I was with my nine year old daughter and bunch of school kids participating in the annual Odyssey of The Mind Competition in Flowery Branch, GA. In case you didn't know, in the Flowery Branch area historical tornado activity is slightly above Georgia state average. It is 69% greater than the overall U.S. average.
On 3/27/1994, a category 4 tornado killed 3 people and injured 20 people and caused between $5,000,000 and $50,000,000 in damages.
ON 3/15/08, the tornado went past and over and around but didn't kill anyone in Flowerty Branch, Although hundreds of really smart kids and their fidgety parents were held hostage in the Flowery Branch High School while the threatening storms raged. Power hungry school officials and ratings eager TV weekend anchors created a larger storm inside 4 walls than outside. While children were forced into stinky windowless locker rooms and acoustically damped theaters for hours on end, some parents ran when security had their backs turned and holed in a local Mexican Restaurant where tequila and beer were in good supply. A dumped water glass in the lap of a particularly creative child made a trip to the local newly completed and thereby deemed incredibly SAFE Target store necessary. As an added bonus to the beleaguered crew of tornado chasers, the facility also housed a fully operational Starbucks. Here's one of the videos I shot. We saw the whole array from circular winds to black sky to slashing rain to hail to the whoo-whoo- sound and then the eerie calm- the silent shut off. It was freaking cool.