On Wednesday March 29, 2017 an EF-1 tornado ripped through the Azalea Place Apartment complex in South Western Houston, Texas. This tornado was about 50 yards wide, with 90 mile per hour winds, and traveled about .27 miles in total. Regardless of its small size, the damage that it inflicted could take up to months to repair. Some of the people directly damaged include two people who were in cars, one of which was bruised by debris which crashed through the roof. One lucky baby, was a literal baby who narrowly escaped pieces of the ceiling which fell in the crib. The residents of the ground floor apartments are drying out their homes as a result of subsequent flooding from this tornado. The good news is that there were no serious injuries and the American Red Cross is on the scene to help families who have been displaced.
90 mile per hour winds sound super fast, and this tornado is only an EF-1. It is weird to think that something that fast, would be considered small. What I find the most interesting about this story is the inclusion of the flooding in the ground-level apartments. The reasons that these apartments flooded was not listed, but I can only think of two reasons for the flooding. The first is that the winds caused a nearby body of water to blow into the apartment complex- which is really only possible if the apartment complex backs a pond, a lake, or a stream. The second possibility is that they strong winds caused damage to the apartment’s pipelines causing flooding. If the flooding is the result of the first case then it proves that disasters tend to perpetrate one another. If the second possibility is the real cause of the flooding then this shows how people can make a disaster so much worse, but more importantly it shows that building for disasters is essential. If this is an area which is prone to tornadoes then there must be some way in which the pipes can be built so they do not break once exposed to intense wind, or built in a location which ensures that falling debris will not break them.
The article talks about this tornado only hitting one specific Apartment complex, which just solidifies that tornadoes are some of the most unpredictable of all storms. The good news is that there were no serious injuries and no deaths.