Extreme Weather Hits Home – Weblog

February 15, 2008

Unusual February Tornados

Filed under: High Winds — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , — John Banta @ 5:15 am


Last month I posted that we were experiencing unusually early tornadoes in January. This unusual activity is continuing on into February with deadly results. Tornados can occur in any month, but they usually don’t become frequent until April peaking in August. This year we have already had a record setting number of tornados (291 by February 14th).  According to the Institute for Business and Home Safety

“In 2001, a total of 1,081 tornadoes hit 43 states and killed 37 people.” “The only other year on record when the total number of tornadoes went over 1,000 was in 1973 when a record number of 1,102 twister hits.”



Pretty incredible!


On January 1, 2008 I started a new blog called 1:5:10:365. On it I am posting a daily tip for becoming a better steward for our homes and planet. Today I posted an out of order tip regarding emergency alert radios.

Please check out my new blog at: 



December 5, 2007

Contaminated vs Clean Water Intrusion

Filed under: Flooding — Tags: , , , , , — John Banta @ 4:38 pm

Recovering from flooding such as is presently happening in the Northwest requires different approaches depending on the circumstances. Falling rainwater is generally considered to be from a clean source and is much easier to quickly dry than if the water is from surface water flooding. When water floods the drainage channels it frequently overflows into the septic and sanitary sewer systems causing contamination to be released. Either type of event can result in mold growth if sensitive materials are not dried promptly, but contaminated water presents additional risks to health. The flooding in New Orleans resulted not only in microbiological contamination, but chemical release contamination as well. All of these factors need to be considered when attempting to recover from flooding.

Buildings that got wet because of rain water entry from wind damaged roofs have little risk from contamination being present in the water that entered, but mold can begin to develop if materials like gypsum board paper and insulation are not dried rapidly. Professional drying may be able to save these types of materials if it is started in the first 72 hours. After that the situation needs to be evaluated to determine if mold has grown. It won’t always develop after 72 hours, but it does need to be investigated.

Ground or surface water entering the building needs to be treated as contaminated. For additional emergency flood recovery information see the post below for information about the IICRC and working with certified water damage firms. 

October 14, 2007

Areas of Increasing and Decreasing Rainfall

Filed under: Rising Temperatures — Tags: , , — John Banta @ 5:07 am


Map shows areas of increasing and decreasing rainfall. In spite of increasing rain in the western U.S. desertification is increasing since warmer temperatures tend to dry the soil creating more run-off that can’t recharge aquifers.

Source: USDA

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