Saturday, March 28, 2009

Tornado Terror

As the front came through on Friday, we were told at school that we were under a tornado watch and later, a tornado warning, as one had been observed south of us. That last announcement was more than a few of my kids were ready to deal with. I sat holding one as he bucked up and refused to cry, but shook like a leaf in my arms. I did my best to reassure them all that we were in a safe place and that we knew what to do if the alarm went off. I pulled up radar on two different computers and showed them where we were and where the hardest rain was. I told them that the rain would sound really loud on our metal roof when it got here and that we might get some thunder and lightning but that we were staying inside away from the lightning. On the second radar, we looked at the storm tracker on Wunderground Nexrad that shows the direction the storms are moving, if they contain hail, and if they contain a tornado vortex. We found this reassuring to not see any of the latter but it was a long couple of hours.

In the back of my head was all the damage B and I have recently seen in the Thomasville, Georgia area. It has been five weeks since a twister cut a swath through the woods up there. We were in the area a couple of days after and I took a few pictures.

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Tall trees do a lot of damage when they fall. There were many “blue roofs” (tarps) in this little neighborhood.

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We thought this was bad.

Four weeks later, we were back and took another look at an even more rural area on the other side of town where the same tornado had sheered  off a mature forest—for miles!

On the far right of this picture, you can see the mess has been cleared and burned.

It was evident that a lot of work had been going on to clean up the fallen trees. These logs still standing were around 12 feet tall.


Here are two nice homes along that road with major roof damage. The far one had not a single shingle and the closer one was covered in thin black plastic. We had to wonder how long these people might have been trapped on their own property. There was no chance this dirt road was passable. It must have been covered in trees.


This used to be a secluded little wetland. Now it is a big puddle, surrounded by very large brush piles, made from fallen trees.



This large hawk with the perfect camou was hanging around looking for some homeless creature to have for dinner.


These were the images in my head as I tried to reassure my kindergartners. To think of such power hitting our school full of children is indeed a terrifying thought.

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