This past May John and I experienced our very first tornado. And as first timers, we/I didn’t fare so well.
Growing up in Star Valley, we always practiced, planned and drilled for earthquakes, never tornado’s, so I had no clue what the signs of impending doom look like. The day it happened, John and I were in the next town over at the dentist, and on our way back the sky kept getting darker and darker. I am talking crazy dark. We weren’t listening to the radio because I was reading a ghost story book out loud, (mature reading I know) and at one point I had to stop reading because the sky was so dark. Again, we are pretty stupid about these things and just drive on our merry way thinking nothing about it.
On our descent out of the canyon, and into town, the hail on our car was beyond words. We couldn’t hear each other it was so loud. Again, nothing clicked.
I see a huge green freeway sign blown over, and I say to John, “wow look that sign is blown over, I can’t believe the wind blew that hard”. Still nothing.
We drive further and there are billboards and a semi blown over in the road, a boat, like a good sized boat is sitting in the middle of the freeway, and there are NO cops around, nothing, because the storm had just hit, we missed it by a minute or two at the most.
Still nothing for me until John says, “I think a tornado just went through here”. Good thing he is smart, because I still wasn’t even close. Here is a gas station which had the entire roof torn off.
Wal Mart had some of it’s roof gone, and some houses had some damage too.
The streets downtown were flooded.
And of course the stop lights weren’t working.
We are finally able to make it home and get inside. I quickly call Randa who looks up the weather for us because we don’t have a radio anymore, just iPods. At this time John leaves to go and check out the tires on our car-because the middle of a tornado is the ideal time to do this, shorter lines .
While he is gone the siren goes off again. It is the most terrifying sound ever when you are already scared to death, especially because John was not there with me to hold me together in one piece like he does. By the time he gets back I am a frantic mess, and all I can think about is how dirty our house was, and how messy the spare room closet was. So like a maniac I start cleaning our entire house. I tore everything out of the closet, reorganized the entire thing. Vacuumed, made our bed, folded clothes, cleaned the dishes. If my house was going to be blown away, it was certainly going to be the cleanest. I learned a lot, mostly that I don’t ever want to live where natural disasters are common place, I am just not cut out for it.