Sunday, April 17, 2011

Multiple Tornadoes Yesterday

We had been warned by the National Weather Service on Friday that Saturday was going to be a potentially very dangerous day, and brother did it turn out to be true.

The day started out with a lot of wind and heavy, gray clouds. The creepy kind of weather that can happen here from now till September. Tornado season is always worrisome.

My plan for the day was to go to the feed store and buy the chickens and goats food, and then go to Gail's to work for a couple of hours. Then I was going to stay inside and craft for the first time in ages. Well, so much for plans. While at the feed store, the owner told me I needed to go straight home and "batten down the hatches". So I called Gail and asked if she minded that I put off the work for another day, which was fine by her.

I came home and filled containers with water. If the power goes out, I can't get water from the well. Then I got my weather radio out and decided to clean the house. I spent a few hours dusting and cleaning and watching out the windows with no major change in the weather. I thought "I could have had my work for Gail finished by now", and decided to go outside and mow the lawn. I mean, it was very windy and gray but that was all - at that point. Then it started to rain and I went inside.

The television was on and there was a big notice that Sanford (my town) was under a tornado warning. Gail lives 20 minutes south of me and I called her to make sure they were aware. They were and she had put the animals in a safe room. We got disconnected and from that moment on, it got really intense.

I didn't lose power and was able to stay glued to the television and kept looking out the windows. I had things in the bathroom, ready to take the animals and myself in there, but couldn't stay away from the storm coverage. There were multiple tornadoes that hit one after another in a line. They went from Gail's area up through Raleigh and northeast to Virginia.

Because Laura was working in Raleigh, I knew she wasn't aware of the tracking so I called her. Long story short, she had left work, literally drove straight toward one of the big tornadoes and was pounded by quarter-sized hail. She turned around and went back to work, where she was safe. If she hadn't, she would have been right in the middle of one of the worst ones. She actually had seen it. So, she was safe.

I called Jeremy (Alissa's daddy) to see if they were ok, because Alissa was with him in another area. He was fine, but he had been to Lowes where I used to work just 10 minutes before it hit. Here is what Lowes looks like now.

I was able to get up with Gail and they had been spared. I was on the phone the rest of the afternoon and evening making and receiving calls to check on friends. There was a lot of damage left by the storms. The National Weather Service even said that these tornadoes were some of the worst ever to hit North Carolina. I mean, we get tornadoes, but not a series of long-lasting ones like yesterday.

I'm good in a crisis, but by the evening when I had time to think about it all, I could feel myself getting emotional about all the "what if's". I thank God that my family and friends are safe, and that I am too.