Saturday, June 7, 2008

Tornado Updates!!!

Hi Everyone!

We're safe now, and I think we're out of the major portion of the storm cell now. Still experiencing some heavy rain and lightening and thunder, and a LOT of wind ( 60 MPH Gusts )

So.. Anyway, we had decided, after celebrating Munchkin's birthday with his Grandpa, (Talk about an exciting birthday! We'll NEVER be able to top this one!) to hit Canal Days (our annual summer street fair). We'd been watching the skies all afternoon, because it had been overcast on and off, and we didn't want to get rained on. Well, it darkened for a bit, but then, the sun came back out, so we decided, it was now or never.

In the 15 minutes it took us to drive from Dad's, to our house, drop off our stuff, and get to the fair, the sky had clouded over considerably. We met up with dad at this point (about 5 minutes after we got there) and we were discussing just scraping the idea, and returning in the morning. The clouds SUDDENLY darkened, and lightening and thunder started booming. As we start heading to our cars, FAST, this guy in yellow (one of festival coordinators) comes RUNNING towards us, waving his arms, motioning behind us and yelling. We couldn't hear, since the band was playing on the park bandstand just about 25 yards from us. As we got closer to him, I made it out.

"TURN AROUND! GET INTO THE MIDDLE SCHOOL GYM!"

I glanced, and EVERYONE was swarming the school. I called out to Matthew and Dad, and told them what I'd heard. At that point, the band stopped, and then we finally heard it. Tornado sirens were blaring!

So.. we RAN..pushing stroller and everything.. towards the school. We finally got in, and cell phones are ringing like crazy, of course. I texted just a couple of people, just to let them know what was happening, JUST IN CASE. Then my phone rings. Matthew's sister, Laury is FREAKING out, because no one was answering our phone. I assured her we were safe, inside the school gym, and that dad was with us. Matthew's other sister, Staci, calls Dad on his cell, and tells us to keep an eye out. Cylea was at canal days with some friends. OH DEAR GOD. First..why is the 8 year old at canal days with friends, and no parents?! NO time to worry about that.. we gotta find her. We never did. Turned out, the friend's parents arrived, and dragged them home. lol. Of course, we didn't know this until AFTER we got home... Grrrrr.. Thanks for the flippin phone call!

Anyway... As we were waiting out the tornado, the tv's were on, and sure enough, one touched down near the airport, with is about 10 miles south of us.. And then, reports of another near the Coliseum, touching down, with is about 10 miles WEST of us! AIIIEE!!!

Just as that happened, a woman screams, and in about 10 minutes, fire and rescue show up. Her husband, we're assuming, had a heart attack. Needless to say, this was about the time REAL panic set in. I heard someone talking about what to do, if things got 'interresting', with the babies. Take them out of their strollers, lay them flat on the floor, and lay on top of them. It was about all of two seconds, that I had Malcolm unstrapped, and in my arms. I wasn't going to WAIT until AFTER people were screaming.

Ugh... Well.. about 45 minutes later, the sherriff made the statement that, though he didn't recommend it, the weather was cleared up enough that we could leave and go home. But that we needed to just head STRAIGHT home. So, that's what we did. A middle school gym, made of brick, with 250 other panicking bodies, with NO A/C... ONE bottle, and a three diapers... NO WAY. Besides. I'd much rather panic in the privacy of my own home, than in a public display of embarrassment.

So... on our way home, we noticed a LOT of damage to trees, and the outside of houses. It was still pretty dark when we were driving, and power was out on a lot of streets. But fortunately, God kept his hand on our house, and from what we've been able to see so far, we sustained no damage, except for the large flowering bush that sits just to the side of our porch. It's pretty smushed, and white petals are everywhere. I'm not terribly upset about his, btw. I wanted it yanked long before now. LOL. Our biggest 'problem' was Milo's inability to deal with stress. Quite literally, this 'event' scared the pee out of him. LOL. I can't say that I much blame him. This is closer to a tornado than I ever care to visit again. They are MORE than welcome to stay out of my little neck of the woods. Twice in 8 years, is PLENTY for me, is twice too many. I didn't get to sleep through this one, and now, I'm fully aware of what happens when they're this close. It's now a hour since the warnings have expired, and 5 hours since this chaos started, and poor Milo is STILL in a state of "HOLY CRAP!" LOL.

Malcolm, of course, was WONDERFUL through it all. Unlike a lot of the other little ones, he didn't cry once. He didn't whine, or fuss. He was calm, and quiet, and just incredibly alert, watching everything around him. In fact, when I took him out of the stroller, just holding him, helped to settle my own nerves. He's such a GOOD BOY!

Tomorrow, when daylight is upon us, and these storms pass, we'll be able to go out and get a better look. I'm just trying now, to settle my nerves enough to try and get some sleep.

So, if you all would pass this along, to others, and just let everyone know, that A) we're okay, and B) we may be MIA for a bit, (I'm BARELY online right now. My email is all I can get to.) I'd really really appreciate it! You all know the respective 'groups' that need updating.

But for now, I shall retire, and hopefully, wake up to a more 'normal' day.

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