Life Interrupted

Wednesday afternoon I was going about my normal Mom-taxi routine picking kid #1 up at one music lesson and delivering him to lesson two. Running errands with kid #2, stopping at the grocery store and talking to the deli manager about the ominous skies then making my way back to kid #1 where normally he’d be waiting for me at the curb but this time he wasn’t. We sat there and waited as rain began to fall and then a small amount of marble sized hail. He finally came out of the building and told me that they had secured the kids in the center of the school because of severe weather. I had no idea how severe.

We were making our way back home (a 5 min. drive) and as I passed people coming in the opposite direction they were sticking their hands out the window and making circular motions for me to turn around which I did figuring there were powerlines down which is a pretty common occurrence around here even in small storms and headed in another direction. As I came closer to the house but still about 3/4 miles away there was a cop stopping vehicles and telling them to turn around. I asked him how I was to get to my home since both streets were blocked and he was frantic, said he had no idea and that he didn’t know what happened here but the road was closed. Internally I started freaking out. I had no idea if our house was okay, and most importantly Stella. I was surprised that I didn’t care about my computer, camera or anything else. I tried to keep it together for the sake of the kids.

I headed to a friends house meanwhile trying to use my cellphone but service was poor at best. My friends were prepared with a hand-crank radio, police scanner and a large battery pack. After quite a while I was able to text a neighbor who said that she had driven down our street and that our house was intact. A huge relief. But there was still the question of how to get to Stella, the event, which was confirmed as a tornado, had driven a path between where we were and where our house is located. My husband, who works at the hospital wasn’t allowed to leave because they were on disaster alert and none of our neighbors had a key.

A second round of storms sent us into an enclosed room in the center of the house, the kids donned helmets and we all got cozy.

My husband was able to leave late in the evening and since the kids were still awake we loaded into the car to make an attempt to get home. We didn’t make it far since the second storm knocked down trees and power lines in the opposite direction. We were trapped and returned to my friend’s house where we would spend the night.

Taking the long way around my husband was finally able to reach the house and Stella, she was none the worse for wear. The kids and I made it home the next morning.

The town’s beloved Fountain Park, where summer concerts take place and I walk Stella. In the bottom of the three photos above check out how the trees are all down but if you look through them the flag and pole are still standing.

In the aftermath you can hear utility trucks, chainsaws, wood chippers, helicopters, small planes and generators.

We were so lucky to first escape the tornado (Casey and I had been on the path only moments before the tornado hit) and then to sustain very little damage from a storm that wreaked havoc 1/2 mile from our house. The two poplars above fell gently onto our shed not causing any damage and the shed saved my newly planted vegetable garden.

The horses who were even closer to the storm look like they weren’t even bothered.

This morning my kids, along with the Boy Scouts, helped to deliver coffee and pastries to the fire station. Tomorrow morning they are assembling sandwiches for the many hard workers that are here from all over the northeast, some I’m told haven’t slept in two days.

p.s. I’ll post sometime soon about the marathon (we finished!) and the ASPCA fundraiser (over goal!)

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9 thoughts on “Life Interrupted

  1. Wow… that is just unbelievable!! I’m so glad you were all OK, AND the damage wasn’t too great. Thank goodness for friends, how lucky that you were able to get to them.
    I heard about the tornado from another friend on fb and had to make sure you’re OK!
    That same evening Cameron (my older son) texted me and told me that a tornado had missed their house by EIGHT FEET on Sunday (he measured!!) They watched a telephone pole get ripped out of the ground and snapped in half! Crazy kids watching through the window!! Thankfully they were all OK, the baby even slept through the whole thing.
    I really hate tornado season. We have no safe place to go in the house, and our sorry excuse for a shelter is the dining table moved against the half wall bordering the kitchen.

  2. Dear Becky,
    How fortunate for you and your family that you escape harm! The photos show such devastation that was similar to what we had up here in Dec. 3, 2010. Many large trees were uprooted and left laying nearby. We must appreciate each calm day. Again, glad to hear you, your family and your pets are okay.

  3. So glad you and yours are okay. What a crazy few days it has been. It still feels unreal to me. Your pictures of some parts of town I’m yet to see are really something.

  4. Crazy, scary stuff. SO GLAD YOU ARE ALL OKAY! I can’t imagine all the damage in person…my family out in Western Mass and in Brimfield say it is all horrific. Like a warzone. Stella must have been so happy to see your husband!

    Hugs. 🙂

  5. So very scary!!! I’m so glad you are all OK, including Stella, and that your house was not damaged. What a close call!!

  6. Storms are soooo scary! The last tornado that came through our little town took out a home about a block and a half from us; while I was standing outside! Thank God the family was not at home. However they did not escape that storm; the tornado lifted back off the ground and then dropped down again about a mile away taking out the dinner where they were having supper. Lots of damage but the only injury was a broken arm on one of their little girls and that was caused when a waitress pulled her under the table before the roof came down on them. Scary stuff. Glad that you are all OK.

  7. OMG I did not realize you were that close to the tornadoes…I thought I would check your blog to see what was new…boy was I surprised. So thankful that you, your family, your house & ofcourse, Stella were all OK. Those tornadoes are one scarey beast, especially in your area where they are not expected. I see that you are doing Picture Color and Picture Insp I seem to miss yours alot, are you doing them late in the day?? Take care, stay safe and keep taking those wonderful pictures. Deanna

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