I have decided to go through some of my old blog entries and I came across this one and I want to revise and edit this one to bring in more details of how we have encountered the tornadoes. Some of the details have remained intact. There is much more about how we have survived the tornadoes so I added the two events that I have not written about.
Many of you have seen the movie “Twister”. The movie was well-written and realistic enough to show how destructive the tornado can be. I have watched it many times that I’ve lost count of it.
Of all the memories of the encounters of the tornadoes; I remembered only two of the three tornadoes during my lifetime.
The first tornado was a devastated one in 1966 in Tampa, Florida where I used to live in a trailer near the 2-lane road across the orange grove. In this event, This is on of the pivotal one as well as the other 2 disasters. I was a little girl about 1 or 2 years of age. I was at my great-grandparents’ house in Deland, Florida at that time. They were going to keep me for a week before bringing me back home in Tampa. Well, they called my grandmother Penny and my mother to explain that they are about to have visitors coming to stay a week and they wanted to keep me another week. My mom and grandma say, “OK, you can keep her another week.”
So near the end of that second week, there was a bad storm brewing in Tampa, and there was no way to report such a weather anomaly. The severe thunderstorm was already exhibiting the classic indications of a cloud circulation, hot and cold air masses and barometer pressure dropping. The wind has picked up and there was hail before there was that eerie silence. Then, the funnel was formed. The funnel touched down and the sound of “speeding freight-train” has increased. My grandma remembered such a sound when she used to live in Kansas.
My mother was getting ready to go to work. Grandma Penny was about to walk out the front door and my Granddaddy George has finished taking a shower and he is about to put on his undergarment.
The next thing happened was nothing but pure chaos. Everything blew apart and there was pandemonium.
Granddaddy found himself in another part of the yard and he grabbed a blanket to cover himself. Grandma Penny was on her back on the concrete slab in front of the trailer that was no longer there. My mother was elsewhere dazed and bleeding as she had a gash wound in her thigh. Just as everyone are getting into the car that has moved to another spot, my mother, Patsy, got hysterical as she was upset and panicking that I might have been torn to pieces when she’d seen the crib impaled in the palm tree.
When they all reached the hospital, no one has any ideas that a tornado has struck in the area. No weather people had ever reported any unusual weather pattern earlier. So the group of tornado victims has poured into the emergency room section to be treated for various injuries. Grandma Penny had a broken collar-bone from being hit by the door when she was walking out of the trailer when the twister crosses path with her. My mother’s thigh wound was stitched up and she has come to her realization when they asked where her daughter might have been. I was still at my great-grandparents.
So a new trailer replaced the one that has been destroyed by the tornado.
Then, in 1974; I was still in Tampa, but I was in a different part of Tampa since we’ve moved. We’ve added another trailer to the one that was moved a few years ago when another family came to live with us.
On that particular day of 1974; My mother was on her way to work at a bar further into town. Only my aunt Jackie whom I called “Big Jack” and my cousin, Melissa, and I was home from school at that time. Everything was pretty much in the normal routine. I remembered hearing the TV running and seeing that a kitchen light was on. I remembered being in the living room. I remembered that the day was pretty much cloudy and rainy. I did not realize that something was about to go wrong. I didn’t remember what TV program was on and I surmised it was a regular show till something else like a weather report came on. That was when Big Jack knew that she had to do something. She has rounded me and Melissa up and charged us into the master bedroom. That was when I heard nothing but that eerie silence, it was a funnel forming.
Just as Melissa and I were herded under the large mattress, we all heard that loud “speeding freight-train” noise as the wind and debris are buffeting around us. I felt the rumble as the destruction of more trailers and homes are being wrought by the twister.
Then, we heard the back door open and slam as the neighbors burst into the hallway.
As fast as it came, it was gone.
We crawled out from under the mattress and saw neighbors standing and sitting about. Some were also injured by the flying projectiles.
So we packed our provisions before we had to leave for a place to stay over-night.
Meanwhile; remember when I wrote that my mom was on her way to work as a bartender at a bar? As she was en-route to the establishment when she notices the swirling clouds behind her. As she looked into the rear-view mirror, she saw that ugly sight of a twister bearing down on the very place she lives. So she turned and swerved into an opposite lane of traffic and she doubles-back to where she lives hoping that her daughter is not in that tornado as she had feared before. She later found me safe.
Our two trailers escaped with minor damages while the other neighbors had to replace or rebuild their homes while others had decided to leave. It is amazing that a few neighbors has seen our trailers still standing and they ran to them during the storm for safety.
On February 2, 2007 It was late at night. I thank that higher power has something to do with these such dangers….
Well, we got home on Feb 1 from the Special Gathering and eating at Chinese food place. I got online and we have “rain-fade” because we have satellite internet. So we had rain-fades off and on throughout the night. I felt led to log the #TheChapel’s Bible studies and then post it after I’ve edited the file. Then, I was led to counsel several folks on Christian-Chat Network. All I can say is that the situation was a bad misunderstanding. Anyway; just as I was talking to an IRC-Op, Tink, about the internet and chat…. The lights flickered and I heard a low-rumble soon after a thunder roll… Then, the lights went out!!! Then, I KNEW!!! There’s a tornado nearby…. I said to myself, “If it gets to close; I’m outta here!” I am thankful that the tornado has missed us by a half a miles!!!!
So the electricity went out and my computers are on battery back-ups so I can shut down the system in the orderly fashion. Anyway; since I cannot sleep with the lightning flashing for they keep me awake…. so I walked around the house with a flashlight and a Zune (an mp3 player). We were without power for 5 1/2 hours!! The power came back on about 9:30 am.
All this ruckus happened at 3:53 am when my battery cut on! Well after the fact, when the power came on… we got a lot of phone calls!!! Wow!!
Of course, even my hubby called on my cell phone! and the cell-signals were terrible then! That was because folks got on the cell phones asking, “Are you Okay?!” or “WHERE ARE YOU?!” Like I said, it’s a crazy ground-hog day!!! Well, he didn’t see his shadow here, but he sure did see a tornado and scampered right back in the hole he dug up! All this happened in Sumter, Lake and Volusia Counties. I’m sure a lot of people have seen the news about the destructive power of the tornado. I think it’s an F3 tornado that has cut a swath across Central Florida from west to east, starting in the Villages and ended in New Smyrna.
Tornado is one of the most destructive weather pattern that is to be respected.
But those destructive weather patterns are used to teach us the lesson about the appreciation for life and how danger is to be respected such as the tornadoes, hurricanes, or the blizzard…
I have dug up part of the old blog entry and edited it to bring in more details of how we have encountered those tornadoes
So if you understand and respect their powerfulness and that you want to be safe in the event of a tornado. I would recommend clicking on this link on tornado-safety. It is a very well-written article concerning the weather phenomenon. So keep yourself and your family safe.
Be safe in the tornado season.
Shalom y’all ‘ll see you later!