Thursday, April 23, 2015

T is for Tornado

Have you ever watched Wizard of Oz and thought that is what would happen if you were in a tornado? Yeah, me either. LOL 

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We are heading into tornado season and we need to be prepared. Most people are not. First off…watches vs. warning:
WATCH: Keep an eye on the weather. The weather could make a tornado.
WARNING: Take cover! Tornado has been spotted

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Growing up in Kansas, don't even start with the Wizard of Oz jokes, we had multiple, MULTIPLE tornados. I remember my dad taking me out, teaching me how to read the sky. I got to be a human weather vane! It was exciting to see the "finger" clouds come down and see rotation, but many miles away from me!

Heck, I used to chase those bad boys in my younger days! I think if I was better at science and math I would have been a meteorologist. If I had the cashes to do whatever I want, I would be a tornado spotter. 

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Here is a favorite story about me and tornados:

It was a hot summer evening. I was working at the local drive in theater out in the entrance booth. I had both windows open it was so hot. It was Friday night, new movie night. The night before, Thursday, was the last night for the movie Twister. I thought it would be kinda weird funny to watch Twister at the movie theater but wasn't meant to be. 

The wind picked up and it was cold! I had to shut my windows because of the flying sand and how cold it was. Then the phone rang. "This is the National Weather Service and we have issued a tornado warning for your area. It is 20 miles south of your location. You need to evacuate." Heart beat picks up to pass out tempo. I used the intercom to get the owner/manager on the phone. No one was responding. Finally, they picked up and took over. 

At this point, I see the writing on the wall. I start closing out my drawer, gather my college books and papers, and pack it in ready to beat foot out of there. Atlas it wasn't meant to be. I had to hand out readmit tickets in the pouring rain with a tornado bearing down on us. Freak out is a light term for what was going on in my head!

Finally all were gone and we got in our cars and boogie hoogie out of there to the boss's house. We holed up in the basement after grabbing food, books and the cordless phone (yeah it was that long ago, no cell phones yet). I called the folks to let them know I was ok and they didn't even know what was going on!! They just went back to bed! 

Needless to say, the tornado dissipated before it got to our location and all was well. On a side note, there was a carnival on the north end of town (I was in the south part) and they had all the carnies go into the movie theater there and line the halls. I think I got the better end of the deal!

This was not my only encounter with tornados and I don't think it will be my last. I am a teacher and in the last 5 years, 3 separate times we have had to duck and cover. I made sure my kiddos were safe and sane (no freak outs allowed!) but inside I was wanting to get out there and chase them suckers! 

I think because I grew up with tornados was learned at a young age about them, how to spot them, and their destruction capability, I have a healthy respect for tornados! Does this mean I want to be IN a tornado…HECK NO! I am thankful I have not had one that close to me. Just because I want to chase one, doesn't mean I want to be in one. 

Click here to see arial pictures of the 2007 F5 tornado that ripped through the town of Greensburg, Ks. It destroyed the whole town. Click here for pictures of the destroyed town. They rebuilt and are becoming know as the "green"energy efficient town. This town is about an hour or so from my hometown. If you want to know what it was like to survive an F5 tornado, read Megan Gardiner's account here.

Have you been in a tornado? Do you live in Tornado Alley? 


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