Friday, May 9, 2008

Ten Years to the Day!

Last night as I shut things down and went to bed, a storm rolled through. Turns out, it wasn’t just any storm. It was a tornado. Now such events don’t happen often around here. According to the weather service it’s every 10 to 20 years. Well, our event occurred exactly ten years to the day from the last tornado to hit our neighborhood…only it hit about six hours later than the one ten years ago.

Of course, in places where there are not many tornados, you don’t have a very good warning system. If you happen to be watching TV, listening to local radio or have “Desktop Weather” from the Weather Channel on your computer, you have a chance of being warned. If not, then you might be screwed. We got lucky again. For us, just some downed dead tree limbs…limbs I was planning on pruning anyway.

Some neighbors got it worse…trees uprooted…and I mean BIG oaks that were about 150 to 200 years old. Yet our immediate neighborhood got off relatively light this time, unlike ten years ago. The tornado was on an “up skip” when it passed. Just west of us across the Yadkin river in Davie County, the tornado had touched down. Early reports are at least seven houses destroyed and cars and trucks that were on Interstate 40 in that area were tossed, so they are still notifying next-of-kin and assessing those injuries. As of this writing, I-40 West is still closed due to the tractor trailer jammed up under the overpass.

But hey! Starbucks is open for business this morning. Seems they have a generator. Everything else is closed due to lack of power. Oh yeah, I’m writing this to post later, currently on battery power. We got our youngest off to school…the school also has generators.

After skipping over our neighborhood, the tornado touched down briefly in Winston-Salem between the two hospitals. The next touchdown was in Kernersville and Greensboro. And that is where the most damage occurred. Luckily, the area was primarily businesses that were closed at the time it hit. Radio reports are sketchy at this time, but the area was pretty much flattened. Once the power comes back on and I can power things up, I’ll have a better idea of things.

The temptation is to get in the car and go take pictures, but I’ve got some minor messes to clean up and it isn’t wise to interfere with emergency crews.

After a pause here, the power came back on at 8 AM, so we only had to endure ten hours without power. This was very important since Demon Dog otherwise had to be confined to the house. No power meant no electric containment system which meant Demon Dog only had to penetrate two instead of three layers of obstacles to “breach containment”, which he did first thing this morning while it was still dark.

Oh well, time to do the minor cleanup outside…before it warms up too much.

7 comments:

Joe said...

Glad to hear you survived relatively unscathed. How bad was the one 10 years ago?

The Muse said...

J.L. I'm so glad you're okay! Tornadoes seem to be running rampant lately. My husband will be going on a business trip to Wichita, Kansas soon. I fear it because that's right in the middle of tornado alley.

You see all the stories on the news, but until you experience it you never know what to expect.

Be safe while you're getting rid of the tree debris in your yard.

Take care!

J. L. Krueger said...

Joe,

Ten years ago we lost a shed, several trees and part of our house roof. About two blocks away an entire new section of multi-million dollar homes was completely leveled.

Funny thing is we have this old wooden shed out back that was here when this was a farm. While the new shed was totally demolished in the last tornado, the old one...literally three fee away...was unscathed. It escaped damage again this time.

Muse,

When I was stationed at Fort Riley I got to enjoy many tornados. At least in tornado alley, most towns have warning systems.

Unlike a hurricane, you really can't get out of the way...all you can do is hunker down.

We had so much rain so fast, that we are also having flooding issues. In fact, that was really the worst of what we got.

Supposedly, a more powerful system is on the way...lovely.

Charles Gramlich said...

Tornadoes are scary things. I grew up in Arkansas and we had several tornadoes at times that passed pretty close. we lived at the base of a hill and one night we heard one go over our house in the air. That was scary. Just a few weeks back a tornado hit and killed 7 folks in Northern Arkansas but my family was safe.

Good luck with the cleanup.

Ello said...

Thank goodness you all are ok! Apparently a tornado touched down in northern Virginia not that far from me and did some significant damage. It is about the closest I've been to one. Very scary.

Good to see you around again!

J. L. Krueger said...

Charles,

When we get these things here they are usually skipping all over the place. When I lived in Kansas and Illinois they touched down and "traveled" for a while.

Ell,

Even the dogs know the drill. When we open the closet under the stairs, they go right in. Once the thrill is past, there are important things to consider like how to make the morning coffee. Luckily as a "camping family" we have the tools to cook and make coffee. We also have a couple cases of MRE's so in the worst case we won't starve. ;)

girl with the mask said...

I guess we're lucky over here that rarely do we have such awful natural 'disasters' (touch wood!). Good luck with the clean up!