I feel terrible for those people in Iowa and in Colorado who had their towns destroyed, and lost loved ones, by the raging storms within the last few days. My heart and prayers go out to ALL who have dealt with the aftermath of a tornado this year. I heard on the news this morning that this is the worst tornado season in almost a decade, and we have just arrived at the peak of the season.
I have lived all my life in Oklahoma and Arkansas...you would think I would be used to stormy weather and tornadic activity by now. But NO!
I don't know how it happened, but twice over Memorial Day weekend, we were in Tornado Warnings. We went to my mom's house for a visit, and she does not do severe weather. Her precautionary measures make the Boy Scouts look like amateurs. She is prepared to ride out Armageddon in her storm shelter.
Last night her weather radio went off every five minutes for a new storm alert from 9:30pm until 3:00am. By midnight, she is waking me up to come watch the weather with her, and to be prepared to get the kids to go to the storm shelter.
I lay across the armrest on her couch, and try to keep my eyes open. She tells me never mind, go to bed, she'll keep watch for awhile but she doesn't really think anything is going to happen. At 12:45am she is waking me up again because there is another area of rotation nearby (translation=30 miles south of us and heading away from us), and she is worried something might develop near us soon.
I tried to be equally concerned about the remote possibility of being blown away by a tornado with this particular super-cell, but by that point, unless the thing was right on top of us, my only interest was sleep.
Now my husband is absolutely fascinated by thunderstorms, so I woke him up from a lovely, deep sleep, and sent him into the living room to ride out the storm with my mom. I went back to sleep, the storms passed, and we returned home this morning.
The bad thing about this storm is that it happened at night, more accurately in the middle of the night, when everyone had already gone to bed to get some decent rest before work the next morning. The weatherman even told viewers, "If you know people in these areas, please call them and warn them about these storms. Lots of people are in bed by now, and don't know there is a tornado coming."
As of this blog, I have not heard of any fatalities related to last night's tornado outbreak; I have heard a few damage reports, but I think most people would agree that stuff can be replaced or repaired, lost lives cannot.
So even though I might sound flippant about my mother's tornado precautions, she is way ahead of the game, and I thank her for the great example she sets for me. I should be more like her, and not many daughters WANT to be more like their mother.