Friday, May 08, 2009

Riding the Storm Out

Today we experienced the worst storm I've ever been in. Tornadoes, 80mph winds even without the tornadoes, and massive flash flooding. Here's a picture of a car on campus that got destroyed by a tree. The girl who owned it was injured, and thankfully some students in a nearby classroom saw it and helped her out and called an ambulance, she's now okay.

Our neighbor lost his fence when our street became like a raging river into his backyard. Other neighbors lost trees. Someone died in the county east of us, all of Southern Missouri got damage. The county was without power for most of the day.

I learned a new weather term tonight: "The comma's head." This is where you have a large bow line, and on the top of it you have a comma-shaped rotating piece. Springfield got the bow line, Bolivar got the comma's head.

In fact, I was already pretty sure we weren't going to get much of anything when the edge of the bow was over Springfield; they had a tornado on the ground. It looked like everything was past us except the very high winds which were supposed to continue for at least an hour, so we put Elias down for a nap. I didn't know the comma head was upon us.

The power went out, but I kept my handheld scanner on (b/c I'm old school and the weathermen on TV are unhelpful). I listened to the NWS' StormNet HAM repeater taking in live reports from weather spotters. Then we heard Bolivar fire dispatch announce a tornado was heading toward Bolivar at 50mph. The sirens blew, (but not very well b/c apparently the power knocked many of them out) but I still wasn't real concerned because the weather spotters were saying the tornado would stay in mostly rural areas (I forget that Bolivar is considered a rural area).

Then I looked outside and the wind was really picking up and I saw our neighbor's tree fall over and his gutters fly off, and that was quite disturbing. Joni ran to get Elias and take shelter. I listened to the updates and heard an officer report that the funnel was over the middle school, heading right for us. I waited for our crab apple tree to break (it broke last year without any storm help) but it never did. I watched our neighbor's fence get washed away and all the trash cans flow into his yard (today was trash day).

I heard the report about the SBU student, and soon afterward the fire crews were doing water rescues as people got stranded in their cars in the flash floods. The ambulances weren't able to go where they were needed because the roads were flooded. The city kept blaring the storm sirens to discourage people from driving on the roads since they were flooding. It was basically a rainy, windy mess for a couple hours.

Thankfully, there weren't many injuries or fatalities. This was our second tornadic event here. I would love this stuff if I was single, but it's a little different with a 1 year old.

1 comment:

Keith Walters said...

Glad you all are ok, thats crazy