Friday, June 08, 2007

It's a twister! It's a twister!

Photo: Fred Smith
June 15, 1991

So last night was my first experience with tornados. We didn't have one touch down here in Carthage, but we were under tornado watch for a little while, and that was an interesting experience. I wouldn't say I was scared, but I was definitely alert, concerned for everyone's well-being, and I was trying to make sure I was at least somewhat prepared in case the worst happened.

Nicole and I are living in a basement apartment (well, really it's the basement of her parents' house), so we were in a good place last night. We'd moved the car underneath the trees to protect it from hail (which never fell here), gotten out our handy wind-up flashlights and radio, and the four of us all sat together on the bed and waited it out.

Before the storm hit, we lost all power, and when I went outside to take a look, the sky over the backyard looked strangely clear. However, I could see constant, rapid flashes of light from over the top of the house, and I concluded that there had been a blown transformer out there. But when I walked around front, I saw the large dark clouds concealing the most surreal mid-air lightning show I had ever seen. To say I was mesmerized would be an understatement.

Once the power came back on, we were all watching the news to see the progress of the storm. There's one thing I have learned about TV stations in Tornado Alley: when the storm's comin', you can count on the TV to be talking about it. When we turned it on, the tornadic part of the storm (yes, I learned a word last night: tornadic) was still in NE Oklahoma, but it was definitely heading our way. We watched as the radar showed the center creeping through Ottawa County, then crossing into Kansas and Missouri before centering over Webb City and Carterville (just west of here). This was when I started text messaging my friends back in Portland asking for their prayers.

After about half an hour, when the storm passed over without a touchdown and headed east to Lawrence County, we knew that we were safe, so we went to bed. But until that time, it sure was a fun time around here!

2 Talked Back:

At June 10, 2007 at 12:39:00 AM CDT, Blogger Jana Swartwood said...

It's great fun, isn't it? I used to be absolutely petrified of tornadoes. Actually, I still am, but living here in the middle of Tornado Alley has helped me at least get used to learning how to function in the midst of serious storms.

I've always wanted to get a picture of one for myself...when I first saw your pic, I thought you had taken it and I was about to be really jealous!


At July 1, 2007 at 1:52:00 AM CDT, Blogger Jim said...

a little portable tv is worth having -- less than $20 at amazon


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