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3/28 Tornado


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#1 jefffwd

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Posted 28 March 2007 - 03:06 PM

I just realized that this is the anniversary. Do you remember where you were when it hit? eek.gif

#2 cbellomy

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Posted 28 March 2007 - 03:40 PM

Do I remember where I was? Oh yeah. I remember.

The morning of 3/28/2000, I bought a new car, a blue Acura TL that I loved. Then I headed east to my job at the Infomart in Dallas. As I was preparing to leave, I checked the radar on the web and saw that a tornado warning had a hook echo in the Saginaw area, heading east toward NRH and Hurst. "No worries," I thought, "I'll just take I-30 or I-20 back to FW anyway."

However, as I was heading out of the Infomart parking lot around 6:25 or 6:30, my cell phone got a text message: a new tornado warning about an actual tornado sighting in downtown FW. The projected path of this one was due east down the I-30 corridor. "OK," I thought, "I'll head down to I-20 and get home that way." Headed down US 67 in Dallas, I checked the flagship station of the local Emergency Alert System, WBAP-AM 820. They had the Dallas Stars game on (from the east coast, I guess, or else it was pregame). I figured everything must have been relatively ok so I popped a CD in and settled in for the drive.

On I-20 in Grand Prairie, passing over Great Southwest Parkway, I noticed that an incredible electrical storm was happening in front of me in Arlington. (By now it was fully dark aside from the lightning.) I was 34 years old then and had never seen such intense lightning. Traffic flowed normally, though, until the rain started getting heavy shortly after crossing Texas 360. I kept moving about 40 mph, passed under the New York Avenue overpass, then traffic came to a halt a few hundred yards later.

The rain was now falling Texas style, from left to right. No big deal, just a squall, I'll ride it out.

Hmm. This wind is still picking up. It's throwing dirt at my car! Dangit, my new car... probably already all scratched up. My luck.

Wow, this is really getting bad. The car is starting to rock from the wind, the loose debris is just pummeling the driver's side of my car. This... this isn't good. Now I'm getting nervous.

Then... *poof*. The wind stops. I mean, STOPS. Cold. Total fury and sound, then nothing. Silence.

Then... *bam*. Just like that, the wind is back and the car is getting buffeted/pelted again. Only this time it's coming from the passenger side.

Oh. Damn. I was just in the freaking suck zone of a freaking TORNADO!

I then scrambled to pull up WBAP on the radio again. They were covering the mayhem downtown as the wind slowly abated and traffic started to move again. The lady in front of me had a traffic barrel on her hood she had to remove first. A semi about 100 yards ahead of me in the right lane had been blown over. I didn't know it yet, but a light standard not far behind me had blown down across the highway. All those people behind me wouldn't be going anywhere for a few hours.

Then the tones of the Emergency Alert System come on 'BAP. "The National Weather Service in Fort Worth has detected a tornado in the vicinity of I-20 and Collins in South Arlington." I look up at the overpass I'm going under. It's South Collins.

NOW YOU TELL ME?! YOU PEOPLE ARE USELESS!!! I was highly stressed and not a bit happy. To say the least.

I finally got home I don't know when, probably 25 minutes after riding through a tornado, pulse still racing. I didn't sleep well for at least three days after. I did watch the TV coverage of all the damage and mayhem for several hours and counted myself lucky to have made it home unscathed.

My new car, though, wasn't so lucky. The scratches to the paint were all over the car. I also lost a wheel cover. Yay for insurance.

So now I've been in two tornadoes in a car. The first one totaled my parents' '64 Buick, but neither hurt me. I guess I really am lucky.


#3 seurto

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Posted 28 March 2007 - 03:49 PM

WOW! ohmy.gif I guess to say I was watching David Finfrock on the news is pretty darn anticlimatic! sleepgo.gif

That is an amazing story; I'm not sure I'd be sleeping even now.

#4 AndyN

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Posted 28 March 2007 - 04:51 PM

I was driving past Texas Motor Speedway in more or less full sunshine looking at a big, dark nasty looking storm clouds over downtown.
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#5 Bernd

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Posted 28 March 2007 - 05:53 PM

I was at work in Bedford, listening to the mayhem on a buddy's police/fire scanner.
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#6 gdvanc

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Posted 28 March 2007 - 06:09 PM

Yikes, Chris. That's nuts. Glad it turned out more-or-less okay. I can't top that one and i hope I'll never be able to. But if I can one day top that, I hope I can write about it years later.


I was at work. I'm always at work. This was in Irving - near 161 and Gateway. We were told over the p.a. to head to the main building for that site. We stayed in the large breakroom and watched some coverage on the t.v. I tried to keep in contact with my wife. She and my first four little angels were in our house near I-20 in Arlington. More specifically, they were in the small half-bath downstairs - the only room downstairs with no exterior wall. I think they had brought a mattress from a baby bed for added protection. They definitely had a worse time of it than did I.

After it was over, I drove home. It was still raining pretty hard at times. At one point the car in front of me just stopped abruptly in the middle of the lane under a bridge. No vacancy on the shoulder. It's not like I was tailgating, but given the visibility and road conditions it didn't seem like a judicious or thoughtful thing to do.

By the time I got to 360 and 20, it was clear that this had been a major storm. I started seeing a lot of debris. At one point, I could see brake lights in the distance. It appeared that traffic was coming to a stop, and then cars were pulling off the highway. Way off the highway, where there was no exit. As I approached, I found that one of the signs that spans the southbound lanes of 360 pointing out the way to the exits for 20 was laying crumpled across the highway. People were pulling off and driving around it.

As I entered 20, there was a lot more debris - including the 18-wheeler Chris mentioned. Other vehicles as well. Carbage everywhere. And barricades and barrels. And building materials. I'm glad not to have been caught in the middle of it in a blue Acura TL. Or an 18-wheeler.




#7 cbellomy

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Posted 28 March 2007 - 06:39 PM

Well, truthfully, I think the folks who were in Reata when the tornado hit have a much scarier tale to tell than mine. They could see the thing coming. I didn't know what it was until the suck zone had already passed me, though I did start thinking about how much I wanted to see my kid again before that.

The tornado I rode out in 1968 was worse. My grandparents had a farm about eight miles west of Newcastle, Texas (west of Graham on Highway 380 in Young County); my brothers (age 18 and 11 at the time) and I (age 3) took a trip into town to get some milk and groceries. On our way back, a hammerhead cloud on our way in had morphed into a rotating monster. We crossed the Brazos on the old narrow bridge still there at the time and within seconds got swept off the road, spinning, until the back of our '64 Buick was slammed into a mesquite tree. I was in the back seat and the rear window shattered into beads all over me, but none of us were hurt.

Now that was scary.

I really don't want to ride through a third one. I hear that those are the charm.


#8 mosteijn

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Posted 28 March 2007 - 07:33 PM

QUOTE(cbellomy @ Mar 28 2007, 07:39 PM) View Post

I really don't want to ride through a third one. I hear that those are the charm.

newlaugh.gif

That's a pair of incredible stories, I'm glad you made it out alive - both times! My 3/28/00 experience was rather dull...I remember walking outside, seeing the greenest, scariest looking clouds of my life, then going back inside to watch the news. Hopefully the severe weather we're supposed to get this week isn't that bad.

#9 JulieM

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Posted 28 March 2007 - 07:40 PM

I was safe, sweltering in Houston.

#10 cbellomy

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Posted 29 March 2007 - 12:56 AM

Correction to the Acura story... I just remembered it wasn't a wheel cover I lost, it was the chrome sheath that fitted around one of the dual exhaust pipes. All I can figure is that the tornado just sucked the thing right off the car.

Minor detail but an interesting one, I think.


#11 Sam Stone

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Posted 29 March 2007 - 05:23 AM

I was at home in the near south Hulen area. Normally, I could see downtown from outside my place. I was on the phone with a friend while the storm was going on and went outside to have a look. I saw crazy green clouds which I knew meant hail and possibly tornado. I go back inside to check out the news and they're showing the live cam on top of one of the buildings as the tornado happens. This was one of the most astounding things I had seen on live TV up to that point. I run back outside to see it with my own eyes, but downtown is completely obscured by clouds, and it's raining sideways. I'm narrating all of this to my friend on the phone.

I spent the rest of the evening watching NBC5, which had infinitely better coverage than any of the other stations. David Finfrock is the man. The next day I taked to some friends who were living the CD area and they had a much scarier experience, of course.

#12 David Love

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Posted 29 March 2007 - 08:57 AM

I was as work, as usual, did call a few friends closer to downtown, they were taking support calls under their desks.

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#13 Keller Pirate

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Posted 29 March 2007 - 09:29 AM

I wasn't going to post my story because it is dull compared to Chris' but I will since others have.

I was at work at the BNSF HQ on Western Center Ave. I was on the 6pm to 6am shift. The person I had relieved on the day shift said he was going DT to meet his wife and kids. His daughter was taking ice skating lessons at the Tandy outlet center.

BNSF contracts with a private weather service in K.C. called WeatherData. Shortly after 6pm they issued an alert for a tornado to hit DTFW at 630 pm. One of the guys on the evening shift called the fellow that was headed DT around 610pm to warn him of a tornado at 630 pm. He brushed off the threat and said he was almost DT and no worries.

He was wrong, he told us that when the sirens went off they evacuated to the restrooms. His wife had left her purse out at the rink and he went back to get it. He said it was 629 pm on the digital clock when the skylight crashed down as he was running with the purse. His pickup was damaged when a window frame went throught the door. He also said he had a set of window blinds from an unknown building in the back of his truck.

Back at the building on Western Center everyone had gone to the doors to look out for a tornado. The Network Operations Center or NOC was built to withstand a tornado. It does not have windows and is sometimes referred to as the hardened shell. That is why so many people went to the doors because that was the only way to see out. There is a preschool/child care center nearby and those children were allowed into the building for safety. Also some employees that were on duty called their families at home and had them come down for safety also.

After the people at the doors could hear the city sirens sounding the BNSF security people finally sounded the internal alarms around 640pm. Employees groused for years that they had waited until after the tornado had passed to sound the alarm, but everyone knew there was a tornado and they just sounded the alarm to get everyone away from the doors and back to work. No one saw the tornado because the clouds and heavy rain made it so dark you couldn't see across the street anyway let alone all the way to DTFW.

#14 Holden

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Posted 29 March 2007 - 11:52 AM

An hour before touchdown, I drove east on 7th into downtown, turned left onto Throckmorton and right on Weatherford. And I can confirm: those were the greenest clouds I had ever seen. Very surreal trek!
Parked the company van in Hurst and drove to Grand Prairie. Was sitting in a fast food joint eating with my dad when we heard on the radio the reports of the tornado hitting downtown and reports of tornados in Arlington.

#15 texastrill

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Posted 29 March 2007 - 12:19 PM

I was on I-30,eastbound,between Riverside and Beach exits.We were riding three deep,coming from the northside.Before we got on 35,from 28th street,I said something dont look right,look at the color of the sky.Back then you had to circle around to get on 287 to go east on 30 or Lancaster.We made it just in time,cuz when I looked back at downtown it was going down.We probably hydro-planed it all the way to theOakland exit trying to outrun that bad boy
T E X A S T R I L L - G O C O W B O Y S

#16 cberen1

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Posted 29 March 2007 - 12:57 PM

I was on my way downtown from the Purina Mills plant to meet my friends for dinner at our usual hang out, Sundance Cafe (I think that's what it was called, where Daddyjack''s is now). I got a call at about 6:05 that we had decided to eat at Chili's on University instead. So I drove over there. It was relatively uneventful, but I was nearly at ground zero.

I went to a "Twister Dinner" last night at Joe T's with a bunch of lawyers from Harris, Finley & Bogle. They were on the 13th floor of the BankOne building when the tornado hit. They've got great stories about the storm and the aftermath. Every year they have a dinner on the 28th to commemorate the event and a toast at precisely 6:28 PM.

#17 John T Roberts

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Posted 29 March 2007 - 07:26 PM

March 28, 2000 was the day of the regular monthly meeting of the American Institute of Architects (AIAFW). Weather forecasts all week were for a severe outbreak of thunderstorms on that day. There was to be a building tour at 5:30 of the restoration of the Thompson's Bookstore, then after the tour, we were to meet at the Modern at Sundance Square to have a meal and then a presentation of the expansion of the Fort Worth Convention Center was to follow. I had a funny feeling at the office late that afternoon and I told my bosses that I was going to leave the office a little early because I wanted to park in a garage. My reasons for doing this was I felt there was going to be a "weather event" that evening and I wanted my truck to be protected. The truck had been pulverized in the May '95 hailstorm, and ever since I have been more cautious about going out when there was a threat of storms. I parked in City Center Garage 2.

We went on the building tour and we walked to the Sanger Building. In 1995, several bicycle riding architects were attending the Cowtown Classic dinner on the night of the hailstorm. A few of us that were in that storm were commenting on how the skies were turning dark and it reminded us of the day the hailstorm hit. Soon we started seeing some debris in the sky, but we couldn't see what was coming because the lease space in the Sanger Building faces east.

As we were seeing the winds pick up, we heard the breaking of glass close by, so we all immediately ran into an enclosed room on the north wall of the space. Before we were across the gallery space the window that we were just standing in front of was shattered. We could hear the winds howling for just a couple of minutes, and after it calmed down, we went outside to take a look and saw all of the broken glass, computers, chairs, window blinds, and all sorts of debris on the streets. We then looked toward the west and saw the Bank One Tower in its state of destruction. The meeting was cancelled and we all went home.

In all my years of living in Fort Worth, I had seen funnel clouds off in the distance before, but it was my first time being in a tornado. I also had my camera with me because of the building tour, and I probably took some of the first photographs of the aftermath because I was in the right place at the right time for this.

#18 safly

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Posted 29 March 2007 - 08:23 PM

I was soaking my toes in the warm S.California Pacific. I think I had a fish taco plate for lunch and needed to get away from the hustle and bustle of the daily sales calls that day. The short commute to the local Redondo Beach Pier was easy to handle, remembered seeing so many beautiful women rollerblading the nearby STRAND. It was crazy to say the least. There were sooo many fishermen out on the pier too, must have been some good catch reelin in that day.

It was a nice 70 degreesish mid afternoon. Happy Hour was just upon us, so I called up the BOYZ and geared everyone up for some 25 cent wings and half price lobster tail buckets and draught beer at the local Baja Bar in Manhattan Beach. Man did I eat myself STOOPID, AGAIN. Well, as we were tuning in to some local early evening news channel, a TEXAS story was coming up. So probably being her only native son there, I asked the bartender to turn it up (You know, like that FREEDOM ROCK hippie). So he obliged and it was pretty scary stuff to see and hear about a tornado hitting the areas of FW/D, having always heard about them being more prevalent in KS or OK. I was also planning to move back to TX in the coming year (lucky for you guys). Come to think of it, I believe they had FINFROCK on a LIVE feed at the time. Must have been the first time I've heard of him, and I do remember the excellent reporting. You get so bogged down with the weathermen out in sunny L.A. CA, and to be a meteorologist in S.California is pretty much meaningless 350 days out of the year. I guess depending on them in TX had me always glued to the L.A. weather reports, as if something eventful was going to break in the sky over there. I was floored to say the least, a little bit of anxiety on my mind with what was being reported back home. So much that I called my folks up and warned them to take cover, not really knowing how far FW was to SA at the time. Yep, I ate and drank plenty pretty early that day, Mom could tell. And then the babes from the nearby beach started to march on in to the bar, so then the REAL happy hour began. cool.gif

Those were the days. Glad to see FW REBUILD from that.
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#19 cbellomy

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Posted 29 March 2007 - 10:09 PM

John, I think your story is scarier than mine. Yikes.

Do you have those photos in digital form?


#20 Fort Worthology

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Posted 29 March 2007 - 10:25 PM

QUOTE(cbellomy @ Mar 29 2007, 11:09 PM) View Post

John, I think your story is scarier than mine. Yikes.

Do you have those photos in digital form?


http://www.fortworth...com/tornado.htm

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#21 cbellomy

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Posted 29 March 2007 - 10:46 PM

QUOTE(Atomic Glee @ Mar 29 2007, 11:25 PM) View Post

QUOTE(cbellomy @ Mar 29 2007, 11:09 PM) View Post

John, I think your story is scarier than mine. Yikes.

Do you have those photos in digital form?


http://www.fortworth...com/tornado.htm


Obvious? What's obvious? tongue.gif

(Ugh. Thanks, Kevin.)


#22 cberen1

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Posted 30 March 2007 - 07:35 AM

QUOTE(Atomic Glee @ Mar 29 2007, 11:25 PM) View Post

QUOTE(cbellomy @ Mar 29 2007, 11:09 PM) View Post

John, I think your story is scarier than mine. Yikes.

Do you have those photos in digital form?


http://www.fortworth...com/tornado.htm


John, would be willing to update the tornado page with pictures of the same buildings 7 years later? Except for UPR (Carter Burgess), each one of the buildings has had or is about to have a real transformation.

Cavalry - Pier1
Mallick - Blue Glass
Cash America - New Skin
Bank One - The Tower
Tandy - pending...

#23 Willy1

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Posted 31 March 2007 - 06:33 PM

Wow - that is a crazy story. I was in my house which took a direct hit from the Tornado. Like you said, Yay insurance! I had a check in my hand in 48 hours!

#24 cjyoung

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Posted 04 April 2007 - 11:41 AM

I was going south on 360 and after heading west on I-20 a tornado crossed in front of my path near the old Johnson and Johnson complex. I've never been that scared in my life.

#25 vjackson

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Posted 04 April 2007 - 12:03 PM

I had driven downtown from my old southside neighborhood to get one of those delicious mini banana bunt cakes from Corner Bakery. (I got one to eat on the short drive home and another for later. ) On the way home I stopped at the old Shamrock gas station (I think it's some sort of deli now) on 8th avenue. As I was pumping gas, I got a clear view of the twister's appproach to DTFW. It was an awesome sight. I missed it hitting downtown by maybe five minutes. It may be kind of strange, but I wish I was downtown when it hit. I knew I should have gotten gas first...but oh those bunt cakes are sooooo delicious.

#26 John T Roberts

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Posted 04 April 2007 - 07:16 PM

When I have some time, I will put up some comparisons in the buildings.

#27 cbellomy

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Posted 06 April 2007 - 03:06 PM

QUOTE(cjyoung @ Apr 4 2007, 12:41 PM) View Post

I was going south on 360 and after heading west on I-20 a tornado crossed in front of my path near the old Johnson and Johnson complex. I've never been that scared in my life.


Are you the one who got the traffic barrel stuck on the hood? smile.gif

Seriously, could actually see the thing? If so, how? It was well after sunset by then, wasn't it?


#28 John T Roberts

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Posted 17 March 2008 - 08:28 PM

The 8th Anniversary of the March 2000 Tornado is 11 days away and Jim Douglas of Channel 8 came by my office late in the day to interview me about the boom in downtown development since the storm. The story appeared on the 6 PM newscast.

#29 bburton

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Posted 17 March 2008 - 09:45 PM

Nice telecast. Congratulations, John. Well done. smile.gif

Bruce Burton
 


#30 John S.

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Posted 18 March 2008 - 10:55 AM


I remember...
WFAA Channel 8 announced a possible Tornado going into downtown Fort Worth and within seconds, all family members were standing on our Samuels Avenue back porch watching downtown experiencing the storm. I think at the time, no one realized the extent of the damage. I had been doing some contract work for the Renaissance Worthington Hotel downtown so I called the maintenance surpervisor afterwards to see how the hotel fared. He said many windows were broken out and he could use some emergency help to board up the gaping holes. I told him I would be there shortly but found a police barricade barring anyone from entering the downtown area. After over an hour of waiting and a couple of anxious calls back to the hotel, I was finally granted access to cross the baricade and I walked on foot to the Hotel. A hotel employee and I boarded up 20+ windows, finishing around 2 AM. The supervisor thanked me and I declined any compensation except to hitch a ride in his Jeep back home on Samuels. I could not believe the extent of damage to downtown, The sound of glass falling out of buildings and shattering on the streets was like a thousand wind chimes going at once. This was not a good time to take a downtown stroll!

By coincidence, I'd also been in Wichita Falls during it's infamous F-5 Tornado in 1978. Also experienced the Mayfest hailstorm-weather in Texas can be frightening in its intensity. Living here is not for the faint of heart. We are now approaching Spring and for North Texans that means keeping an eye on the sky. Stay alert and stay safe!

John S.

#31 txrdside

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Posted 18 March 2008 - 03:04 PM



I would have hated to have been washing my car next door at the car wash when the winds bent this metal sign. Supports were still there as a reminder until recently. Now gone, new construction on spot.


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#32 Fort Worthology

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Posted 18 March 2008 - 03:47 PM

QUOTE (txrdside @ Mar 18 2008, 04:04 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I would have hated to have been washing my car next door at the car wash when the winds bent this metal sign. Supports were still there as a reminder until recently. Now gone, new construction on spot.


Unless plans have changed, the poles will be coming back as a piece of sculpture in the plaza in front of the new post office - that's what the construction is.

- Architecture/urban planning/transit blogger, Fort Worth Weekly

Fort Worth District 9 Zoning Commissioner


#33 cajunmike

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Posted 18 March 2008 - 05:09 PM

That was the one that hit Fort Worth in 2000 right? A friend and I were at the golf driving range on 35 south and were driving home when it started to rain and get real dark. My wife had just left her office high office on main street downtown right before to take our daughter to get a prom dress. Man what a night.
Several of my wifes co workers were caught in the building but were not injured. That was the last time we saw the old Bank One or Tower before it sat for years before being turned into condos.
Mike

#34 Stormrunner77

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Posted 25 March 2008 - 08:37 PM

I remember that day! I was working for a small ISP on the 13th for of the then Chase Texas Tower. I had taken a call from a client and heard his weather radio go off during our conversation. My schedule had me out of downtown in plenty of time to get home down in Crowley, but I remember the wind had already started whipping when I left about 4:15ish. I watch the NBC5 feed with Frinfrock from home while on the phone with my coworkers. They were so oblivious as to what was going on, they thought it was just another bad thunderstorm. The TV images were nasty, but seeing downtown enrobed in a dark green cloud was a sight I'll never forget.

#35 courtnie

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Posted 28 March 2008 - 08:59 PM

I do remember. I left Irving early and had just gotten out of DTFW to White Settlement and was outside watching it swirl by as my family wanted to go to the cellar... It totaly demolished my high school...

#36 John T Roberts

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Posted 26 March 2010 - 08:48 PM

Sunday, March 28, 2010 marks the 10th Anniversary of the Tornado. I can't believe that it has been 10 years. Even though that was a tragic event, downtown looks much better than it would had the tornado not struck. Would anyone like to make comments?

#37 Brian Luenser

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Posted 27 March 2010 - 06:20 AM

Surely no secret that the ruins of the 2000 tornado has set my wife and I up with a great life in Downtown Fort Worth. And to think I was really looking forward the the historic implosion scheduled for this Bank One Building...

The whole living in a skyscraper thing was really what I was gearing toward my entire life. When I was a little boy in Chicago I marveled at the tall buildings that my relatives worked in. I was being drawn in to both City living and Skyscraper living. (Have never worked in a building taller than 2 stories)

I think I previously shared this magazine with my fellow Forum Members, but here it is again. 360West magazine. (A real Fort Worth Publication) They did a little piece on the 10 anniversary of the tornado. Including using my picture and a little write up about me. It is on page 35 of this March issue.

http://www.bluetoad....?i=32560&page=1

(360WestMagazine.com gets you to the site also and then go to archives for last month's issue)

The most sophisticated, best operating web site I have ever seen. I don't know how they do it or why everyone else is not using there technology for an on line magazine. Just beautiful. Very fast and useful. I admit I never heard of the magazine until they contacted me to see if I had a good picture of the Tower. Funny, I have less pics of the Tower than any building in town. (I know what my building looks like.) My photo they used in their magazine was way cropped and then made into a full page photo. (One of the benefits of a 20 meg picture) It was not a Tower pic but a pic of downtown I took 2 months ago wandering around in the dark.
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#38 jefffwd

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Posted 27 March 2010 - 08:25 AM

Before and After...












What a difference a decade makes! smilewink.gif

#39 817.TX.

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Posted 27 April 2010 - 10:12 AM

My parents were staying in Lynwood Park neighborhood at the time one block from Montgomery Wards! I had just got off work and headed over to see them!! We noticed the wind picking up and (cause the front door was opened). I got up to take a look and dirt and leaves starting hitting me in the face through the screen door! At that moment the Tornado alarms went off!! I rushed to close the door I then turned around and told my wife to grab the kids get in the hall way (middle of the house). Just as we got everyone into the hallway, there was this eerie silence!! Then all at once all the windows blew, the front and back door flew open. We kept our heads down as we huddle in the hallway!! I did take a peek looking up only once to see glass, books, papers and everything else that could fly floating in a circular motion in the middle of the living room! I would compare the boom that we heard to a freight train roaring right thru the living room! A few moments had passed as we came to our senses of what just occurred!! We had no electricity and it was still raining! me and my older brother went outside to survey the damage to my parents house. It was only minimal compared to the house two houses over and across the street (completely gone). As we walked down the street to check on neighbors a man runs out of one of the houses that was destroyed with blankets yelling and bleeding "who needs blankets" we looked at him and immediatly asked "do you need help you are bleeding"! He declined and went on his way!! This day will forever live in my mind of what happened that day in march 2000.
Born and Raised in Ft. Worth Texas.

Best believe I aint going no where!!

#40 Lori

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Posted 02 June 2010 - 02:22 PM

Our daughter was in the magnet program at William James Middle School, and her band had gone on a field trip that day. We went to WJMS to pick her up, and they arrived home about 10 minutes before the tornado hit. The school was the local tornado shelter, so there were a ton of people there, from all over the neighborhood, plus the parents and kids from the band. We waited it out, and when we were driving home we discovered that it had hit downtown (I was supposed to start a job in Tandy Tower 1 the next week, but didn't get to because of the damage), and several other areas, but had kind of hopped/skipped right around where we were. We felt very blessed.

#41 mulligan69

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Posted 02 September 2010 - 12:49 PM

Oh boy do I remember. Was then (as i am now) working in Tower 1 of the City Center towers. It was the Chase building back then - but yes, I was still at work. From the 28th floor we saw the storm coming in, but we thought nothing of it because we had seen hundereds over the years. Things started to change when we began hearing sirens - the sky darkened, and debris started filling the skies and swirling like never before. Soon after that the sirens in the building went off and City Center security started running thru our floors. They made us vacate to the fire escapes - we rode out the storm there. After a while, we were allowed to return but highly encouraged to go home. The scene down below and across the way was devestating - look like a war scene. Much of downtown was closed off the next day and the firm officially closed. It was very bizarre and sad for those directly affected.

#42 AndyN

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Posted 28 March 2011 - 04:05 PM

Bump.
Www.fortwortharchitecture.com

#43 John T Roberts

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Posted 28 March 2011 - 04:14 PM

Well, this thread should be bumped because today is the 11th anniversary of the tornado.

#44 Brian Luenser

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Posted 28 March 2011 - 08:14 PM

Not to repeat my response from previous years, but Fort Worth is a much better place in many ways because of the tornado. Several buildings look great after the remodel. Some substandard building were removed completely.
Tragic loss of life and you have to feel bad for all the poor people in the near West side community (on the West side of Montgomery Plaza) that lost their homes and had no insurance.

But It sure enough gave me an opportunity to fulfill a lifelong dream of living in a skyscraper in the city. (The Tower being a condo structure in lieu of tearing the tornado damaged bank building down.) It has been the best 5 years of my life. Fort Worth would be a very different place had this huge building been demolished. Downtown would likely be not much at all really. It needed the skyscraper. It needed 300 condos that were sold near instantly. (Pretty much in 6 weeks.) Many of us are not much in the way of renters. We wanted to own, and downtown. The options were pretty thin. And if you wanted to live high up, there were no options above 3 floors. (to own)

Once again, I have had an unsolicited offer from somebody to buy my condo. (A letter was sent to me, more on that another day)... For a hunk more than I paid for it. I will likely not turn it down. So I am looking for a new home tonight. As I love the Tower, I am hoping to find another place here. I am looking at larger units. Have been wanting a bigger place. Not huge but bigger. (Go from 1100 sq. ft. to 1600) I am looking at all options. Le Bijou, Art house condos, Hospital district Townhouses, Villa De Leon. But would be hard to leave the Tower as I can't get high enough. (Charley Sheen comes to mind there) I would live on the 165th floor of a building if it was in Fort Worth and within a reasonable price. The Tower has been great. In 5 years have never heard a neighbor. (In any of my 3 condos) Pretty much soundproof. We hear downtown, but it was here before us. And we are used to concerts in the summer. I love it all, except for Violence Night. (Fight night) It is for for guys that like to watch men sweat and bleed and suffer. No thanks.

I really like some of the townhouses in the Hospital district. (Magnolia area). I do think it is a bit creepy living next to pain and agony. The one townhouse is RIGHT NEXT to the place I recently had a colonoscopy. (Don't make me post the pics...) Would be easy for me to live next to a cemetery. (Peace and quiet, no more pain.) In fact that would be my favorite neighbor. Best guess? A bigger unit in the Tower. Unfortunately, lower. There is nothing higher for less than 1.3mm or so. And a couple of grand a month in dues and a couple grand a month in taxes. Just couldn't do it. Bet I wind up on 26 or so.

I would love to live in the Omni, of course. I think I will at some point. I am heading in that direction. But pretty pricey. Likely worth it. I would not use any of their services however. No use for a message, or somebody to walk my cat. Or someone to shine my $19. Target shoes. But I am crazy about the building and the exact location. I have a friend there at the top. Too fine. Expect to join him there in the years to come.
www.fortworthview.com

#45 jefffwd

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 09:04 AM

Just saw this on the City Data forum... Don't think I have ever seen this shot - it looks like a war zone!

Posted Image

#46 johnfwd

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 05:45 AM

The devastating tragedy in Moore, Oklahoma, yesterday should be a reminder that we in Fort Worth are probably less prepared to survive a 200-mph tornado wall than they were. Do we have underground shelters? I don't live downtown but I work here and wonder where to go if a bigger one than March 2000 returns to DTFW. Since then downtown has become more populated as the Tower, the Santa Fe Depot, and numerous other multi-family residential projects have been developed here.

#47 Volare

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 07:34 AM

There are Fallout shelters all around downtown- there used to be signs up everywhere. I know there was one in the federal building. Hopefully they haven't all been filled with file cabinets, but who knows?



#48 Brian Luenser

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 05:49 PM

Tornado's is a great reason to live downtown.  They same tornado that hit the Tower in 2000, that did not injure anybody in the building, would have likely squashed me like a bug in my house.  As far as an F5 tornado, you cannot design for one and shouldn't.  They are just too rare.  It is like making your home able to withstand a large meteor.  Not that it couldn't come in handy but it wouldn't.  (Better chance of winning the powerball.)  

 

If the weather warning sirens sound, there are also many underground levels to go to in this big building and most.  My favorite place is under the parking garage.  The parking garage would likely withstand an F-4 I would think.  (The F-2 surely did not faze it.)


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#49 hankjr

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Posted 25 May 2013 - 12:16 PM

The Weather Channel just had a question " how often is a tornado likely to strike same place" and the answer was( 2nd time) 2000 years.  They must have filmed that before the Moore, Ok. events.



#50 John T Roberts

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Posted 28 March 2015 - 04:21 PM

Today is the 15th Anniversary of the Fort Worth Tornado.  I thought I would just make add a post to remind everyone.  I'm glad we had nice weather today. 






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