02/06/09 158 W, 1 I - + 19 - 16 Tornado Staging, November 28, 1988

For your Friday enjoyment, here's an aerial view of the command post and staging area at Townridge Shopping Center on Highway 70, the morning after a tornado plowed through northwest Raleigh on November 28, 1988. The 1:00 a.m. storm struck with virtually no warning, killing two and injuring 102 others. The shopping center was also the site of a K-Mart store that was flattened by the storm. One employee was trapped in the debris for over two hours. Here's the wider view of the below picture, taken by CCBI photographer Gary Knight. Raise your hand if you're pictured below. Staged fire apparatus and EMS vehicles are easy to spot. Same with fuel trucks. The command post is toward the top, a CAT bus, the RFD command vehicle, and what's probably the Wake SO command bus. News vehicles on the right of the frame. More about the tornado, and still more about it. Click to enlarge:

Gary Knight Photo

My strongest memory of that morning, riding around the damaged areas after daylight, was the smell of pine. Everywhere, the smell of pine.
Legeros - 02/06/09 - 08:39

Well, Mike…if you tear up a bunch of pine trees, well, you wind up with the smell of pine everywhere…I remember the same thing when they went through Johnston County.
DJ - 02/06/09 - 14:06

I was just off the bottom of the photo sleeping amongst the grocery carts at the Winn Dixie with about 100 others who had been up all night. Not comfortable, but at least not standing in turnout boots still.
Olson - 02/06/09 - 15:57

I was on duty at station 18 that night. I remember the strong pine smell myself, but my strongest memory, which to this day still haunts me was the temperature. Any night its warm and windy, I remember. I also remember how cold it got afterwards, being wet, and remaining on duty till 3pm.
[The Rooster] (Email) - 02/18/09 - 17:44

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