Monday, June 3, 2013

Up, Up, and Away

I've grown up with an extreme fear of tornadoes.  This probably hos something to do with growing up in the midwest... comes with the territory.  Plus, my mom used to have dreams nightmares that tornadoes would come and pick up all of her children... and then tell us about them!

Friday night, the tornadoes were a little closer than I would have liked.  The image below shows the path that a tornado too through St. Louis.  I live near the little red star... yeah, a little too close.

I was out with my sister shopping and picking up some supplies at Lowe's (which was actually right about where the full blue triangle is just northeast of where I lived is), and we had left the store to go pick up dinner.  We went into the restaurant and in the time it took them to cook our dinner (maybe 5-10 minutes) the storm started rolling in.  When we went outside, the tornado sirens were going off.  It wasn't raining, but we could definitely see some dark clouds in the distance and what appeared to be a funnel cloud out past where I lived.  We jumped into our car and booked it for my place.

Unfortunately, when we turned onto the street to get to where I lived, we hit a wall of water.  It went from no rain at all, to a torrential downpour.  As we continued just a little farther down the road, the power went out on the street, the sky turned greenish, and my sister said she saw a flash of blue.  I couldn't see much in front of me, but I decided continuing driving that way was a bad idea.  I did a u-turn in the middle of the road and started speeding the opposite direction.  My sis asked where we were going and I decided my brother's house since he lived just a mile or two the direction we were heading.

In those few minutes that it had started raining, tree branches were being ripped off the trees.  I could barely see the road, but we finally made our way to my brother's street.  We had tried calling his cell, but got no answer.  We passed a cop car on the way down there street and I remembered that a cop lived there.  My sister said that if my brother wasn't home, we would head to that house.

We got to my brother's house and ran to the door and started banging.  No lights were on and I was so scared that we were going to be stuck outside.  I checked the door, but it was locked.  Thankfully, just a few seconds after that, I saw a light flip on and my brother answered the door.  He yelled for us to come in and we all ran to the basement.  At this point, my sister and I still had no idea if there was a confirmed tornado or where it was.  We went downstairs and started watching the news.  The storm was moving so fast that it was past shortly after that.

As soon as we were safe inside, I texted my husband.  He assured me he was safe, which made me feel much better (although I later found out he was at a bar playing pool with friends... not exactly a tornado shelter).  We stuck around my brother's for about an hour then headed home.  Thankfully, I still had power when we got there.  The picture below is the tornado that swept through... kinda scary that it was so close.

Even though I've grown up in St. Louis, I've never felt so close to a tornado as I did Friday night.  I'm not sure what made me so scared this time... probably because I had no idea the bad weather was coming and I was out in my car when it hit... all I know is that I have no idea what I'm going to do next tornado season when I have a little one to protect!  Hopefully, the tornado season isn't too bad and I have plenty of warning ahead of time...

Time to go plug in my weather radio!



I need a weather radio, a basement, heck a tornado shelter!

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