Thursday, June 11, 2009

Storm Chasing

My wife would rather take a vacation on a storm chasing guide than some cruise or mountain get away. Tonight was a little crazy. The westward sky grew grey around 6pm as it often does. When we got to church I overheard an associate pastor say he had been watching the doplar radar most of the afternoon. After signing our kids in my wife and I headed for a lite dinner. On the way her friend called saying a tornado had touched down near her place just southwest of where we were.

Tornado sirens began to go off as we pulled up to the burger joing. We sat at Freddy's Drive In and could see the sky turn multiple colors. Something was coming. We ordered a burger basket to split and I called my friend B to see if he could give me a weather report. He informed me that a squall line was headed our way and it stretched from Oklahomo down thru the DFW metroplex. He also informed us a tornado touched down just south of us.

The wind began to pick up and it began to rain as we ordered our ice cream. We were torn between staying at the restaurant or trying to head back to the church. We made a dash for it and as soon as we got to our car the local tornado siren went off. I thought I would park in a bank drive thru and wait it out. It was next door. No luck since cars filled every slot. I then pulled behind The Great Wall of China restaurant just out of the majority of the wind and tiny hail. As we sat there we couldn't see anything. The building blocked most of the weather as well as our view of what was coming. At one point I gripped the steering wheel and held my foot on the brake. I then said, "We could be in the middle of a tornado." My wife told me to put my cone in my left hand and hold hers!

After what seemed like 10 minutes the 70+ mph winds dwindled and it was just raining. We survived. We did get to church 40 minutes early to check on the kids. It appeared all was well and we went to a nearby RadioShack to check the availability of a Nintendo DS "Lite" for our daughter. We got to see the weather report from 3 stations and some footage of the current storm.

From what I've read from Facebook friends and visual damage to fences and trees it seems like this one was a doozy. Now I know what it means to pray without ceasing.

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