And as we said, more storms on the way tonight. Abc's weather editor, sam champion is on the ground. He's covered these storms for a decade. Tonight he tells us what he is seeing about how powerful... See More
And as we said, more storms on the way tonight. Abc's weather editor, sam champion is on the ground. He's covered these storms for a decade. Tonight he tells us what he is seeing about how powerful this storm really was. So sam, at one point we heard today it might have been the most severe storm. Now we're hearing it's the second level, maybe an ef-4? Reporter: Yeah, we need to just remind people that we are not categorizing the level of distress and horror that goes on these families that are under a storm. From my personal family experience, it's devastating. You lose everything, even in your family survives, and it takes decades and decades to recover from an event like this. But we look at the damage and categorize and better understand the strength of the storm. There are 28 different indicators from vegetation, to power lines, to the way cars and pushed and moved, to the damage on federal buildings that we look at. And the type of damage has to fit the criteria to get that level up to ef-5. Five is rarified tornadoes, very few tornadoes ever get there. But unfortunately I've been in seven ef-5 tornado zones just since 2007. It's been happening a lot too much recently. Take a look at this first picture. Plaza tower school. There are masonry walls torn apart. The entire structure is damaged and the area is coated with dirt and debris. But many walls are still intact. When you look at this building, you think that's an ef-4 damage because of the strength of the way the building is done. And the entire building isn't damaged or demolished. In the storm, there will be many levels of damage. Because you can catch the storm as it develops, or as it passes by, or you can catch the edge of the storm. But that's what happens when you look there. When you look at another picture, this is a horrifying picture, this shows the clear path of a storm, through a community, through an area of homes. You can see these homes are completely wiped out. This is the one that makes you grrour heart because these homes are flattened. On their foundation. Then I know we're talking about an epic event. I know we're talking about an ef-4, closer to an ef-5. When we go to greensburg, kansas, that tornado was so horrifying, it looked like they already cleaned the community. The debris was miles away from where it was taken off. The foundations were completely clean. Almost not a speck of dirt on them because that's how powerful that tornado was.
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