Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Day of the Storm

Today is Wednesday, and it has now been one week since our beloved state was ravaged by a series of tornadoes. I’ve obviously been offline for the past week (I've stopped by Panera today to use their free WiFi - thanks Panera!) so I’ve got a lot of writing to do in order to catch you all up on the past week’s activities. Knowing how long-winded I can be when writing, the recap will definitely be more than one post; that is if I can remember everything that has taken place over the past week. So, let’s get started…

Last Wednesday, April 27, I wrote a brief post about the series of storms that we had experienced and were expecting to come that afternoon/evening. Not long after writing and posting that, I left work for the day and headed home. It wasn’t raining at all when I left and personally, I was a little leery about just how strong the coming storms were going to be. I have always felt that Huntsville is a tad bit over concerned when it comes to weather awareness and as a result, I often take weather warnings with a grain of salt. I’ve never been one to be overly afraid of thunderstorms or tornado warnings; after all, hunkering down in a bathroom or storm shelter is a way of life for an Alabamian, and especially a Huntsvillian. The most frightened I’ve ever been, in fact, was in January of last year when a tornado hit on my street. So, when coming home, I really wasn’t overly concerned and started thinking about what I would do with my evening since church had been cancelled as a result of the impending storms.

I arrived home about 4:15 or so and tried on some new clothes that had arrived on my front porch. While doing that, a lady from church, Pat, called to check on me and I chatted with her for a while. During my conversation with her, the tornado sirens went off for about the third time since I had been home. I then plopped down on the couch and began to watch the weather coverage. I also decided it would be wise to plug in my cell phones to charge. The lights were dimming and blinking and my power rarely goes off. In talking with my parents earlier in the day, I knew their power had been off since a little before noon and so I figured if the power was going to go out, I’d better have a way of communicating with people. Each time the lights blinked, the DirecTV receiver in my living room when out (the HD receiver is apparently more sensitive than the SD receivers) and so I moved to the bedroom to watch TV since that receiver wasn’t going out. Soon after moving into the bedroom, the weather man told everyone in the TV studio to go to the shelter there because a tornado was coming close to the studio. Since I live close to that studio, I started getting prepared to hunker down in the bathroom and it was only seconds later that the power went out and we were flying blind. This was about 5:00 or a little after.

Luckily, I had my iPod fully charged and was able to listen to the radio and knew where the tornadoes were. I alternated between sitting on the couch, standing outside and chatting with my neighbor Jeff, and sitting in the bathroom floor – each time the wind and rain picked up and certain areas were told to get in their safe place, The Tide and I would head back into the bathroom. I think it was rather confusing for her to say the least.

Finally about 7:30 all the storms had passed and the rain began to taper off. Around 8:00 when it was completely pitch black out and you couldn’t even see your hand in front of your face, I decided to go on to bed. I had started dozing off and didn’t want to fall asleep with candles lit and since there wasn’t much else to do when you can’t see anything, going to sleep was about the only option I had. I also wanted to conserve the battery power on my iPod and therefore couldn’t listen to the radio. I wouldn’t find out just how severe all the storms were until the next day.


Kimberly Washer said...

Welcome back! Glad you are safe! Thanks Panera!

Melissa said...

Was very glad to hear that you were safe. So sad for the victims of this terrible storm!