So yes, there was a tornado here yesterday.  So MINOR compared to Jopiln and other areas.  We got lucky, and continue to send loving thoughts and best wishes to those that have suffered so in the last week.

Mom wishes now she’d taken some pictures of the sky last night, but she was too busy running around to think about getting pictures.  Always the least prepared of anyone, mom doesn’t have a tornado kit ready and waiting.  As the wind blew the trees like blades of grass, the hail pelted the roof and windows, and the rain came down in sheets too heavy to see through, she was collecting stuff to take to the basement.  She gathered up canned and dry food for Molly, dry food and treats for me, a 5 gallon bottle of water (because it was handiest), her electronics (don’t want the laptop, iPod, cell phone and chargers to get taken away by a storm), and a couple of cans of tuna and a can opener for her (’cause they were easy to grab).  Then she went in search of Molly while I followed around “helping”.  Molly wasn’t upstairs, wasn’t under mom’s bed, wasn’t in the box or basket she sleeps in, and wasn’t in any of the other places she sometimes occupies.  Nope, she was under a chair!  She came squirming out after mom called for her about a hundred times.  She scooped her up and carried her downstairs, all the while coaxing me downstairs, because those stairs are steep and scary and I don’t like them one bit!  We hung out in the damp, stinky, ugly basement for about 40 minutes.  Finally the tornado warning expired and we were able to go back upstairs.  I was glad, and immediately went to bed to sleep off the stress.

The tornado touched down in a town about three miles west of here.  There was another reported by a couple at the park where we always walk, but that’s officially “unconfirmed”.  The park is on the south side of our town.  I can’t wait to go there this evening and see all the downed trees and other damage.  In all, they’re saying the west side of town got hit the hardest.  We live on the north side of town and not so much as a limb fell from our big tree out back.  We were lucky!

The sky last night, before the storm hit, was like nothing I’ve ever seen before.  Three hours before dusk the light-sensitive/motion detecting light on the garage came on when we pulled in the driveway.  We were just getting home from a walk at Rails To Trails and the sky was roiling, and apparently pretty dark or else the light wouldn’t have come on.  Less than a minute after we got in the house the sky started dropping pea sized balls of ice.  Yikes!  Made it just in time.  A few minutes after that the tornado sirens went off.  When the clouds are as black and gray and layered as they were last night the last thing you want to hear is a tornado siren.  The siren does tend to go off when it seems least likely we’ll have a tornado, but last night mom was scared!  I got a little bit scared too because I didn’t understand the noise from the hail and the siren, and why mom was gathering up all our stuff and putting on shoes.  I kept thinking we were going somewhere  in the car.  Very confusing for me.

I’m not sure who recorded this video.  It sounds from the radio chatter like it might’ve been a sheriff’s deputy.  It was shot just a few miles from my house.  WARNING: ADULT LANGUAGE (Sorry, but you can’t always count on the cops to use their child-friendly voices during a tornado.)

So far today it’s gloomy and cool.  There’s another wave of thunderstorms headed our way this evening.  Hope we get our walk in first!

Mom says it’s a good idea to have a tornado kit ready.  No one wants to be running around in a panic like she was last night.  She’ll get a post up soon about what should be included and what to do in a weather emergency.  In the meantime, we’d love to hear your weather related stories.  Post them in the comment section, or if you want them to go in the book, see the About page.  Stay safe all!

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