Friday, April 1, 2011

Tornado in Lakeland, Florida!

Yesterday was a first for me. I saw a tornado. Had one pass right by my house. It was storming pretty badly outside and I was actually sitting at my computer reading some of your blogs and things start pelting my window. I thought, "Man, this is a pretty bad storm."

I was just about the check the weather (I had not seen the news or anything that morning) but then more things pelted the window and the wind got really loud outside the window behind my desk." My cat started freaking out and ran under the bed. Then I lost power. I looked out the window and, though I didn't see the actual funnel cloud itself, I saw the rain spinning around my house in circles. We get a lot of funky rain in Florida, but circular rain is not normal! The trees were bending like crazy.

I knew it was a tornado. (Yeah...I'm super smart. lol) So I ran into my room, grabbed the thick comforter off my bed and ran into the bathroom, where I jumped into my tub and balled up in a turtle position, piling the comforter above my back and head. Everything was very dark. It was a very loud, very scary few minutes.

(This was a picture of a tornado that touched down in Kathleen, which is not too far from me)

When things got quiet, I got out of the tub and walked to my front window. Debris from he trees was everywhere. I started trying to call people -- my husband, my son's school, Stephanie-- but my phone would not work. My phone would not text or place calls or anything. I could not get on the internet either. I did recieve a few texts from my husband, which I couldn't respond to.

He was warning me that a tornado had been spotted at Bartow Hospital and was headed my way. lol. Thanks hon.

Finally, after a while, I was able to talk to Stephanie for a few minutes before our phones crapped out. She and Chad came to the house and told me the tornado had taken out several powerlines down the road. A crew was already on the scene starting to fix them. I decided to drive to my son's school since I could not reach them on the phone. And, after that, I decided I would drive to Fabio's to see if he was ok because we had heard reports that the tornado had downed a building and flipped over planes at the airport right across the street from Fabio's.

Looking back, it probably wasn't the best thing to do to go driving around. Down the street from my house, the roof of a barn had been ripped off. I saw huge oak tress snapped in half. One of them had fallen on a roof. Another had fallen on someone's truck. A few trailers I passed had siding and roof pieces ripped off. Smaller trees were snapped in half like toothpicks. On the main road I saw a metal business sign--a big one--with the sign part bent all the way backwards. Billboards had been blown down. Debris was everywhere. Emergency responders were driving all over.

(This is a picture at the airport across the street from Fabio's)

At my son's school, everything looked fine. Steph had said she could come to get Noah a little later if all was well. So, I drove on to Fabio's. He was fine too.

The worst part for my family--which is definitely small compared to some of the things other families in our area are dealing with now--was that we were out of power for yesterday and last night. But it came back on in the middle of the night, so it wasn't that big of a deal. We had Chad and Stephanie and my niece and nephew over and grilled out, then played word association games with the kids via candle light. That was actually pretty funny. The kids didn't quite get the game. Someone would say something like, "28." Next person said, "28 days later." Next person said, "Zombies." Then it got to my son who says, "Poop!" lol Oh well. At least it was entertaining.

I am thankful we and our house are fine. I haven't heard any reports of any deaths so far, so I am thankful for that too. Hopefully we don't get anymore tornadoes this season!

Stephanie also blogged about these weather phenomenons, if you want to see more pictures and hear more details! :)


Gina said...

Where I live tornadoes are a fairly frequent occurrence, but they still scare me. Mother Nature can tap you out pretty quickly ;) I'm really glad that you all made it through safely!

SavageKitsune said...

I approve of your son's word association. If I saw a zombie, I'd say "Poop!" too.

Besides, zombies must poop. They eat brains, right? If they eat, ergo they have to poop.

Afrorican said...

I checked out the picture of the tornado on Stephanie's site. Glad you and family / friends made it through okay. That thing looked like a beast.

Zen Mojo said...

Glad everyone is ok!

Emily Lemos said...

We managed to spend the majority of the storm inside at Kennedy Space Center, having decided to stay for one last IMAX show. We passed 3 flipped tractor-trailers and a TON of downed trees on our way home.

Glad you are okay! Must have been very scary.. I always miss my tornado experiences - I even slept through one once.