Thursday, March 23, 2006

Going The Distance

From The Kansas City Star:
FORDLAND, Mo. — Matt Suter can’t get the tornado out of his head — or his ears.

Every time a late-night freight train thunders past, Suter wakes up and remembers the vicious twister that pulled him from his home March 12 and landed him in a pasture — a quarter-mile away.

Suter’s harrowing encounter has brought him sudden fame, with national media exposure. One tornado expert said he knew of no one who traveled as far as Suter did in a tornado and lived to tell about it.

“It’s a pretty awkward record to have,” the 19-year-old senior at Fordland High School said.

The soft-spoken Suter did not court attention about his experience, which was not reported publicly until a week after it happened...

...He was trying to shut a window in the living room, and his grandmother was in the kitchen, when the tornado struck, he said.

“The window busted, and the door got sucked out,” Suter said. “I looked at my grandmother, and the walls were like Jell-O. The trailer was rocking back and forth. I jumped between the coffee table and couch, and I remember the trailer tipping.”
His grandmother, Linda Kelley, said Suter had hollered at her in the trailer, and when she came into the kitchen “I turned around to look at where he was, and that whole end of the trailer was just gone.”

A large heavy glass lamp struck Suter on the top of his head, knocking him unconscious, he said.

When he came to, Suter found himself in a soft, grassy pasture. Last week a global positioning satellite device used by National Weather Service meteorologist Dave Gaede measured the distance at 1,307 feet from the trailer site.
Quick question - so do trailer homes attract tornadoes?


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