For those of you that read my Facebook Page, my Mother’s Days was a tad bit crazy. It was my husband’s first day off in the last 15 – 18 days & he was smoking a brisket. My daughter and I were trying to finish up a cute craft gift for my mom. And Mother Nature decided to remind us why it is important to not only have a tornado preparedness plan, but to also have a weather radio on hand as well.
The past two months have been nothing but rain. We need it due to the drought, but just not all at once. Last Sunday was rounding up to be the more of the same; scattered showers. However, they had been calling for the possibility of very severe weather. It was a high enough chance that our town decided to test the tornado sirens a few days prior with no warning, causing everyone to panic. I had been keeping an eye on what the weather was doing, but it looked that everything severe was mostly south of us. Then around 5:50 – 6:00, they started tracking a storm coming our way that had a very defined hook in it. A hook means that there is a wall cloud capable of producing a tornado.
I didn’t know about it at first. I was waiting for Once Upon a Time to come on, and none of the news stations seemed to really want to break in during any prime-time programing. My mom called, telling me to put on channel 5 (I think). At first, the storm looked like it was tracking more towards my mom’s. Her town was hit by a EF-3 tornado just a little over two years ago, so she was worried. But, the wind shifted a bit and it headed our way.
The truly frighting part was that only one local news channel was even covering the storm: Channel 8 (WFFA). Everyone else either wouldn’t break in over shows or were completely focused on the storms south of us. Now, the storms south of us were really bad and had a lot of tornadoes…but they need to cover everything. Most people do not have weather radios and rely on either the news or the towns sirens going off.
I can tell you right now, waiting on your town to set off sirens is pointless. Most of the time they never even set them off. Our town is just as guilty of that. In fact, we had the tornado warning down for us for close to 20 minutes before the sirens went off. By then, the wall cloud was already going over/past our house…in the middle of town. Many of the neighbors had no idea that there was a storm coming or that we were under a tornado warning. They were outside mowing, playing with family, or driving around. Our weather radio went off the minute the warning came down, giving us time to take cover. Most of the time the radio is the only warning we get since we usually don’t have the local news on.
Luckily, there was no tornado. Just a gigantic wall cloud with random funnel clouds. It was the first time that I’ve been outside when one was going past before, and it was a different experience. The sky wasn’t exactly green, but it was a weird color & muted the little bit of sunlight coming through. Everything was dead still, until it got a lot closer. Then the air started getting pulled towards it. It wasn’t a strong pull, since there wasn’t a tornado, but you could feel it moving. One of the neighbors said it was ‘unsettling’. The outer edges of the wall cloud started to move over our house, but then shifted so that the bulk of it went over the houses at the end of the street. I ended up not getting a very good view of it due to all the trees. People further down one of the highways from us got good pics of it and put them on Facebook. Definitely the closest call we’ve had in a while.
And right during the middle of it my husband goes, “The brisket!!”, then takes off out the door to rescue dinner. His later defense: “That piece of meat was too expensive to just go flying around the neighborhood.”
And so…that was Mother’s Day. We are gearing up for another round of severe weather with further chance of tornadoes tomorrow, so we are already getting flashlights & candles together now. If you don’t have a preparedness plan in place for any storm situation, check out my article for tips on how to come up with one.