The weather in the last day or so really has me beside myself. Tony and I headed to Nashville yesterday morning to stay with friends. We drove through some fierce sideways rains, and then thought to pull up the weather on a phone. I officially take back every negative comment I’ve made about our reliance upon these pretentious electronic devices.
It was 3:40, and I noticed a warning area we were just a smidge north of. I clicked on it – because some intelligent programmers had the foresight to include this functionality, my thanks to them – and saw that it was a tornado warning. Warning. Not watch. To expire at 3:45. We immediately exited and waited out the warning. Seeing a clear path through the warning areas, we got back on the road at about 4:05 and continued south. Then, traffic came to a stop in Henryville, and deciding we were sitting ducks, we ignored the no-U-turn sign, and U-turned back north.
The road south was ominous and dark, but headed back north, the sun was out, and we were out of the rain. There was almost no traffic headed north with us, but southbound was a parking lot with no fewer than five police headed the wrong way zooming up the shoulder. We passed some slow-moving cars with initial frustration. Taking in the situation, Tony commented that, nevermind, they had been in an accident – they’re off the hook. Then we passed two more cars in the same situation. No wrecks after all; the accident they all survived was the baseball-sized hail and 80 mph straight-line winds of the storm they had just escaped. The bodies of the cars were surprisingly dented, the windshields had obvious, ball-shaped dents mashed into them, and pretty much all the other glass in the cars was gone. A truly sobering sight.
My heart breaks for all the folks who lived in or got caught in the paths of yesterdays storm terror. We were only about 2 miles away, and I still don’t exactly feel unscathed emotionally. We angled around the storms and stayed on the backside until we arrived safely in Nashville. I later learned that a good friend ended up in a shelter under a tornado that had made ground contact in Atlanta. He’s okay, but the weather simply wouldn’t let up. The storm he took shelter from around 9pm was the same system we ran from around 4pm.
As the storms across the south moved on and wound down, the weather Up North was just gearing up. Tony and I have been on the phone repeatedly with folks who are looking out for our house and cats while we’re away. Our neighborhood, such as it is, saw nearly two feet of heavy, wet snow overnight, and we’re still getting the fluffy, easy-to-drift lake effect. I understand that the main roads are clear, but that our road has trees across it in multiple places, in both directions surrounding our house. We have power, but loads of homes in the area don’t have power, and aren’t really expecting it before Monday. With trees down on many of the non-main roads (which is most of the roads in my area), many also don’t know when they’ll be able to get out.
Mother Nature can be a cruel mistress. What a dichotomy these storms make me feel. I feel very much separate from the long-track tornadoes in southern Indiana, but also like I was a part of it. I feel so grateful that we escaped when we did. I wish more people had the opportunity we had. The storm Up North is still wreaking havoc, and I feel both a part of it, and apart from it. I can’t decide if I really wish I were there or not. One thing’s for sure – I (selfishly?) am incredibly glad that all those I hold dear are safe from the weather this time. My thoughts are with those who were not or are not so fortunate.