Saturday, May 31, 2008

an experience i wouldn't have chosen to have

Okay, so last Sunday our area was under a tornado watch while I was by myself with the kids. Thankfully nothing actually happened and we were all safe and sound.

Today the clouds were looking quite nasty to the north-east of us, but I wasn't really concerned since most of our storms come from the west. Joelle saw some lightning in these thick, dark clouds this morning and got so concerned that she just had to phone our neighbours who happened to be in the city doing some shopping. I figured if that would help calm her nerves, I would let her phone them and warn them that there was a thunderstorm off in that direction. I think it's terribly sweet how she wanted to 'protect' her friend like that.

Our day today has been filled with a mix of sun and cloud -- but no rain and not even much wind, which is unusual for these parts. And in the sun it was quite warm. So all in all, a fairly pleasant day.

Until around 5:00.

The phone rang and my cousin -- who lives four doors down from us -- was calling to let us know that two of our other neighbours both saw a tornado touch down right close to our little neighbourhood.

WHAT?!?

Yes, it's true. Two different sightings of the same tornado probably within 5kms of our little yard. Jenn was outside with me and our kids when I got the phone call. So after I hung up and filled her in, we walked to the back of the yard to scope things out.

As we looked towards the south -- the direction the tornado was spotted -- we were in awe of what we saw. I wish I had my camera with me; it would've been an awesome picture.

It's the most bizarre thing I've ever seen. We actually s-a-w the tornado in the distance. But the strange thing about it was that it looked like it wasn't even moving. It appeared to be paused, as if it was just waiting for someone to un-pause it so it could return to its destructive action.

But thankfully instead of it 'coming back to life', we saw it start to dissipate.

Another one of our neighbours came outside to tell us that she saw a tornado warning and that one was headed right for us. As I gathered up my family to head inside, I took a moment to check the weather network. It turns out the tornado that she was warning us about was the one that had already passed. Phew!

I am really not sure how I am going to make it through another summer of tornado watches; especially now having actually seen one with my own eyes. Joelle was already getting really freaked out today as all of the neighbours were congregating in each other's yards talking about the incident.

I think I'm going to set up summer sleeping arrangements in the basement....

20 comments:

Erin said...

I was sitting on my deck and it was dead centered on our house. I was SOOO relieved to see it not moving very fast and even more relieved when it puffed back up into the sky. I'm not so sure I like the wide open view I had of it. The crazy thing is, when I saw it, I wasn't sure what to do...so I just stood there staring with my mouth hanging open. Then I remembered it might be a good idea to tell Jer : ) The first thing he wanted to do...jump in the car and chase it. "Umm, no, I'd kind of like the car in case we need to skidaddle out of here, thankyouverymuch!"

Pam said...

wow! That would have scared me a lot. I don't really think that I could have handled that. I am so glad that you and your family are safe though!

Roo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Roo said...

wow. i had no idea. we were on our way to tinkertown at that moment (they were closed -- "due to weather")

Jenn said...

I still can't believe that I actually saw it in real life! Erin has a perfect picture of it on her blog.

andrea said...

Oh Andrea, i'm so sorry that you got to see another tornado. I was driving to my m-i-l's just before 5pm and looked toward your direction and there it was...a small funnel from the sky that went from 'small' and massive and the weird thing was we were calling family because it looked so close and heading closer. On such a calm yet cloudy day, Kris and I were in denial about what it was..."must be smoke...but no it looks ...it looks like...you're kidding...i can't believe it. i have never seen such a sight". I was praying for you and I'm so thankful that God protected you and your family.

amy said...

thats soo scary. glad you are okay

Xandra said...

Wow! I'll take hurricanes over tornadoes any day of the week! Glad to hear that everyone is safe. I think the basement idea is a good one...:)

Xandra

Leeann said...

Yikes! That would have scared the crap out of me!

PamJ said...

I wasn't sure what to do either. We didn't even know it was an actual tornado right away! I really hope that there are not a lot more of these this summer because I am not always listening to the local radio station so not always aware of such things.
Great idea about the basement sleeping arrangements!

Sandy said...

wo! I've never seen one ... can you believe that?

sorry it's been so long since I've visited ... :)

ValleyGirl said...

Not a bad idea to have beds ready in the basement for camp-outs just in case. There definitely seems to be more of that down there in the last couple of years than I can ever remember.

Kellan said...

That is scary. We have tornados here off and on, but not that ever really threaten this far south - but, they still scare me to death. I'm glad you are okay and I hope you stay that way! See you soonm - Kellan

Melanie said...

Oh my goodness. That would have freaked me right out. I am no good in those kinds of situations, especially if I was home alone.

Regina said...

Wow! I'm glad that you guys are all OK and nothing happened. That has got to be scary! One of my favorite movies (which I watched last night) is Twister. man I wouldn't even know what to do, but I guess (hope) that self/family preservation kicks in by instinct, because I'm sure my brain would shut down!

Blessings

Crystal said...

I have some Bloggy Love for you over at Memoirs of a Mommy

Carl & Kathy said...

Yikes!! That's sounds scary. Not sure if I want to come back this summer....well, on the other hand, I do have a basement...

common mom said...

Tornadoes . . . growing up in the midwest we had them often! There is no mistaking what comes out of that nasty looking pea green sky . . . the sudden rise in humidity with the sudden drop in temperature and the eerie calm. We used to stand outside and watch them come across our field until the last minute, when we'd sprint inside and downstairs with the radio, flashlight, and pillows. I have vivid memories of huddling in the basement bathroom, listening to the eerie wind blowing and hearing things get ripped off the house and fly around. The dread and anticipation of going outside to see what had happened.

Now I live near the mountains . . . very near . . . we get to stand outside and watch the tornadoes bounce over, knowing that there is only a slight slight slight chance they would touch down before bouncing out to the plains.

So glad you guys are all OK!

Joanna said...

OMGoodness. I would have freaked out. Very glad y'all are okay.

Rebecca said...

I thought we were going to have a tornado watch that night too. It was humid & lightning storms all night, then the rains and finally hail came. Luckily we only lost power for a few hours. It is scary to be alone when that happens & I still haven't gotten my emergency box together. I hope you are more prepared than I am, but even more I hope the tornadoes just stay away from us.