As a Manhattan native for 20+ years, I obviously am not afraid of storms. I think it just goes with the territory of living here. If you live here and the sirens go off, you do one of two things. 1) Ignore them. 2) Go outside and look at the storm. One thing you don’t do is take cover. That’s for quitters.
It’s been said that Manhattan has a unique location relative to the local landscape and as such is immune to tornados in the normal sense. This, of course, is completely unfounded, but seems to hold water because the city itself hasn’t been struck by any type of major damage in a very long time, before my time at least. I can count the number of times there have been serious storms in and around Manhattan on my two hands. Only two times that I can recall has there even been a tornado (read tornadic winds, i.e. rotating wind) within city limits. And even when they were within city limits there wasn’t any significant damage. Once there was some roof damage to the old Wal-Mart, but that was it. I guess there was another tornado that went just south of town, just south of the Holiday Inn and it did some damage to a farm, but still.
Last night Ben, Kara, Becky, and myself were at the rec when the tornado sirens in Manhattan went off. As usual my, and Ben, who is likewise a Manhattan native, response was “Meh.” However, that was not the response of the rec workers. They, on the other hand, felt the need to tell everyone to go downstairs into the basement. Regulations, phssh. So we sat and sat and sat some more. I refused to go downstairs with all the other drones. When glass starts breaking and the walls come a’ tumblin’ down, then I might go down, but until then, no, I’m sitting in this cushioned chair, damn it. I stole Kara’s portable radio and listened to K-Rock, attempting to figure out when I could go back to lifting, as our so-called Tornado Warning was to last for about 20-25 minutes. As per usual, it wasn’t near Manhattan at all. It was miles south, near I-70, moving east. Manhattan is north of I-70, bastards. Anywho, I felt like venting about how it was all pointless. Not only that, but they closed the rec after the warning was up. Waste of my damn time.