sure what to expect. Need to make some calls. Get some info. We go live on air as soon as we get there. Gotta go.
Posted By Rob Marciano, CNN Weather Anchor: 12:45 PM ET
  16 Comments
I live in Sarasota, Florida and there is nothing scarier than a thunderstorm (tornadoes) at night... Especially when you are laying in bed wondering, "did I just hear hail hit the window?" (hail sometimes means tornados) ... You don't know whether to get the children, pets and get in the "safe room" .... Scary, indeed!
Posted By Anonymous Sherry, Sarasota, Fl : 12:59 PM ET
I've been watching CNN all day and I can't believe the amount of damage caused by this tornado. It's a reminder of what Mother Nature is capable of doing, and that there's not much we can do to stop her. My heart goes out to everyone that was affected by this storm. I hope you and your crew travel safe.
Posted By Anonymous Despina, Charlotte, NC : 1:15 PM ET
Just seen the extensive damage that hit central Florida on our TV screens, our heartfelt sorrows to the victims.

Is this truly a tornado or a smart bomb(s) ?
Posted By Anonymous N.Z. Toronto : 1:18 PM ET
Hi Rob,
Post Katrina we worry so much about hurricane's that we tend to forget about the ferociousness of Tornado's. I've beein thinking about the people of Florida and hope they can eventually pull their lives together. You and your crew stay safe and somewhat dry!
Posted By Anonymous Maryanne, Raleigh, NC : 1:25 PM ET
Hi Guys:

Having lived in Florida for more than 30 years, I have to say alot of sorrow comes out of these "no-name" storms. These storms sometimes are as dangerous as the "named" storms. The sad part of course is there is basically no warning or preparation.

Last week we had a storm that hit in the middle of the night and I have to say I didn't sleep much with the wind gusts and the water running off my gutters and pool cage. I got out of bed and put on the TV. I was thinking..did I miss the weather news or something? The storm lasted for about 4 hours with no weather news. So I sat up most of the night, reading a book listening to the howling wind and rain.

And well, of course, my dear husband slept snoring through the entire storm. I would assume that a lot of people were sound a sleep too during this sad one too!

Thanks for coming to FL and covering the story and letting us know about our fellow Floridians. Thanks 360 for bring the world to our family rooms!
Posted By Anonymous Renee Bradenton, FL : 1:36 PM ET
Hi Rob~
Nature's wrath can be indescriminate, silent, and desvastating. When a tornado strikes at 3:00 A.M. while people are sleeping, sadly there is little action anyone can take. Do you have any tips? My prayers are with the families of all those who perished in this tragic storm. Humans want to think they have conquered the planet, but in reality nature will always have its way. Thanks Rob~ I hope we see more stories from you. I enjoy your meteorologist reporting. You're not half bad to look at either!
Posted By Anonymous Betty Ann, Nacogdoches TX : 1:46 PM ET
I live in Lake County, Florida. Our neighborhood was spared the wrath of the tornado. However, we all spent a horrible night in deep darkness, pounding rains and horrible winds. It much like the nights we spent during the recent hurricanes.
Posted By Anonymous S. Jones, Eustis, Florida : 1:48 PM ET
you know i agree with sherry you really can not know what to expect from a thunderstorm or a torndao my heart does go out to those who were affected by this monster so called a torndao i do think that the most of the states that do not have Torndao sirens it could be a sunny warm day nice breez then next thing you know a torndao can pop right down i think every state should have sirns talken about cutting taxes yes but why not put the money to geting sirns so people can have another type of warning besides a tv screen....
Posted By Anonymous Sheila Sumter SC : 2:04 PM ET
Well when you have grew up knowing what a tornado can do and will do if it gets enough power is scary. I live in Oklahoma which is in tornado alley and when we get a tornado watch it is time to watch the weather closly than when you get a warning, you run to the nearest 'shelter' and pray for you and your families safety. Let me say one thing storms at night are scary. So knowing what these people are going through my heart goes out to everyone effected by the tornado.
Posted By Anonymous Mary, Glenpool, Oklahoma : 2:58 PM ET
Having lived through the hurricanes of the past few years here in Florida, I think I prefer them to the "surprise attack" of a tornado. At least you have days to prepare and evacuate.
Posted By Anonymous Tracy, Winter Garden, FL : 3:05 PM ET
Not sure if one was available ....but what about that reverse 911. Could that have warned some people?
Posted By Anonymous Julie - Boston, MA : 3:08 PM ET
I live in Lakeland, Florida, and the storm that went through last night woke us up. We did not have have any damage here, but boy the lightening was incredible. It was almost like a strobe light going off just outside the windows for about an hour.

My friend's mother lives in the Villages (about an hour north of here) and I called her to see if she was OK. She said she was fine with just a little bit of damage to her house, although just down the street there was considerable damage as the tornado came through her subdivision. She had a window blown out and part of her roof (brand-new site-built frame) came off. Her neighbors had all banded together to help each other. She also said that fire/rescue workers from Alachua county came knocking on their doors checking on them sometime before dawn. Alachua county is about an hour and a half north of there, so it's awesome to see them respond so quickly to help another county.
Posted By Anonymous Ann Johnson, Lakeland, Florida : 3:09 PM ET
Hi Rob

Is weather more explosive or erratic? Even in Canada it seems like individual days are either a lot warmer or colder. In winter it seems it's either 0 or -30 and not in-between with a gradual increase or decrease in temperatures over a period of days, and in the summer it is either +30 or +15, and the comfortable 20's are gone. Weather always talks about the average, but what about the trends of an increase of the extremes of one way or the other. Is there a record indicating if those trends have changed, and if they have is it a concern or not.

Lynn
Posted By Anonymous Lynn, P. P, Saskatchewan, Canada : 4:39 PM ET
I live in Venice and the weather had the eery feel of a hurricane in the very early morning hours. I knew that something was on the way but this...
Posted By Anonymous Jo Venice,FL : 7:08 PM ET
Rob,

Nearly 40% of all tornadoes in the U.S. strike after dark. People need to have a family plan when Tornado Watches and Warnings are in effect. Someone needs to stay up to alert the rest of the family, or take action for themselves. Buying an inexpensive weather radio can be a personal storm siren for those that need it the most - especially those in mobile homes. Please share this with others so they can stay safe. Our prayers are with the affected people of central Florida.
Posted By Anonymous C. John Miller, Lincoln, Illinois : 10:13 PM ET
I just moved my Dad from CA to Leesburg FL. The day after Christmas I bought him a NOAA radio. It worked! He was notified. At least you all have SOME kind of warning system IF YOU CHOOSE TO USE IT. Spend the $20 and get one. It could save your life!
Posted By Anonymous Patti Livermore California : 10:56 PM ET
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