Monday, March 13, 2006

Tornados

Last night and into the early hours of this morning the National Weather Service had 56 reports of tornados in the Ozarks with more across the midwest. Scott and I sat up until the first line of storms was past. Then we fell asleep in the living room, leaving the television on, vivid radar colors splashing across the screen, to wait for the second line. The girls, who usually sleep upstairs were snugged cozily into our bed, and my closet had been cleared out and a radio and some batteries and blankets tucked into the corners, just in case. Somewhere around 1:00-1:30 a.m. I woke up to find Scott had retired to the girls' bed and the second line of storms was upon us.

Our internet connection is dial-up, and we'd be stupid to leave our computers plugged into either electrical outlets or phone lines during a Missouri thunderstorm, especially after having lost two modems and a monitor that way. So there was no live blogging the storms that shook the house and pelted the windows with tiny hail. I did, however, journal parts of the evening, and at the risk of exposing my unedited thoughts, will share.

[approximately 9:30 p.m. Sunday]
Presently I'm lying on the couch watching the news. Evidently last night several tornados went through Missouri, one of them in Vanzant, another in Branson. Currently they're tracking three more. It isn't storming here, although the wind speaks to the fact that somewhere not too far away, it is. On the map, a N->S line of storms is advancing on Springfield from the west, a line with tornado(s) very possibly and likely within it. Welcome to spring in Missouri.

[Scribbled near-absentminded notes while we watched the storm line press its way into Springfield]
When the winds begin
tearing at the roof and flinging
limbs against the walls--hear
them creak and pop with the changing
pressure--When the rain chills and hardens, tries
to break inside, smashes
holes in siding, crashes through the picture
windows, wrenching curtains from their rods, stripping
finish from the sills. When the roar
surrounds your body, solidifies the air
within your lungs,
When the storm comes, find
the lowest point, descend,
go to the center...

[approximately 10:10-20 p.m. (?)]
Listening to Springfield's KY3's live news. When they brought in hail the size of a half dollar, the studio was fairly quiet. Now you can hear the hail on the station roof like gangbusters, the weathermen are practically yelling, and the hail they're showing is the size of something between golf and tennis balls...Now bigger than tennis balls...And now it's quiet. It's quiet because it's headed across Webster County for us. Sitting on the couch, I can see out the living room's double windows to the west and SEE it [the storm] coming. The radar close-ups look to me as though the storm IS lessening overall, although the hotspots are still very pronounced.

11:19 p.m.
Fast approaching. I've cleaned out my closet and put one of the CD/radio thingies in there with a set of headphones and a bunch of batteries. Scott brought the girls down, and they're sleeping in our bed right now.

Rain. Only a bit. And some wind. According to the news guys on channel 10, it should be at Duncan up the road right now. 2 minutes
[away]. Personally, judging by what's going on outside, I don't think it will be too bad here, save for the wind, and that not even too bad, I think. It seems to have moved north and gotten smaller, resulting in it skimming Hwy 38, for the most part...

11:38 p.m.
Scott is lying on the couch trying to sleep. I'll nap on the recliner tonight. There is another line of storms coming through that is currently east of Joplin. They're not as bad, judging from the radar, as this one was, but they're stronger than they were at first, so we're going to leave the girls in our bed for the night, just in case...although... I COULD go upstairs and sleep in THEIR bed.

11:45 p.m.
The
[first] storm that went over us is passing 'Grove [Grovespring], where it apparently picked up strength if not size of area covered.

Picture
[on the news] of the hail that fell in Springfield just now. 45 minutes ago, and the thing is pretty much softball or grapefruit size. I need to turn out the light and nap. (We're leaving the TV on, albeit w/ the sound turned off. This is why I can tell you that there are great big trees down across National Avenue [in Springfield].

Sleep, Cindy. Go to sleep. While you can, Lady.

Monday, March 13, 2006
6:18 a.m.
[The girls' school] is closed due to storm damage.

What happened between telling myself to go to sleep and the school closing report is that Great Scott beat me to the girls' bed, and I woke up, as I've said, with the second line of storms directly over the county line. Directly over us. I wouldn't have had time to wake Scott up and get the girls into the closet before the tornado would have been on us, if it had come through our field. As it was, it or something very like a tornado destroyed a home of some people we know just a few miles away and damaged some other friends' houses. Six homes were destroyed near Competition and Grovespring--little communities to the near northeast whose children attend school with ours. And in Marshfield, the town just to the west, 40 homes were destroyed in a subdivision.

...And I'd intended to blog about office supply stores today.

Updates:
1. Jennifer blogs about tornado weather in Columbia, Missouri this weekend here and here.
2. My mother reports that one of their customers lost their house as well.
3. The Amish community near us (see "Duncan" and "2 minutes away" above) is rumored to have been hit badly.

9 comments:

Jennifer said...

Wow! I'm so glad all of you are okay, even though there was a lot of destruction nearby. We had the tornadoes (sp?) too; I think 3 people died in Central Mo. Scary stuff.

Michael said...

Glad to hear your family is ok... As another Missourian, we had our eyes and ears plastered to the weather all day yesterday as storms came through several times.

seeker said...

I too am glad that you are okay.

Feeble Knees said...

Being up in the Northeast, I had no idea about the storms until I turned on the news this morning, & my first thought was of you folks.

I'm so glad to read you're all safe & well!

Cindy said...

Thanks to everyone for the concern and good wishes.

Jennifer--You were on my mind as we watched the storms to the north. Glad you came out of it safe as well, even if your tea DID get cold.

Michael--Glad you and yours are safe, too. Saw on your blog you'd been traveling this weekend. Glad you made it home alright.

Seeker--Thanks. We're pretty happy about it, too. :)

Feebs--Thank you. I hope it blows itself out by the time it gets to your end of the nation.

Dawn said...

Cindy, You guys were in my thoughts and I am glad that you all are okay. One question... I am still trying to get more info about Springfield, MO. Do you know if it was hit bad? I have some dear friends there and I can't get a hold of them.

Lauren said...

Hey, just a heads up from us here in northwest Springfield. Brad and I are fine, no serious damage up here. Hail only got to golfball size and scared the heebie jeebies out of the cats. I heard rumors of hail that was baseball sized in southeast Springfield but saw nothing first hand.

Business was rather slow today and I presume the storm had much to do with it, but I have not heard anything too terrible about damage in Springfield itself.

We are glad you are all safe and sound. You guys are truly blessed, and much loved. Stay safe out there, eh?

Fieldfleur said...

Down in Vanzant on Saturday night, the cows entered the atmooospheric conditions, loudly all around the house. Bizarre. Fortunately, the clouds passed quickly as if on to better prey.
Glad you all were okay there!
T
Loved your poem!

Dave said...

I'm glad to hear you are okay. We only saw minimal news about the storms over here. I had no idea there were so many twisters in the Ozarks.

It brought back memories of watching the local TV reports and live radar as storms would go through Indiana. We don't have any dramatic weather like that in the UK.