Terrifying photos: Tornado brings wind turbine blade down on El Reno, Okla., day care

Stunning images of damage are coming in following Friday’s deadly outbreak of tornadoes in the Oklahoma City area. Thankfully, ABC News meteorologist Ginger Zee reports that no kids were inside the child care facility at Canadian Valley Technology Center when it was hit by a wind turbine blade.

More photos of the major damage at the Canadian Valley Technology Center:

Good news:

  • CatHerder

    Maybe, just maybe it’s not such a hot idea to set up wind farms in tornado zones.

    • Beth Lott

      Tornados can happen anywhere and literally every single method of producing power carries some risk of killing somebody at some point. Life is dangerous and it will remain so regardless of where the wind farms are.

      • http://twitter.com/thetugboatphil TugboatPhil

        100 foot blades near schools or houses in Oklahoma or Kansas is kind of pre-loading the deck.

        • joe johnsson

          Did you miss the part where a school was destroyed in Moore?
          Maybe building schools in tornado zones is pre-loading the deck?

        • Guest

          That’s what I was thinking. I wonder what government regs were followed/not followed for the positioning of the one that fell on the daycare.

      • mickeyco

        They can happen anywhere, but are sure more likely to happen in OK, KS, etc. Makes it less sensible to have have wind farms in those locations.

        • Beth Lott

          Only if it also makes an equally small amount of sense for people living in or on a volcano to use geothermal energy. You put wind farms where there is wind. Oklahoma is great for wind farming precisely because of the broad, flat plains with few mountains or trees. It’s also worth asking whether the turbines were put up before the day care was.

          I realize that “renewable energy” is a big leftie talking point, but that does not make wind turbines bad by default, even when there are disasters involving them. No one was claiming that fertilizer plants should be forced out of residential neighborhoods after the explosion in West. And unlike this incident, that one did kill people.

          • http://twitter.com/MDMorris_1707 Michael Morris

            The fact that they are incredibly expensive to produce and don’t work very effectively makes them bad.

          • Beth Lott

            Now THIS I can get behind.

          • Ronald Green

            Try building a nuke, natural gas, or coal fired plant. They are incredibly expensive to produce too and have their own risks and problems as well. Do you want your lights to come on when you flip the switch? Do you like your air conditioned home? Then you need to realize that as the population grows, we are going to need All forms of energy production and wind power is one of them. Unless you’re willing to give up your AC or something, that is.

          • Finrod Felagund

            Wind and solar can never be primary sources of power because the wind doesn’t always blow and the sun doesn’t always shine. Coal, oil, and gas always burn, nuclear reactions never stop, rivers almost always flow, which means they can be primary sources whereas wind and solar will never be more than secondary sources.

          • Ronald Green

            And so we shouldn’t build them? If we believe Micheal Boyd’s post below, this blade came from a Technical School as a part of their repair / maintenance program and not a ‘wind farm’. I don’t know where you are from, but it’s certainly not in the Mid West. I lived in Nebraska for the first 9 years of my life and one of my memories of that time is that the wind practically never stopped. On the few occasions when it did stop, you would be surprised and a bit nervous about what was going on. They also have this thing they call a wind storm, where the wind blows ferociously for days on end and not a cloud in the sky. Through out the U.S. Central Plains, the wind truly practically never stops, so out there you could use wind power as a primary source.

          • Finrod Felagund

            I don’t think you understand how wind turbines work. They’re designed for a certain range of wind speed and they automatically shut down when the wind gets too strong. During your wind storms, the turbines would be useless.

          • Ronald Green

            True and that’s why the country is on an inter-connected grid. As I said earlier, we don’t need wind power as a replacement, but more as an additional source, in my view.

          • Ronald Green

            And so we shouldn’t build them? If we believe Micheal Boyd’s post below, this blade came from a Technical School as a part of their repair / maintenance program and not a ‘wind farm’. I don’t know where you are from, but it’s certainly not in the Mid West. I lived in Nebraska for the first 9 years of my life and one of my memories of that time is that the wind practically never stopped. On the few occasions when it did stop, you would be surprised and a bit nervous about what was going on. They also have this thing they call a wind storm, where the wind blows ferociously for days on end and not a cloud in the sky. Through out the U.S. Central Plains, the wind truly practically never stops, so out there you could use wind power as a primary source.

          • Finrod Felagund

            Wind and solar can never be primary sources of power because the wind doesn’t always blow and the sun doesn’t always shine. Coal, oil, and gas always burn, nuclear reactions never stop, rivers almost always flow, which means they can be primary sources whereas wind and solar will never be more than secondary sources.

          • http://twitter.com/thetugboatphil TugboatPhil

            Most of the expense is not standardizing designs and having to fight untold numbers of legal challenges and EPA thugs. It would be a good start to quit shutting down coal and hydro plants because the Sierra Club has their panties on backwards.

            As to your question below, no we shouldn’t build them.

          • Ronald Green

            Phil we usually agree on most things and this one isn’t one that either of our opinions are going to change things. That said, I do think we should build them as an additional means. I do not advocate shutting down other means except when they become outdated or worn out. Then they need to be replaced. ‘Cause humanity has shown little interest slowing down baby production so we are going to need more and more. Hopefully we will wake up before we get to the point depicted in Soylent Green.

          • http://twitter.com/thetugboatphil TugboatPhil

            Most of the expense is not standardizing designs and having to fight untold numbers of legal challenges and EPA thugs. It would be a good start to quit shutting down coal and hydro plants because the Sierra Club has their panties on backwards.

            As to your question below, no we shouldn’t build them.

          • http://twitter.com/MDMorris_1707 Michael Morris

            You’re only addressing one point of my argument, the construction cost. The second point is the most important. Wind farms aren’t very effective at producing power, and they spend less and less time spinning the longer they are in service.

            No one has yet built a wind turbine capable of producing enough electricity to make up for its construction cost, much less its maintenance and upkeep.

            Nuclear is cheaper and more effective. We’d be better off building a single nuclear power plant than any number of wind turbines. Hell, we’d be better off making a coal plant.

            So no, we do not need “all forms of energy production” because some forms of production are simply not worth the effort. Wind is at the top of the list of forms of energy production that aren’t worth it, right above bicycle peddle power and rug and sock generators.

          • Ronald Green

            Try building a nuke, natural gas, or coal fired plant. They are incredibly expensive to produce too and have their own risks and problems as well. Do you want your lights to come on when you flip the switch? Do you like your air conditioned home? Then you need to realize that as the population grows, we are going to need All forms of energy production and wind power is one of them. Unless you’re willing to give up your AC or something, that is.

          • Rhonda

            It makes no sense to have PEOPLE in “tornado alleys” but they still live there. Wind farms where there is a lot of wind makes sense. Not that I think wind farms are/are not the best idea. I don’t think the point was to defend that type of renewable energy. Beth was merely saying it’s reactionary to say those plants should be banned in that particular area. I noticed pictures of airplanes and automobiles flung into the sides of buildings, etc. Why aren’t we howling about banning airplanes and cars in OK?

      • SineWaveII

        Nonsense. There are places in the country known as “tornado alleys”. They are places where the likelihood of a tornado is many times higher than most places in the country. Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska are in one of those tornado alleys. It’s stupid to build those wind farms in those areas.
        Wind farms also bad for the environment since they kill large numbers of birds and bats, and they require a conventional power plant to be idling (wasting energy and creating more pollution) .. nearby to be ready to make up the difference when the wind dies down.

        • Beth Lott

          I know there are places where tornados are more common. I grew up in the only area of the WORLD with two tornado seasons instead of one. If you live in one of these places, having random crap tossed into buildings is simply a risk you live with. This could just as easily been a tractor-trailer or an airplane. Or a house. Shall we banish those from areas containing schools as well? Maybe we should just bubble wrap the whole world, perhaps.

          Your points regarding the usefulness–or lack of same– of wind energy, I agree with. But the idea that moving turbines to non-windy areas will stop tornados from throwing things at schools is wishful thinking at best.

          • SineWaveII

            Nobody ever said that.

    • nc

      Someone down voted you? Really?

      • CatHerder

        No pleasing some people.

    • Parke Ewing

      Or anywhere near people

  • nc

    When we witness the power of nature, it’s hard to believe that our puny actions have any effect one way or another on controlling or even influencing it.

    • Guest

      You mean you don’t agree with Jesse Ventura and his HAARP theories??

  • afvet4america

    God be with all the people affected by these storms.

    • BlueGood

      AYE….been a bit tense here, waiting to here from my friend in Bixby OK…she emailed me other day about dodging a touchdown that was 1/4 mile from her sisters house, she was driving to her sisters’ when another touched down near her own home..sister & two doggies huddling in the bath tub….

      Was SO GOOD to hear her voice today! (TWICE)………….DANG….

      So sorry for those lost in OK…

      Den Zegen…(Blessings without end….)

      • afvet4america

        I hope every one in your family is okay. They say these storms are moving on. But the floods will be a big problem for them too.

    • BlueGood

      AYE….been a bit tense here, waiting to here from my friend in Bixby OK…she emailed me other day about dodging a touchdown that was 1/4 mile from her sisters house, she was driving to her sisters’ when another touched down near her own home..sister & two doggies huddling in the bath tub….

      Was SO GOOD to hear her voice today! (TWICE)………….DANG….

      So sorry for those lost in OK…

      Den Zegen…(Blessings without end….)

  • GaryTheBrave

    From what I understand the life expectancy of a blade is about 15 years.

    It will be interesting to find out how far that blade flew.

    • Michelle Boyd

      I live about 15 miles from there. The tech center has a wind turbine repair/maintenance program, the turbine is right there on the school grounds. looking at the pic, it basically got ripped off and dropped right there

      • GaryTheBrave

        Blades at actual wind farms DO break off. Near CA-58 near Tehachapi, CA, there is a blade that is lying on the hillside from a turbine about 200 feet away.

  • Pat Loudoun

    What’s the big deal? It’s not like it’s a 1 inch plastic toy gun.

  • windy3Nimby

    Would this be called a “direct” adverse impact???

  • bob

    I’ve never read so many stupid, idiotic comments in my life.
    “Why do they put wind turbines in these areas?”
    Did someone really ask that???

  • Sewall House Yoga

    it is not a good idea to put them up anywhere..they are an expensive scam and harmful..google wind watch