Monday, June 03, 2013

Epilogue- Anatomy of a day in tornado alley

It seems only right to be transparent about the events that happened in the days following my last blog post, because those days are probably the most nervous I have been during storms in a long time.

Thursday, the day I posted that article, I left work 2 hours early because a large storm was heading towards my house. I was afraid that if I didn't get there before it hit, I didn't know when I'd be able to get there. And of course my dogs were in the house and that concerned me as well.

I flew home. One of the towns I drive through on my commute is Noble, and right as I got through Noble, the weather radio app on my phone went off- tornado warning in Noble! Eep! I hit the gas and kept watching the rear view mirror (PSA- I would never advocate running from a tornado in the car, but there was no other option at that moment).

This is how I felt driving home. Hyperbole.
I got home, found my landlord and we just watched the weather. I packed my hidey-hole bag, had the dogs ready to run, and we just watched. The sky was that sickly green and perfectly still, which everyone around here knows is the setting for disaster.We got stupid lucky, because conditions were perfect for dropping a tornado, but none ever came down. STRESSFUL.

Friday we knew the same conditions were set. I left work at 4:30 because everyone in the metro was told to get home and get off the roads. When I left work, no storms had started. By the time I got home a half hour later, major storms had erupted all across El Reno. It happened so quickly.

From where I live, I could look east and see clear skies, south west and see crazy clouds coming up from that direction, and north west, it was just blackness. That is the direction of OKC metro, El Reno, etc. It was sickening. It was also sickening to hear early reports of people trapped and dying on the roads in El Reno.

Looking south west
It was awful to watch miles of headlights of people trying to get out of town and stuck in rush hour traffic when these huge storms were coming this way. Horrifying to see the storm rip through the same area of Moore that was just hit a couple of weeks ago. Then to see it turn south and come through Norman with 90 mph winds and heading our way, just as the sun went down.

Thankfully we just had a very loud storm. Wind blew crap all across the property, but it could have been much worse.

I'm tired of this. This has been an oppressive few weeks. But there are many people I'm thankful for and want to give a shout out to on my blog, for whatever it's worth.


First responders- always heroes. Over the past few weeks first responders have also stepped forward in the form of teachers and every day citizens who took it upon themselves to save lives and rescue people.

Meteorologists- These folks take some (well deserved) ribbing for much of the year, but what they have been able to do in regards to storm preparedness and advanced warnings is pretty incredible. (Note- there are some acting completely irresponsibly who I hope are held accountable)

Storm Chasers- Ok, these people are crazy. You have to have some screws loose to chase storms. But because of their work, many people are safe and the science of meteorology has progressed. I'm glad I don't have their jobs.

Good people- So many people both locally and across the country have donated so much money, so many items, and so much time to helping folks and animals recover from this mess. It renews your faith in humanity.


Shyla said...

Amen sister! I'm ready for tornado season to end as well!

Anonymous said...

coming from africa, where tornado's only happens in movie, it was very interesting to read how people affected by tornado's experience it. thanks