National Geographic : 1987 Jun
Early warning saves lives in Edmond, Oklahoma Justbefore sunset on May 8, 1986, a small tornado formed in the clouds over northern Oklahoma City and touched down in neighboring Edmond. Tearing through a new subdivision, it destroyed 30 houses and damaged 193. Yet no one was seriously injured. The reason: People were prepared. A tornado watch had been issued for central Oklahoma that afternoon at 2:47. A line of severe thunderstorms stretched from Texas to Kansas, as seen in this infrared view (top right) from the GOES weather satellite. At 6:40 a tornado warning went out from the National NATIONAL CENTERF Weather Service when a wall cloud and large hail were reported. Several television stations broadcast live views of the funnel cloud as it approached Edmond. Tornado wise residents hid beneath mattresses in their bathtubs. The tornado hit at 7:18, sending a shower of sparks into the air (following page, center) when it struck a power trans former. Taking these photo graphs from his back door, THIS PAGE FOLDS OUT With explosive force a tornado blasts through a mobile-home park near Cheyenne, Wyoming, propelling deadly debris outward at highway speeds. Watching from a quarter mile away, Peter Willing took this photograph just before rushing to his basement; he lived to tell the story.