Mike called from DC the morning of the storm to tell us that there were tornado warnings in our area. I replied, “I know the sirens have been going off all morning.”
Trash was out, happy for the rain considering the drought and fires where my parents live, tornado sirens aren’t that out of the ordinary (and I still prefer them to the long drawn out hurricane warnings we had in Florida).
I thought about having James go in late for work.. but Mike talked me into letting him go at his normal time. Josh was studying for final exams and Joel was on the computer. Judi was dreaming about tornadoes (no kidding). Joel and Josh came out and looked around after hearing so many sirens then went back to their room.
I was working in the kitchen a little while later when I saw a wind shear blowing across the lake and called the boys to “Come quick and see.” Joel noticed a rotation in the clouds just above our yard. I yelled, “No!” Then on the far side of the lake we saw what I guess was the beginning of a water spout; water splashing and beginning to spin 20 to 30 feet up into the air.
Josh yelled, “Run!” Joel said, “Where’s the camera? Let’s take a video.” Josh and I yelled in unison, “No! Run!” We yelled to sleeping beauty, “Get in the bathroom there’s a tornado!” The dogs followed and we brought them in with us. Judi asked, “What about George?” Joel said, “Forget about her. Cats are survivors.” The lights flickered. We lost power. A few minutes later it had past.
It just missed our house. Threw our patio furniture on and broke a neighbor’s fence a little over a block away. Broke our table into a million pieces and scattered them across the length of our neighbor’s yard. It abused our screen door. It’s hard to latch and often gets blown open. This time it bent out of shape and the screen tore up (most likely by an airborne patio chair). Knocked the propane tanks to our fireplace off their foundation and bent the pipe to the gauge (I always thought they should be under ground). We have a little damage to the roof.. mostly from the large hail we got later in the day from the storm that did the worst damage in our area (destroying whole neighborhoods up the road).
The tree near the “water spout” lost a bunch of branches. And many trees behind it and the frame of a newly constructed house are all down. Many of our neighbors (including one next door – her flag pole was bent over too) have blue tarps on their roofs now, a few lost their fences, a trampoline dropped on a neighbor’s BMW and a few other small things things were lost, but for the most part we are all happy to be alive and that things were not much worse.
Minutes after our small tornado a friend called from Montgomery to see if we were OK and to tell us that they had spent the morning praying for us. Wow! So nice to know. So blessed.