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Simulated OK Tornado Path Could Wipe Out Guilford County From Jamestown To Browns Summit

10:38 PM, May 22, 2013   |    comments
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Greensboro, NC- A mapping expert with the city of Greensboro created a simulation of the OK tornado by laying it across a Guilford County map.  The simulation illustrates the possible damage if Monday's Oklahoma twister were to hit the Piedmont.

Chris Freeman is a geographic information systems expert.  He's responsible for the mapping for the city of Greensboro by organizing and distributing data. Freeman also contributes to the city's emergency services by working closely with the police and fire departments.

Freeman was curious what the Oklahoma tornado would have looked like here at home. He took data from the Severe Storms Laboratory in Oklahoma and placed the path on top of the city's mapping system.

"I counted about 17 schools, anywhere from private to day cares, high schools, two hospitals, several urgent care facilities, and a water treatment plant. So if that tornado had come through Greensboro, it would have been significant," said Freeman.

Freeman estimated that 23,763 properties would have been destroyed or severely damaged.  His simulation also showed a similar tornado could have flattened places like Friendly Center and Wesley Long Hospital.

When Freeman laid the simulated path across Greensboro, the magnitude of the Oklahoma devastation hit home.

"I don't know how that city is going to rebuild. I mean they're just devastated and just knowing what know about how cities work and everything, they've got a monumental task ahead of them."

Freeman listed the challenges the Moore, OK community will have ahead of them: rebuilding neighborhoods, re-establishing power, telecommunications, cell phones, the water and sewage system, and cleaning up the tons and tons of debris.

From a city stand-point, Freeman says the only way a community can rebound from such a disaster is by working together.

"Everyone would have to pull together. That's the only way to make it work and everyone would have to volunteer ad chip in," said Freeman.

WFMY News 2

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