The Water Cooler – The Worst Storms

April 2, 2014 12:00 pm · 30 comments

The “Water Cooler” is a feature on where we ask you a question or provide a topic, and you talk about it!

The “Water Cooler” will be up Monday-Friday at noon!

Today’s question:

Yesterday’s storm in Claycord was fun, but it probably pales in comparison to many others that you’ve been through.

What is the worst storm you’ve ever experienced?

Talk about it….

Noj April 2, 2014 at 12:08 PM

I was on board a Navy ship in the South China Sea back in October 1970 when Super Typhoon Joan hit the Phillippines. One of the largest storms in history. If you were out on deck you had to pull yourself along, hand over hand, using a 5 inch manila line. Lots of respect for the open sea.

"Tornado rain" in Mississippi April 2, 2014 at 12:08 PM

When driving through Mississippi, we encountered the fiercest rain and lightning I’ve ever seen…so fierce that drivers could not see or control cars and had to pull off the road. Our grandmother, who had grown up in Kansas and was in the car, later told us that to avoid frightening us since there was nothing that we could do about it, but it was what they call “tornado rain.” She said when it storms like that, they expect a tornado and go into the cellar, but since there was no place to go for cover, all we did was pull to the side of the road.

Coggins Square April 2, 2014 at 12:13 PM

Hurricane Gloria in Rhode Island back in late September of 1985.

Steve April 2, 2014 at 12:16 PM

Driving through New Mexico in late July. We had to pull off the highway and seek shelter. Never seen rain like that

android user April 2, 2014 at 12:21 PM

Getting rained on after a suicidal fire hydrant.

Concordejet April 2, 2014 at 12:23 PM

never experience the worst storm but another topic should be “What dose it takes to be a good sketcher???

To be a good sketcher take a lot of practice to draw a person. if you love art than you can be a good sketcher. Searching for a suspect is not easy even for a good sketcher because criminals could be anywhere.never know where crooks goes.

Triple Canopy April 2, 2014 at 12:28 PM

In the Bering Sea on the USS Tripoli (LPH-10).. it rolled like a bathtub. The waves were so big that they crashed over the bow. An LPH is a helicopter carrier…. use your imagination.

Silva April 2, 2014 at 12:29 PM

Camp Seabow, located on 10 Mile Creek, near Laytonville Ca., July, 1967. The camp was very remote. This particular year the camp (Camp Fire Girls, Richmond Chapter) had a large number of African American girls. A generous Richmond business owner paid for LOTS of underprivelidged city girls to go to camp. Camp Seabow sleeping was in sleeping bags on metal cots under trees and stars. The storm came in at dusk. Every building was occupied through the night, including privies. Our group got lucky (I thought) and we had a small shed on a steep hill, ground level on the entrance side, on stilts in the rear, basically up in the air. Lightning lit the sky’s outside and inside all night. It was SO beautiful. I’d never heard it cracking and making the exploding noise before. My poor campmates who’d never slept outside before let alone experienced a storm so up close and personal were screaming and crying and in need of comforting hugs all night long, no one got any sleep. I remember being outside on the hillside before the torrential rain hit watching as the lightning zigziged through the mountains before our young counselor had to drag me in. There were no seconds between the lightning and the thunder.

Yikes April 2, 2014 at 12:29 PM

We were taking off in New Orleans in 1982 and reached about 15,000 feet in heavy rain, lightening and hit wind sheer. The plane dove I would guess 5,000 feet, flipped, spun and somehow pulled out of it.. We made it to Dallas/Fort Worth and I swore I would walk home from there if we made it. The flight attendants were freaking out, people screaming, we all thought it was the end. I did not fly again for 12 years.

JW April 2, 2014 at 12:34 PM

I haven’t really experienced really heavy storms on this side of the bay. When I was in Pacifica we had some pretty rough ones. When I was a kid, Linda Mar fooded and there were cars floating down the street. When I was in my 20’s, we saw houses fall into the ocean. Still, I don’t think El Nino is anywhere near as bad as other parts of the country where the weather seems pretty extreme.

NASA gal April 2, 2014 at 12:55 PM

Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans! Decimated my home. Best thing to ever happen to me though. Brought me back to Claycord! That place sucks you in; I probably never would have left on my own.

Iphone or die April 2, 2014 at 1:04 PM

Must be El Niño

Nuttsie the Nutter April 2, 2014 at 1:13 PM

Years ago we were camping in Oklahoma with our pop-up camper. The ranger came through the campground and told everyone to “baton down the hatches” as a huge storm with possible tornadoes was coming .

The roof of the camper was equipped with eye bolts at each corner to tie down a boat, so being a brilliant young man, I tied a rope to each eye bolt and then to a nearby rather small tree. I tied each rope about five feet up each tree.

The wind came, hard and strong. Have you ever noticed what happens to trees in the wind? Inside the camper was like being on an amusement park ride. Needless to say, I quickly went out and cut the ropes. Fortunately all I got was wet. No damage to us or the camper or anyone around us.

And yes, lesson learned. Never tie off high up a tree in a wind storm. Probably not my worst storm but the most memorable.

J April 2, 2014 at 1:20 PM

I was a radio DJ on a station in the panhandle of Texas. We had a tornado warning and I had to tell listeners to grab a portable radio and head for cover. Meanwhile I had to stay in the studio broadcasting, knowing I was sitting under a 450 ft. steel tower just outside the studio.

The scariest storms are the torrential downpours I’ve experienced while driving in Illinois and Florida, because of the other bozos on the road.

Missing the Point April 2, 2014 at 2:27 PM

The worst storm I ever experienced was in the movie Twister. That was crazy! Just glad everything worked out and they decided not to divorce. Storms save marriages, people!!

Dennis April 2, 2014 at 2:31 PM

E1967, I was in an experimental survival/E&E course at Ft. Devons Mass.
10 days outdoors.
Worst blizzard in 20 years hit.
We were doing “jungle training”, in cammies, in a blizzard 🙁
70% of the group got frostbite.
One guy, wading through a snowdrift, fell into an old foxhole, where a previous course had dumped ribbon (barbed) wire. He had to be cut loose from the entanglement with side cutters and lifted out with a hoist.
This was followed by 10 days “jungle training” in high desert of the Teas panhandle.
I knew two ways to find water after that; melt a snowball or cut the top off a cactus.
Never found either in the jungle 🙁

Dennis April 2, 2014 at 2:33 PM

E = End of
Teas = Texas

Danny April 2, 2014 at 3:07 PM

My GF and I were driving up to Cache Creek when it suddenly stormed that one day, the highway was flooding and we couldn’t see the lanes anymore. Cars on each side of us were just driving on random spots, and the hydroplaning along with the high winds pretty much steered my car where it wanted to. If I stopped, cars behind me would smack into me, and I couldn’t get enough control to pull to the side so we just plowed through it.

To top that off, the next song to begin playing on the playlist was Iron Maiden’s “Your Time Will Come” and it sure felt like it!

P.S. The free carwash was awesome and I really needed it too. 🙂

'ol Ollie April 2, 2014 at 3:27 PM

April 3 – 4, 1974 in Ohio. Mammatus clouds everywhere, then it hit Zenia, Ohio. I was about 11 miles SW of Zenia, but that was a bad one in the 1974 Super outbreak in the mid-west.

joplin, mo tornado, 2011 April 2, 2014 at 5:09 PM

Made me extra grateful for our calm bay area weather!

Julio April 2, 2014 at 6:25 PM

Being stranded in a flash flood in Koloa, Hawaii with my elderly father. I was there to bring him home after living out his retirement and I wasn’t sure either of us would make it home. whew!

Walnut Creek Resident April 2, 2014 at 9:09 PM

Driving alone in Utah I was in a tornado and led by a special truck that leads cars out of those storms. It was very strange. The sky was blue and then about three football fields ahead the sky was jet black and then the winds started lifting my car up and down and then it rained and hailed. Got out of that one!!! I did not know they had tornadoes!

Patches April 2, 2014 at 10:51 PM

I was born and raised down in Alabama
On a farm way back up in the woods
I was so ragged that folks used to call me Patches.
One day a strong rain came
and washed all the crops away!


biggus thinkus April 2, 2014 at 11:09 PM

Boy Scout national jamboree 1986?
Hurricane dropped down to a tropical storm by 2mph
when we were at Ft AP Hill, VA. 30,000 kids in tents (yeah, 15k tents over miles) when the sky opened up with wind and rain. maybe 10 of every 300+ tents were still up. poles and stakes flying thru the air, all this at about 85deg F.
it was the most awsome and terrifying and Humanizing experience
so rad

Suzanne April 2, 2014 at 11:51 PM

Could you really see through the storm WCR? Must have been terrible.

I'm The Urban Spaceman April 3, 2014 at 1:01 AM

Summit of Mt. Diablo in 60 mph winds while snowing…not the worst…just the most exhilarating.

Mustang Sally April 3, 2014 at 4:18 AM

@biggus thinkus, I remember being awestruck hearing about that in the news.

The Mamba April 3, 2014 at 7:55 AM

I generally like storms, but I was on a boat once in a hurricane and that became a bit more than I enjoyed. I clearly remember my dad at the helm while “Riders on the Storm” was on the radio.

Cowellian April 3, 2014 at 8:33 AM

biggus thinkus,
I remember reading about the 2005 Jamboree where several scout leaders were killed by lightning. Scary stuff!

macawlady April 4, 2014 at 9:36 AM

I used to live in Richmond. Back in the early 80’s, we had a storm so bad we lost power for more than 2 days. We managed somehow, but boy, it was rough! Fortunately, we had gas heat & stove, so staying warm wasn’t a problem. My mother had medication that needed to be refrigerated so we had to keep buying ice and putting it in a cooler. Hope I never have to go through that again. (and yes, I know 2 days isn’t long….I’m wimpy)

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