Monday, November 10, 2008

Mapping the Parkersburg Tornado

On the Des Moines Register's webpage, they have a special interactive feature about the Parkersburg Tornado. After doing a little bit of research, I learned that this tornado was an EF-5 tornado: The strongest tornado category, with winds over 200 MPH. This tornado was over a mile wide, and had a 43-mile trek through Iowa on Sunday, May 25 2008.

The map is quite interesting. It definitely shows how far along the town is in rebuilding - the map is created in sections that you can click on for each lot. For nearly each lot, you can see before and after pictures, and sometimes even "latest pictures". For some of the properties, you can see absolutely nothing except plywood and debris instead of the house. It really is remarkable. For some of the properties, there is a story from the people who live/lived in the home talking about the ordeal of rebuilding, and how they survived the tornado. There are also video clips interviewing people who live in Parkersburg telling their stories. The after images, which should be noted, are pictures taken of each property 3 days after the tornado hit. It is definitely worth taking a look at - which I've been doing for the past 20 minutes. I'm pretty amazed that residents were able to survive this tornado in their basement, and watched as their house was lifted off its foundation above their heads. Unfortunately, it's also sad to note that a number of people did not survive this tornado - 7 people lost their life.

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