Wednesday, January 17, 2018
News Roundup

Q&A: What's the fastest recorded speed for a tornado?

Fastest twister reached 318 mph

What is the fastest speed ever recorded for a tornado and a hurricane?

The tornado that hit the Oklahoma City suburbs of Bridge Creek and Moore on May 3, 1999, registered a wind speed of 318 mph, the highest on record, according to the National Weather Service. It was measured by a truck-mounted Doppler radar unit called Doppler on Wheels.

The tornado that hit Moore on May 20 had estimated wind speeds between 200 and 210 mph.

Cyclone Olivia, which hit Australia in 1996, had wind speeds measured at 253 mph, according to the Hurricane Research Division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Hurricane Camille, which hit Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida in 1969, and Hurricane Allen, which hit Mexico and southern Texas in 1980, had estimated wind speeds of about 200 mph. But "such winds are inherently going to be suspect as instruments often are completely destroyed or damaged at these speeds," according to the Hurricane Research Division's website.

Few basements in Oklahoma

Oklahoma and Kansas are in Tornado Alley, so why don't they have basements?

Cost is one of several factors why more homes in Oklahoma don't have basements, according to published reports. Mike Barnett, a custom home builder in Oklahoma, told CNN.com that a small basement would cost $15,000 to $20,000, adding that none of the houses in his recent 51-home development have one. He said about 2 percent of Oklahoma City area residents have basements and about 10 to 15 percent "have some kind of cellar."

Low appraisals for homes with basements — basement space is not reflected in property appraisals, according to The Oklahoman newspaper — discourage people from having them built. Caleb McCaleb of McCaleb Homes told the paper that myths about the red clay soil and water level in the state keep people from building basements. "If the basement is designed correctly, then water intrusion and ground movement are not problems with a residential basement," he told the newspaper.

Mike Hancock of Basement Contractors Inc. told CNN.com that more Oklahoma home buyers are turning to basements. "I've got 32 basements to put in the ground right now," he said.

According to 2005 data from the National Association of Home Builders, only 0.5 percent of homes built that year in the West South Central region of the United States had basements, the lowest percentage in the country. There is no ordinance in Moore, Okla., where 24 people were killed by tornadoes on May 20, that requires shelters in homes, schools or businesses.

Comments
Apple to build second campus, hire 20,000 in $350B pledge

Apple to build second campus, hire 20,000 in $350B pledge

Associated PressSAN FRANCISCO — Apple is planning to build another corporate campus and hire 20,000 workers during the next five years as part of a $350 billion commitment to the United States that will be partially financed by an upcoming windfall f...
Updated: 25 minutes ago
‘All I see is fire’: 911 calls released from Florida casino boat fire

‘All I see is fire’: 911 calls released from Florida casino boat fire

PORT RICHEY — The first call came into emergency dispatch at 4 p.m. on Sunday from shore, reporting a ‘‘giant’’ boat on fire in the Pithlachascotee River."It’s urgent," the caller said.Others followed quickly, one woman crying as she described from h...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Gibsonton man faces 50 counts of child porn

Gibsonton man faces 50 counts of child porn

GIBSONTON — A 46-year-old man was arrested Wednesday by Florida Department of Law Enforcement agents on 50 counts of possession of child pornography and one count of promoting a sexual performance by a child.Authorities said they received several tip...
Updated: 3 hours ago

He still has nightmares: Deckhand recalls prior casino boat fire

Cory Byrd said he still has nightmares about the smoke. In them, he is back in the cabin of the Express Shuttle II, scrambling to reach the white rectangle of an open door. The smoke was so thick, he said, you could barely see an outstretched hand. ...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Wallaby bounds down Sydney Harbour Bridge; North, South Korea to march as one in Olympics; more in world news

Wallaby bounds down Sydney Harbour Bridge; North, South Korea to march as one in Olympics; more in world news

AustraliaWallaby infiltrates Sydney bridgeA wayward wallaby disrupted downtown traffic by bounding across the Sydney Harbor Bridge on Tuesday with police in pursuit. The adult male was captured without any apparent serious injury and is expected to b...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Pinellas sheriff, feds announce changes to controversial immigrant detention policy

Pinellas sheriff, feds announce changes to controversial immigrant detention policy

LARGO — For years, county sheriffs in the United States have faced a quandary when asked by federal officials to hold undocumented immigrants in their local jails. They could continue to hold them for up to two days past the time they were legally fr...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Water Street Tampa developers seek artist and design for $600,000 outdoor art near USF med school

Water Street Tampa developers seek artist and design for $600,000 outdoor art near USF med school

TAMPA — Water Street Tampa called Wednesday for artists to send in their ideas for a big piece of public art for the outdoor plaza between one of the $3 billion project’s office buildings and the new University of South Florida Morsani College of Med...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Tourism brought in record $112 billion to Florida in 2016

Tourism brought in record $112 billion to Florida in 2016

Tourism brought in a record $112 billion to Florida’s economy in 2016, up about 3 percent from 2015, according to Visit Florida figures released Wednesday. About 10 percent — $88 billion — of the state’s gross domestic product came from tourism in 20...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Time to carbo load: Three new bakeries include an Australian bakery, second La Segunda

Time to carbo load: Three new bakeries include an Australian bakery, second La Segunda

LA SEGUNDAA Tampa Bay giant has stirred and is on the move. La Segunda Central Bakery, a family-owned Ybor City institution for nearly 103 years (they celebrated that birthday Jan. 15) and the largest producer of Cuban bread in the world, will open a...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Temperatures falling fast; freeze warnings issued for Tampa Bay

Temperatures falling fast; freeze warnings issued for Tampa Bay

UPDATE: The National Weather Service has issued freeze warnings for Pinellas, Hillsborough, Pasco, Hernando, Manatee and Sarasota counties.A cold air mass is moving southward through the Florida peninsula dropping temperatures across the Tampa Bay ar...
Updated: 5 hours ago