First Tornado Warning of the Season

Today we had our first dangerous weather of tornado season. I didn't even know there was a serious weather front on our radar until I was getting ready to leave work and a co-worker said, "good luck with the storms tonight." I was like, "what storms?" and she said, "oh, you have to tune into the radio because they're predicting tornadoes tonight." Gulp. We don't have TV and I mainly listen to the local public radio station that broadcasts NPR. Aside from the National Weather Service Alerts that interrupts their broadcast during imminent dangerous weather, they are not huge on posting tons of weather information. So, on the drive home I tuned into KRMG, which is the local talk radio station (read: CONSERVATIVE talk radio) and that supposedly has the best radio weather reports.

Once I got home, I mentioned to my mom that there were reports of severe weather on the she tried to tune her TV in her room to a local station. She doesn't have cable, so she uses a digital antennae, which means that in severe weather it generally fails. And of course, it wasn't working that well, but she did manage to get spotty coverage from Fox23. I nursed Libby and she fell asleep for a second nap of the day, which she has dropped had since before her first birthday and typically only has one nap daily. I placed her in her crib and carried on with checking email, getting dinner items ready and tidying up around the house.

At 5:30 p.m. the radio blared a warning and the tornado siren at Harvard and 41st went off. I jumped up from the computer, scooped Libby out of her crib and headed to our bathroom, which, aside from the hall closet, is probably the safest place in the house to ride out severe weather. My mom rounded up the four dogs and got them into the bathroom. Next she brought in blankets and our couch cushions. Meanwhile, I nursed Libby while sitting in the tub, as she was fussing and I didn't want her to start wailing which inevitably leads to a quartet of small dogs howling together in unison. Mom turned up the radio in the living room, grabbed our purses, extra diapers, bottles of water, extra batteries and her medications and returned to the bathroom. She heard the cat outside the door so she opened it, grabbed her and placed her in our linen closet so she'd be away from the dogs. There we were: me, mom and Libby with four dogs and a cat...all stuffed into our teeny 1950's tiled bathroom. I loaded new batteries into our combo flashlight/radio (it also has a crank, just in case it loses juice) and turned into KMRG so we could hear the reports better.

They're located near 71st/Yale and we're at 41st/Yale and we got very scared when they broadcast that they were evacuating the building. They also reported the ominous green sky that sometimes comes before a tornado. The sky darkened the small window in our bathroom and my mom began to cry behind a couch cushion. I continued to nurse and rock Libby as the sirens blared and the reports from the emergency radio intensified. All of the sudden it got extremely bright outside. I looked out the window and it was eerily calm. No leaves bustled. There was no sound. After about 3 or 4 minutes the sky darkened again and thunder clapped. It began to rain hard and fast and then the hail came. And the wind kicked up again. After that the sirens stopped. We're not 100% sure but we think that tornadic activity passed over our house. Swirling clouds, at least. That explains the green sky. And it makes sense since that is what the radio station reported as well and they're not far from us. Thankfully, that was all it was here. The folks in Tushka were not so fortunate. And it's a reminder to us that we need to be prepared. It's Spring in Oklahoma and that means it's tornado season.


alex said...

Wow! Talk about scary! I'm really happy to hear all is well and you guys made it through your first big tornado warning of the year. I hope you don't have many more of them.

Anonymous said...

SO GLAD you guys are ok!