Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Tornado anniversary

I just saw a news story in remembrance of the 10th anniversary of the big tornado in Salt Lake City. Yes, it was August 10, 1999 when the F-2 tornado went through downtown Salt Lake City, killing one, injuring others, uprooting trees, etc. The news anchor said something like, "I think if you were living here at that time you remember exactly where you were and what you were doing when the tornado happened."

Watch one of the news stories here

I definitely remember where I was and what I was doing when I heard about the tornado. I was going door-to-door on the streets of Winnipeg as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. As we walked the other direction on a street we had been visiting, a woman I had talked with before came out of her house. "You're from Salt Lake City!" she said. "There was a tornado! You better call your family and make sure they're okay!"

Of course being from Salt Lake City, my first instinct was to say something like, "Excuse me, I thought you said tornado." Because, of course, tornadoes are not high on the Utah natural disaster list. Scientists have been predicting The Big Earthquake ever since I was a child, but we don't usually worry about tornadoes doing much damage in our mountain valley home.

But sure enough, the next day someone showed me a map in the newspaper that diagrammed the path of the tornado through downtown Salt Lake City. After that I didn't give it much more thought; I knew that my family was far from the path.

And so today, they remember the tornado in a news story. Must be a slow news day.

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