All last week the media warned us that there would be some bad weather coming up over the weekend. On Friday there were official warnings put into place. There were going to be tornadoes going through the area, no doubt about that.
Despite living smack dab in tornado alley our house was built without a basement. This means that whenever it storms Biju and I keep a hawk-eye on the news so we'll know the precise moment we need to take the boys down into the crawl space. I'm told it's a pretty nice crawl space, as far as those spaces go. Pretty roomy, I'm told. However, it is still cold, dark, dirty, most likely has spiders, and it is only reserved for real emergencies.
Since we had plenty of heads-up I made arrangements early in the day with my sister to go over for the evening and make use of their basement. We spent the morning and early afternoon hanging out at our place enjoying the calm before the storm. I packed an overnight bag just in case. We put everything that was loose in the backyard into our garage, even the (glass-top) patio table. We kept the news on and at one point the weathermen announced that there were three confirmed tornadoes on the ground at one time in Kansas.
I had heard the storms would start in our area around 4 so that's when we left. Once at my sister's, we learned that the storms would be in our area closer to 8pm. Good thing we brought the over-night bag. The boys played with their cousins, we had dinner, they played some more, all the while with the local news station on. We chose to go ahead and put the kids to bed in the regular bedroom - the two older girls on the top bunk, the two older boys on the bottom bunk. Audrey was also upstairs in her bedroom, Aren was downstairs in the pack-n-play in the play room.
I crocheted while we watched the news/radar and saw the storm getting closer and closer. We kept hearing about this one particular storm, the one that was headed straight towards us, that kept dropping tornadoes. In fact, there seemed to be one tornado traveling along with the storm. We also heard about one that was ranged from 1/2-3/4 of a mile wide. (I'm not sure if they were the same one.)
When the weathermen started naming towns that I recognized, towns that were more like "suburbs" of our town, we adults decided it was time to bring the younguns down into the basement. First, we gathered a few essentials - shoes for everyone, a jug of water, diabetes medicine for my sis and her husband, diapers for the littlest ones. Then we went upstairs and started waking the kiddos. Ajay started walking into the living room even though I told him to go downstairs. Shelly redirected him as she came into the bedroom to wake her girls. Soon, we saw Ajay wandering back into the bedroom and trying to get back into bed. I scooped Alex up into my arms and redirected Ajay. I walked out of the bedroom to see Ajay meandering back towards the living room so, with Alex on hip, I guided Ajay down the stairs in front of me.
Audrey was not happy about being awakened in the middle of the night! She was letting everyone know how upset she was (then she'd doze off, then wake up and cry again). Still, Kyleigh, Ajay and Alex were able to fall back to sleep on the floor. When we heard that the tornado was now on the south-west part of town, I went to get Aren out of his pack-n-play. As soon as I got back with him, we discovered that the tornado had turned! Instead of cutting a swath right through a hugely populated area, it turned and took another path. It still happened to hit an area that had a lot of trailers (of course).
I'm not sure of the official count but I think there were around 90-100 tornadoes in Kansas yesterday. And as far as I've heard, there have been no deaths!! Oklahoma, sadly, had 5 perish in the storms. I'm not sure how Nebraska or any other states came out.
|Kyleigh, Paige (looking at the camera, who couldn't sleep because she was too worried), Ajay, Alex, and the TV screen with the red, yellow and green screaming out warnings.|