Friday, May 8, 2009


The silence jerked me awake. The seemingly peaceful May morning was quiet—too quiet. :) John had already left for work and the room was too dark for 8:00 in the morning. At least I think it was 8:00; the red digital numbers were missing from the alarm clock. That explained the silence. No electricity! Just then, Colter’s “Hey, Mommy, come get me cry” came from down the hall. I retrieved Colter from his crib and decided we would snuggle in my bed for a bit and hope that the electricity came back on.

We had only been curled up a few minutes when a fierce wind suddenly hit the house. I then knew why the electricity was out; it was crazy windy! Almost immediately, it sounded like the roof was being ripped from our house (thankfully, it wasn't). I honestly thought the windows were going to be blown in, so even though I had not heard the tornado sirens, I rushed Colter to our designated tornado spot. It’s a pathetic excuse for a safe-haven. We don’t have a basement or shelter, so we cower down in the hallway, the only place in the house without any outside walls.

Without electricity, I could not flip on the TV and see what the weatherman had to say about what was going on, so I tried to call my mom with my cell phone. No signal! I couldn’t get through. Had the wind blown a tower down? It sure sounded like it; I had never heard such a wind! It sounded like things were being blown into the house, and the rain was coming down in torrents. I went to the front room and took a peek outside, and it looked like a blizzard. I could barely see three feet out the window. Buckets of water were falling from the sky and the wind was blowing it so hard, it was just white outside. I saw a few green blobs blow by though. Trees? Oh brother! Were there seriously trees blowing by my house? Surely not! I rushed back to the hallway, panicked now. I hunkered down on the floor, praying with all my might, when I heard the sound of a freight train! AAAAHHHHHHHHHHH! I was really terrified then and felt exposed and unsafe without a basement. I rushed to the living room with Colter in one arm and grabbed my solid oak coffee table with the other arm and practically threw it down the hall. The table offered a little protection if the roof fell down on us. I seriously was terrified. Colter didn’t seem to mind one bit though. He was not completely awake yet, and probably thought I was playing a new game.

After a few more minutes of this, I finally heard the tornado sirens. They were just a little behind the times. I was then able to get through to my mom, and she was able to see the radar for me and let me know that the worst was over. Praise the Lord! We were alive! The wind did quiet down some, although it was still quite a storm, but since I knew the worst part was over us, I felt brave and went to look outside. Our backyard was a lake, my metal patio furniture was blown into a heap, and our trashcans were missing. Colter’s plastic swing set was blown into the middle of the yard, shingles were strewn about and limbs were snapped. It was a mess! It was still windy and rainy for quite awhile after, but it was nothing like the frightening first thirty minutes of the storm. While I waited for it to quit raining, I talked to a friend and found out that the tornado sirens had actually gone off three times, but the wind had just been too loud for me to hear them. It turned out that the shingles were actually from our neighbor’s roof, and our house pretty much looked all right. We had some stuff blown about, but the only real damage was a broken vase which I had left on the deck table, a broken trashcan lid, and a bent over crab apple tree. We were lucky, for there was a lot of damage around town. While waiting for the electricity to come back on, Colter and I drove around town and saw trees down, sheds blown over, and a tree crushed by a car!

When we went home, I picked stuff up and put our coffee table back into the living room. It is heavy. I struggled getting it through the hallway by myself. When I put it in the hallway for Colter and I to get under, I used one arm! Apparently, my adrenaline was up, because the table had felt like nothing. I realized as I put the table back in its spot that my arm was actually sore. Too funny!

The weatherman called the storm a derecho, which can have winds up to 105 m.p.h., and it looked like an inland hurricane on the radar. A man, originally from Louisiana, interviewed on the news said it was just as bad as any hurricane he had ever experienced. Even though I’ve never been in a hurricane, I agree! I’ve never seen anything like it and have no desire to again. Colter wanted to know why his sandbox was filled with water.
There were a lot of trees blown over a few streets down, but this was our only real damage. Hopefully, the little crab apple tree can be straightened out.
I know this post is already super long, but I have to mention what my silly husband was doing during the storm. He was at school supervising all the students that were hunkered down on the floor in the basement. A door up the stairs from where the kids were blew open, and John went to hold it shut! Apparently, the scene in Twister when the dad blows away after holding the storm shelter door shut had no effect on John. He watched the roof blow off the school gym, watched debris blow by the window, and felt the wind pull the door harder and harder, yet he still kept holding it! He finally had another teacher help him. Just as they were going to give up and let it go, someone came with a key and was able to lock it, so it wouldn’t blow open anymore. Thankfully, my husband didn’t blow away and everyone was all right.


Rachel said...

So I'm thinking your rendition of the storm is way closer to how I was feeling - and I'm glad some weather man agreed it was more like a hurricane than a tornado too. Lots of people looked at me like I was crazy when I said that - I guess it's because I don't have a weather degree and was just making it up not knowing it had a fancy name.

Gina said...

I like where you said the tree was crushed by a car...that is SO amazing! I heard that the owner of the car was in it when the tree fell, can't believe she wasn't hurt.