25 May 2011

Tornado Alley.

That's what they call the area we live in. Nice.  I've lived in Tornado Alley all of my life.  Every spring the sirens go off and we usually go about our routine, which usually consists of me trying to scout out twisters with my camera.  I've. never. seen. one.  It always such a rush and can be exciting even knowing the destructive path they take.  It's sounds awful to say, but I'm not the only Okie who feels excitement during storm season.  I've always wanted to be a chaser.  Not anymore.  This is the first year we actually had a plan.  The first year we found a "hidey hole" as my dad says.  The first year we took it seriously.

For days they have been predicting a monstrous line of storms.  A storm yielding 70-80 mile an hour straight line winds.  A storm with significant rotation that could bring about numerous large tornados, like F5's.  Typically us Okie's are out on our roof tops with snacks (not really) when tornado sirens sound.  Not anymore.  The devastation we have seen in Joplin and Alabama is too close for comfort.  Last night the storms that ripped through Oklahoma and other states killed several people (one was a child,  were critically injured).  That same storm went right over our heads.  It was scary to say the least.  For the first time, we decided to heed the warning.  For the first time we were scared.

We tracked the storm online.

Storms/Tornado's travel in a Northeast direction (I think). It was headed right for us.  Tornado's had already touched down in this storm.

We watched the news, anxiously trying to figure out what to do.  Wait it out at home (and in our mind wait for a mile wide tornado to touch down on our street) or go to my dad's apartment (where there was a basement).

We decided to head to my dad's apartment downtown thinking we would be safer in the basement there.  He was out of town but my brother and sister were there. We stood on the balcony on the 6th floor and watched the storm blown in from the west.  No sirens yet so we watched and waited.  

As it got closer and closer the wind started to pick up considerably.  Then suddenly out of nowhere, the rain started and the wind was howling.  It felt like we could have been sucked right off the balcony.  We ran inside.  The wind was howling so loud from inside the building.  At this point we decided to go down to the basement since there was a tornado warning on TV.

I couldn't get pictures of the storm b/c I couldn't go near the windows.  The wind was crazy though.  The storm passed quickly and warnings for Midtown were over so we went back upstairs to the balcony.  The calm after the storm.  Sirens never officially went of during the storm.

Then, while we were watching the storm move to the East, the sky was calm yet eery.  Sirens started sounding.  We knew we were safe though.  In classic Okie style we watched the clouds and felt the cool breeze.  It was over. We hoped...


When we got in the car to find shelter at my dad's I grabbed my phone, my camera and my external hard drive with all my pics backed up.  Just in case our house was flattened, at least I would have my camera to document the aftermath and my precious family photos.  

After we got the kids tucked in bed, we got a well deserved milkshake and ended up falling asleep on the couch.  When we woke up at 11:45, the TV was on with the radar pulled up again.  Then we realized the storm was in the path of some family and friends in Arkansas.  I knew my family would be safe because they have a storm shelter.  So we called our friends in the path of the storm to make sure they were up and taking cover.  They were.  Everyone was safe last night, at least those near and dear to us.  Our hearts go out to those families less fortunate last night and in the past few weeks.

Ok, Mr. Spring...could you please go away now?  We're on a mission to find a storm shelter for the house now for next season.  


Sharstin said...

jeez louise girly--so scary! these storms have been out of control--glad you guys are safe!

The Vaught's said...

Yeah, pretty scary this year, but almost over! Yay for summer soon :)

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