How did you spend your weekend?

Why, hiding in a bathtub from a tornado of course!

We went down to visit my parents this weekend, and what followed us there but an F3 tornado...

They'd said on CNN that south Arkansas could be getting tornadoes popping up Saturday, but when I talked to my friend Lish on MSN and she said that they were right then seeing footage of a funnel cloud dropping and jumping into a cloud right over our other friend, Jenn's, neighborhood (Yes, Jenn, we're very glad you were camping!), I kind of assumed that the majority of the nastiness had gone north of us. Little did I know that right at that moment there was a tornado forming just up the road.

The sirens went off in Stuttgart about 8ish, and that was odd because it wasn't even raining yet. So I grabbed Nicky, and we went directly to the bathtub. Then my dad came in and told us that it was actually still about 20 minutes out. Since the toddler didn't understand the need for sitting in the bathtub without even any water to play in and a bunch of pillows, we abandoned that idea until it got closer. My pregnant hip, which hurts so much I can barely walk, didn't get it either!

Just as predicted about 20 minutes later, the sirens started going off again and the rain and wind started. So back into the tub we went. I made Nicky get inside my shirt with me. He thought that was pretty darn amusing at first, but then got really mad about being trapped. I've just heard too many stories about mommy's having their babies ripped out of their arms by tornadoes, and I didn't have the Ergo carrier to strap him to me. The power started blinking and then went out completely. The tornado's actual passing by didn't last long. There were a few minutes of horrible wind and what sound like hail but was more likely debris slamming against the roof. The whirly bird (or whatever you call that vent thing on the roof that lets hot air out) sounded like it was about to be ripped off. Then everything went deadly silent for like a minute before it started up again. I guess it didn't take much more than ten or fifteen minutes for it to pass by completely.

It's so strange. For some reason, I would have thought there would have been much more thunder and lightening involved. Aside from wind and debris, there wasn't just a lot of noise from it. My dad commented that he kept thinking there would be that freight train noise they always talk about, but there was just a loud whistling sound.

When we came out every Bradford Pear tree on the street was just shattered. It looked like a bunch of firewood. Poor trees. And Daddy's big pecan tree was completely uprooted. Most of the houses in the neighborhood had lost shingles, a lot had lost privacy fences, and a house three doors down had part of its roof torn off. The whole place stank of natural gas. Someone's meter must have gotten ripped off the wall.

Over the course of the next couple of hours, we found out that one of the buildings that is part of my mom's campus had a wall ripped off of it and a the main building had a plate glass window into the lobby completely shattered . The neighbors parents' house (thank goodness they were out of town) was almost completely demolished. It's so sad cause they just bought it three months ago and had just finished doing a bunch of remodeling! Also another of their friends' house is now missing its entire second story. They were also out of town. Isn't that crazy but wonderful!?
The power didn't come back on at all last night, likely due to the fact that like 25% of the power polls were down in town. They still don't have power last I heard. At least my parents are close to the power company's headquarters so surely they'll get it back pretty soon. In the rest of the town I can't even imagine how long it will take. It got soooo hot in that house last night. Modern houses are NOT meant to be without air conditioning!

So I got up about 5:45 and went to look outside. However, the darn baby safe thing we put on the door into the sun room would NOT come off. I could feel the cool air coming in, and I turned into one of those puppies who puts his nose to the door and tries to suck in the fresh air cause they want outside. What? My dogs do that! Don't yours? So I finally resorting to cutting the dang thing off the door. It was sooo cool outside that I swear I almost squealed with glee.

pregnant woman+hot house+sleeping=very bad deal

I think I must have managed to wake up the entire rest of the house with my antics, because by 6:15 everyone was out of bed except Nicky. That is somewhat of a feat when my hubby is in a house. ;)

So since we were up we just got the heck outta dodge so that my parents could deal with all the stuff that needed to be cleaned up at Mom's school. Since she is the vice-chancellor she gets to deal with the organization efforts for cleaning up that kind of mess. Seeing her working her booty off at midnight and then six in the morning made me glad I am a peon. She's pretty darn amazing.

It took a little bit of doing to get out of town because there were so many power lines down. This being one of them...

No, I didn't zoom in... That is the view that was directly out of my car window. It was almost touching the car! Don't worry it wasn't live.

This is what the majority of the rest of the lines looked like...

And this is what the bad spots looked like...

So all and all the fact that there were only three injuries and they were minor was pretty much a miracle!

So that's how I spent my Mother's Day weekend... How about y'all?


Jenn said…
I was pretty sure I'd mentioned camping the weekend you girls were here, but when I got a text from Lish, I knew she'd forgotten. I figured you'd feel better if you got my I'm ok response too :)

I was glad I was camping too, storms were ALL around us, but we just got very few sprinkles and like 5 minutes of actual rain. Was a good weekend :) *hugs* See you soon
Vixen said…
Well I just went fishing and caught zero fish...

Wow you had a freaky time. I think I will take an earthquake any day.

So glad you and your folks are okay.
Me said…
Jenn:'s okay then darlin. See we really don't listen to you. ;p LOL And yes we felt better when we got your text. :-D

Vixen: Well fishing is fun even when you don't catch a darn thing. :D Oh you crazy Californian you! I'd take tornadoes over the earth moving any day! Well...the earth is allowed to move in very special situations, but we won't go into that here. LOL

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