17 July 2015 @ 07:11 am
Last night was one to remember. A lot of friends were out of town last week when it was M's birthday, so she held a second celebration tonight so that all those friends could come over and have a drink / some pie. Only the moment I got over there (the first to get there, as is my habit) all our phones went off with a tornado warning.

The tornado was in the next county over, but close enough to trigger an automatic weather alert to all of us. We tuned in on the TV and watched it progress east toward us, trying to guess if we were going to be in trouble or not as more people arrived. And then the sirens went off, which was our cue to head to the basement. (Happily we all had drinks in hand, took the cheese plate with us, and remembered to grab some board games.)

For 45 minutes we sat in the basement playing Lord of the Rings trivia (four kids, five adults, all but the toddler and kindergartener participating), eating cheese, reassuring the children that no, we were really okay, all the while knowing very little at all about what was going on outside. We could hear the storm; water came into the basement a little bit, so we knew it was raining buckets; and the tornado warning kept getting extended. Also it was Aragorn who headbutted a warg rider in the battle during the evacuation of Edoras. (Two of the five of us knew this. The amount of detail we retain about the LOTR movies is ridiculous.)

We came back upstairs at 8.15pm to discover that the town was majorly flooded (although happily not where we were - two blocks over, however, the streets were impassable). But we seemed to have dodged the worse of it, and indeed, we discovered that the tornado blew itself out before it hit the south of the town. West of us people were not so lucky. A town that's about 7 miles away as the crow flies got a direct hit, although mercifully there are no reports of deaths so far, nor really serious injuries. But people have lost their homes and businesses, and cars were floating down the street. Roofs were ripped off mobile homes, and the power was out there and in the town before it.

I've seen video of the twister, and it was big and scary. I had a moment of retroactive panic last night when I saw it. But thankfully we are all safe, and for sure, we will remember M's birthday for a very long time.


Damage the next town over