Tornado in Aspen? False alarm
August 24, 2011
ASPEN – In the Wilco tune “You Never Know,” frontman Jeff Tweedy laments that “every generation thinks it’s the end of the world.”
Just look at the 64-point headlines this week – maybe he’s on to something. An earthquake Tuesday in Denver. Another one – a 5.8! – struck Virginia the same day as well. Gadhafi is feeling the heat of his pursuers (again). And Hurricane Irene had North Carolina and New England in its path Wednesday. And Wall Street and Washington? Never mind, this is getting too depressing.
But at least here in Aspen, we often feel isolated – real or not – from the rest of the world. Not Wednesday, though.
As ominous rain clouds hung over most of the race’s route from Gunnison to Aspen, USA Pro Cycling Challenge blast this explosive little comment on Twitter: “Apparently Tornado warning has sounded over downtown @AspenCO. Bad weather must be moving in.”
And that’s all it took to send fans of the Big Race into a social-media frenzy.
“Sufficiently freaked out. Tornado warning in Aspen right now. #USAPRO headed that way currently. Earth, what the hell is going on with you?” tweeted @Woolard.
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Others had a more cynical take: “Holy crap – tornado warning in ASPEN??? Only because we’re on national TV,” reported @ADDcrafter.
@Woobiesmum, evidently an aficionado of the ancient Greeks, delivered this hopeful plea in the form of a tweet: “Dear Tornado Goddess, please keep Andy safe by sending a unicorn to save him in case you decide to touch down in Aspen. Thank you.”
But if a tornado really was Aspen-bound, @murphsatahoe drew up a solution for racers to avoid the lurking typhoon of doom: “Move stage finish back to top of Independence Pass.”
Turns out this twister alert was a false one, as the tweet was in response to the noontime blare that emanates daily from Aspen’s downtown firehouse.
“We stand corrected thank goodness!” the organizers tweeted after 1 p.m., minutes after @ChanceofWeather declared: “There is NO tornado warning for Aspen.”
Perhaps @JoAnnaCoffey summed it up best with this perspective: “‘Tornado warning in Aspen.’ looks like some of these cyclist enthusiasts need some education.”