...where the wind comes sweepin' down the plain...
Well, this state that I love has been living up to it's name as tornado alley (I never understood why Dorthy was from Kansas...they don't get half the tornadoes we do but whatever).
Yesterday was an adventure to be sure. We live precisely in the middle of no where and to live in the middle of no where in the middle of Oklahoma, is truly the middle of no where. That being said, our particular corner of no where just so happens to be a rarity-there has never been a tornado (in recorded memory) to touch down within our town limits. One of our neighbors informed me of this great distinction and went on to say that it's because "we're surrounded by water like a horse shoe." I'm not sure if she was suggesting that the water keeps the tornadoes away or if it's because it's in the shape of a horseshoe...she's kind of special like that and since we've only lived here about a year, I have no idea how true the distinction of no touch downs really is. That being said, it wouldn't surprise me, but mostly because of the size of the town than anything else. It's easy to miss even when you're not a violent rotating column of air.
Yesterday nearly changed all that...even before the meteorologists began their 24 hour coverage and while they were still just trying to update people during the commercials, we saw the signs that all Okies know. The temperature was hot all day and even humid and then it quickly changed, the skies got lower and darker and we knew something was coming.
I should say that I have family in California that think I'm crazy and one (of many) reason(s) is that I LOVE living in tornado alley. I love hearing the sirens go off and running outside to see if I can spot, or even better photograph, a wall cloud form a funnel cloud. I love knowing what "hook echo" and "take your tornado precautions" means. Also, I think they're crazy...earth quakes don't give you dark skies to warn you. You can't feel the pressure change and know it's time to take cover with an earth quake. I have to qualify that although I love the power and the excitement tornado season brings, I hope and pray every year that no one will get hurt...that the touchdowns and damage will be in the middle of a field (preferably not rain-wrapped or at night so we can see it). Yesterday, that's nearly what we got. There were some minor injuries and several buildings were damaged but considering 16 tornadoes hit Oklahoma and 8 touched down in Kansas, it was a good day.
By the time our sirens went off (just for those who don't or haven't lived in an area with tornadoes, when storm systems are suspected of coming in and look to have the same conditions as a severe storm with the ability to produce a tornado, we go into Tornado Watch...when a tornado is suspected of either touching down, about to touch down or conditions are prime for a touch down, we go into Tornado Warning) I knew we'd end up in the storm shelter before the night was through. I had already put our emergency bag together and got the dog's collar on him. The sky was spinning before the sirens went off and when they did, I took a couple pictures with my phone and went into the shelter. Thankfully the tornado closest to us touched down a couple miles north (which in tornado language is pretty far...our meteorologists are the BEST!-they can warn people mile by mile, even block by block to take shelter or be assured it has passed your area and you'll be ok). We came out of the storm shelter to discover we had no power. It took about 4 hours for the power to be restored but I can't complain, I love living in tornado alley.
This (not my picture) was the tornado closest to our home...
right where it should be...it the middle of a field (in the day and not rain-wrapped).