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!)