Mark Twain wrote: Do not undervalue the headache. While it is at its sharpest it seems a bad investment; but when relief begins, the unexpired remainder is worth $4 a minute.
Category: Nonfiction: Science
Average Rating: 4.0
Examines Oklahoma's deadly May 1999 storm, which spawned seventy-one tornadoes including one that was the most powerful F5 ever recorded, with winds over three hundred miles per hour. Interweaves victim accounts with narrative on the evolution of meteorology and the development of the Fujita scale for measuring cyclone strength.
This is one of the scariest books I have ever read. I well remember the night this storm hit Oklahoma City, because the storm moved north and also struck Wichita, Kansas, where I was visiting. We had buried my father in law that day. My wife and kids were eating out with her family. I was eating out with my best friend and his wife when the storm hit. We weren't sure we were ever going to get back to my friend's house, so many streets were blocked or partially blocked by downed trees and debris. We also weren't sure there would be a house when we got there. Fortunately, my friend's property had no serious damage, just debris in the yard left by the tornado. Many others in Wichita and Oklahoma City were not as lucky. This book does a great job describing the devastation of this terrible storm. I have vowed to immediately head to my basement whenever I hear a tornado warning for my area.
This is a fascinating and enlightening book. Descriptions of the storms mingled with stories about the scientists and victims makes for very interesting reading. And Kerry Dukin's narration is quite satisfactory.
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