It’s springtime in the Tennessee Valley, and unfortunately that usually brings us some bad storms. Today we had a system move through and the photo above is just a fraction of the damage it caused. Because I take the weather seriously, I didn’t head home when my boss let us go an hour early because I would have been driving right into the worst of the storm. Instead I headed to my church, where I usually go on Thursday nights for a study group and dinner. Tonight it was just the pastor and me. He’d already fixed the meal, but when we heard the civil defense siren signaling a tornado warning he called folks and told them to stay home.
Shortly after that the power went out. I’d taken my emergency radio to work so I could monitor things. We’d been warned bad weather was headed out way. We were warned last week. I told you I take it seriously. So the pastor and I got into an interior room with no windows and waited out the storm. We could tell it was raining very heavily but we had no idea the winds were so bad. Then we heard on the radio about a downed power pole causing a power outage and when they gave the location, we knew it was just at the edge of our church property. The Episcopal church next door had downed trees, one of which was driven through their church van.
The National Weather Service will investigate tomorrow to see if it was just wind or maybe a microburst or possibly a small tornado. Regardless, it was too close for comfort and I’m glad no one was hurt. A woman was trapped in her car by that falling pole, but she was able to get out safely. And a home had a large tree fall across it, but the owners were not injured. I feel for them. The same thing happened to a friend of mine two years ago and it took quite a while to get everything repaired.
So next time you think of Mother Nature and all the beautiful flowers she gives us, remember she has a mean streak too. If you live in an area prone to bad weather, be weather aware and take the watches and warnings seriously. Have an emergency radio, flashlights, candles, a helmet to protect your head (yes, my bike helmet was in my tote bag too) and most importantly, have a PLAN.
Photo from WHNT-TV, Huntsville, Alabama