Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Storms

On Friday, March 2, 2012 multiple tornadoes tore thru the area.



Earlier that morning, my sister called me from Iowa wanting to know where I was going to be that day.
Not only is she paranoid of severe storms (especially the "T" word), but she's a trained weather spotter (it helps calm her anxiety... except when it's real).


They've changed the weather alert system recently, so when she told me we were under a Tornado Watch, I didn't pay much attention. After all, we had six Tornado Warnings last year, and only one storm was even worth being worried about.




Just after lunch, I checked the weather and realized we weren't just under a regular ole Tornado Watch, we were under a PDS (Particularly Dangerous Situation) Tornado Watch.

This was serious


red dots indicate reported tornadoes
The dangerous part of the storm was predicted to hit my area around 5pm, and last until around 9pm.
I made plans to leave work at 4pm.

 

Around 3:30pm my husband called. He had run into a local sheriff's deputy, who said a tornado had touched down in Crittendon, KY and was headed directly for us. Should arrive in 30-45 minutes.

I left work.


My parents were watching Jena that day. They live farther north, and have a basement (we do not).
Since the storms were predicted to last until 9pm, when my mom answered the phone I simply said
"You're keeping her"


She understood what I meant, but said she had more.
According to the news, a tornado had hit Holton, IN and was headed straight for us. Would be here in 30-45 minutes.



You heard that right. Two tornadoes had touched down, and both predicted paths were aimed at our home.


Then my sister called, and begged me not to leave work. The storms were moving faster than originally predicted. I didn't have time to make it home.

But I was already on the road. Halfway home. No sense in turning back now.


The roads were packed. It looked like rush hour, with one notable difference:
We were all driving as fast as we could, 15-20 mph over the speed limit the entire way, we all flew along, everyone like-minded in their driving.


About 10 minutes from home, the sirens went off.


I made it home, rushed in the door. Grabbed the cat carrier, and briefly discussed with Jason what to do with the dogs, and how the chickens were just screwed.


Then we watched the news. And waited.


And it never came.


Both tornadoes miraculously seemed to have changed paths.


We waited. And waited.
It never came.
We watched the radar as the path of the storm headed east.


It was over.


That night, we realized the tornadoes touched down south of us, east of us, and northwest of us.

But spared us. Praise the Lord.


A day later, we found a piece of sheet metal, various small pieces of styrofoam, and multiple small pieces of shingles on our property.


Two days later we found out that a tornado was reported by a trained spotter over our area. Did not touch down.


We also found that the system that hit the area was extremely rare, in that instead of one tornado staying on the ground then losing power and dissolving, it essentially hit the ground, picked back up, dropped down again, rinse, repeat.
It also contained at least one multi-vortex tornado.


So, in effect, while the tornado that hit Crittendon changed paths, the tornado that hit Holton was simply pulled up into the clouds and stayed there while over our area, before dropping back down further east.


We are very blessed indeed.


Many others were not so lucky.


Multiple deaths across several states.
Numerous injuries.
A great number of homes destroyed.


Amazingly, as close as these strikes were, neither Jason nor I personally know anyone who was directly affected.


Friends of friends, yes.
Family of friends, yes.

But no one we know ourselves.
At least not that we've yet discovered.


Amazing.


If you are familiar with the greater area at all, when you look at the map you can see that we were, actually, very, very lucky.


Although I'm sure it is small comfort to those hit, the fact is the tornadoes pulled off the ground before hitting any majorly populated areas, hitting farming communities instead.


I cannot imagine the loss of life we would be reading about today had any of the tornadoes hit areas such as Louisville, Lexington, or Cincinnati - all of which were in such reasonable proximity that a simple change of path would have led the storm directly to them.


Even suburban areas, such as Charleston, Madison, Lawrenceburg, Burlington, Florence, Independence, Dry Ridge, Maysville, Alexandria,  or New Richmond - all would have equalled an even greater loss of life, even greater destruction.


Yes, the community as a whole was blessed indeed.


But in the meantime, hundreds of our neighbors are in mourning, recovering from injuries, and/or starting to rebuild their lives.


To help, follow one of the links below:






As always, thanks for checking in!


And be sure to hug your loved ones a little tighter today.



******************

all photos sourced at wcpo.com

5 comments:

BalancingMama (Julie) said...

So glad you were ok, but I definitely feel for all those who lost homes, property, or family members. We had an extremely scary night as well. Grabbed A out of bed & cuddled up in the downstairs bathroom. Tornado came within 1 mile of our house. Again for us, didn't touch down. But frightening during the time!

Firehousecrafts said...

What a blessing that it did not touch down by you! What a scarey ordeal! I'm terrified of tornadoes.

Trina said...

I am glad you are okay. My boys are terrified for family in TX, that have no basements. I still can't imagine, life without mine just for this reason.

areyoukiddingme said...

Glad to hear the storm missed you...

'Yellow Rose' Jasmine said...

How scary for you and for everyone who got hit by these. I don't know what I would do. I can't imagine dealing with this.
I will donate for sure.

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