Oklahoma Isn’t Called Tornado Alley For NothingPosted October 20, 2014
Anyone who lived in Oklahoma in 1999 knows the significance of the date May 3rd. On that date in 1999 74 tornadoes rampaged Oklahoma and Kansas, one of which was an EF5 twister in the Oklahoma City area. The strongest of those tracked for an hour and a half along a 38-mile path. The death toll in Oklahoma alone was 36.
In May of 2013, an EF4 tornado struck the Moore and Newcastle areas yet again, gaining national attention and sparking celebrities like Blake Shelton to hold the “Healing in the Heartland” benefit concert to help the cities rebuild. Two public schools were leveled, 24 people were killed and 377 people were injured [i].
Tornado Alley is Real
Although actors portray life in Tornado Alley in blockbusters like Twister, real life for Oklahoma residents is anything but a scene in a movie. According to Live Science, the average number of tornadoes that occurred in the month of May in the last decade in Tornado Alley is 298. Oklahomans are schooled at an early age how to “duck and cover,” and what to do when tornado sirens call. Just as firefighters encourage families to have escape plans in case of home fires, meteorologists in Tornado Alley remind families of the steps they need to take to prepare for the inevitability of a tornado striking their home.
Why Does Tornado Alley Get So Many Tornadoes?
There are scientific explanations related to the geography and climate of what is referred to as Tornado Alley. The plains of Middle America get very hot, which creates updrafts and there are also many thunderstorms. This is a common time for tornadoes to form, when unstable hot air near the ground rises and meets the cooler air above in the thunderclouds. Although tornadoes can form at any time, most form between March to August. While Texas may have the most tornadoes, Oklahoma typically has the most dangerous (F4 and F5) storms [ii].
Damage to Property and People
Residents in Tornado Alley must be prepared for both property damage and personal injury. Sadly, in the midst of immense personal tragedy, insurance doesn’t always solve the problems of victims of natural disaster.
At Bennett and Smith, our Oklahoma Insurance Bad Faith lawyers focus on helping residents who are treated unfairly by their insurer. We protect policyholders with a wide variety of insurance claims, contact us today to get started on yours!