Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A Scary Day

Tornados in central Oklahoma today.  Second time ever in my adult life that I felt taking cover was necessary.   Footage of one of the twisters today:

Image: Video still of tornado touching down near Oklahoma City (Courtesy of KFOR)

Last time:  Not prepared (infamous May 3 tornado).  Dove into closet at last minute.  Couldn’t catch cat.  Cat highly amused by flashlight beam peeking from under door to closet.  Cat paw trying to **get** flashlight beam during huge tornado nearby and debris hitting house.  Not fun. 

This time:  Prepared.   Closet under stairs cleaned out; chair pads in place for comfort; mini-battery TV powered up and ready to grab; bicycle helmet for head safety; blanket for covering up to keep away damage from falling debris.  Oh, also cell phone in shirt; tv remote in shirt; house phone in shirt.  Boy cats isolated in guest bathroom.  Girl cat isolated in hall bathroom.  Purse with all ID and info in closet.  Good camera in closet.

Result:  Unnecessary in the end.  Was closer to the action last time around.  But could do without it all. 

A half-mile-wide tornado moves north in Canadian County after having just crossed SH-3, the Northwest Expressway, west of SH-4 moving towards Piedmont

Footage above of tornado near El Reno, site of the infamous three-wheeler accident that I have blogged about before.

A Huge Concern:  Our friend’s house is very VERY very near where this tornado crossed Highway 81 north of El Reno.  Haven’t heard if he is okay, if he was home, etc.  Knowing Dave, I’m sure he is probably out trying to rescue people and their animals.  I hope so anyway.

Super Huge Concern:  One storm looked like it was making a beeline for my babygirl’s house.  Luckily, not affected.

Best amusement factor:  Local weather guy Mike Morgan’s bejeweled necktie.  Evidently he wears it on severe weather days.  It has its own facebook page now.  Not as popular as Beatrice’s Ridiculous Hat, but maybe will be one day.  Is that bedazzled or is it sequins.  You be the judge.

Mike Morgan's Bedazzled Ties

Best mess-up of a weatherguy:  Gary England calling the South Canadian River by the wrong name.  He called it the Red River.  Very wrong and typical Gary.  He also called a road name wrong.  He said “Sara Lee” instead of “Sara Road”.  Classic Gary.  He always gets my side of town wrong somehow also.

But we forgive him because he says things like “Jump Back Loretta” and “Friday Night in the Big Town.”  Gary actually has a drinking game named after him since he is very excitable and tends to get things a bit mixed up.   Here’s a link to the rules:


Most wired Weather-Guy of the day:  Rick Mitchell on Channel 5.  He is usually the calm and informative one.  Today that award goes to Mike Morgan (and his tie).  Rick was wound up tight.  Had to change channels and was forced to watch Gary get things wrong.

Rick Mitchell

So anyway, hopefully everyone is safe and sound.  I know there have been some fatalities with this storm, but I promise it is because of the wonderful weather reporting we have here in OKC.  They can track these storms down to the street and intersection and tell you within seconds of when it is on top of your house.  And luckily, still have a house.  Some tonight do not.

How’s things in YOUR world today?


moi said...

We're dry and gale force windy and aching for rain. But nothing like what's been hitting the central part of the country.

I didn't know about this until Boxer mentioned it. Glad to see you're prepared, and don't hesitate to duck and and tuck, ya hear? What happened in Joplin has upset me for days and I don't even know anyone who lives there.

Stay in touch . . .

Buzz Kill said...

You definitely seemed prepared for the tornado that never came. Chance favors the prepared. I like that you took the TV remote with you. You'd never be able to find it in the couch if the couch was 5 blocks away - and then where would you be? Bwahahaha

Glad you're all okay in OK.

Pam said...

Moi: Thanks for checking in. We've been the same until the last couple of weeks. I had left work early because of anticipation of these storms, glad I did. When everyone was officially let off early, there were bad traffic jams of everyone trying to get where they needed to go. They had been warning us about this potential outbreak over the last several days. Joplin is heartbreaking. Joplin might as well be in Oklahoma, it is close ... it is a quick and easy vacation destination area for folks around here. But I think they might not have as much weather coverage as we do here in OKC.

Buzzy: It isn't that the tornado never came, it is that the tornado took a path that didn't include me! Unpredictable creatures they are. Everyone at the office today is still in shell shock with Post traumatic stress syndrome!

fishy said...

You and Kymical girl need to evacuate to the Pond until the weather out there gets under control. Very frightening stuff. Plus I need photography lessons :-)

Congrats on the herding haiku win.
Sooooooo funny you cat owned people.
looking forward to your hosting next week! You know I love it best when it is a VISUAL haiku competition? Just saying.

chickory said...

really glad you are okay. Like Buzz said, chance favors the prepared and werent you on it, girl. also wishing you a big congrats on your awesome Haiku this week. way to go!!

Karl said...

Good afternoon Pam,

Again congratulations on your win!

I'm glad to see the storm passed you by. Preparation does seem to influence probability. The better prepared, the least likely to have a problem.

If you're mini TV has a picture tube it would be best to switch to an LCD or a radio. Not as likely to turn into shrapnel.

foam said...

garsh .. these tornados are something else, aren't they? scary stuff. i saw a tornado like your 2nd photo go through austin, tx 20 years ago or so.
i am glad you are okay!
and i want to congratulate you on your haiku win! well done, you ..

Pam said...

Fishy: Would love a visit to the pond, but dang it, those tornadoes just don't let us know too far in advance so we can plan ahead for such a trip!

Chickie: I was "home alone" for this one. Actually did all sorts of house tidying due to anxious energy. Imagine, tidying the house just to have it blown apart. The haiku was a last-minute thing, so I'm jazzed on that one. Must now come up with good theme.

Karl: Hmmm, not sure about the little tv. It is charged up via wall plug-in, doesn't take real batteries. Has a flat screen. Has come in handy a couple of times due to good ol Oklahoma lightning storm power outages in the past. But I think anything could become a flying missile under certain tornado circumstances.

Foamy: Thanks so much! Austin is a place I have always wanted to visit. Have no excuse for not getting down that way. Meanwhile, I have still yet to ever lay eyes on an actual tornado. Seen the wall clouds, yes, and up-close and personal too. But never an actual twister.

moi said...

You could also always load up the Pam mobile and head west along I-40 to Moi's house. Take you about 7 hours with a tail wind and adrenaline . . . I need to figure out this ding dang camera, too. Or, maybe once it's safe to hit Middle America again, you can hold a photo seminar in The OKC for all us digitally challenged point and shooters.

Boxer said...

YIKES! I watched a video that was pretty much "live" from Tuesday and a freaking power pole flew over the car that was filming. WTF!

Things in my world are still cold. My Dogwood usually blooms in late April is still not out. HOWEVER, I will no longer complain about my weather after following you on FB and watching the videos.

Boxer said...

p.s. I would attend a camera seminar put on by Pam.

xl said...

Visiting via Boxer. Please stay safe.

Aunty Belle said...

Dear God!

PamOKC, thas' more drama than a body oughta have. Hideous horror. Am relieved yore kin is all fairly good shape other than fried nerves. Mercy.

Yore preparations were on the $$ this time around. Heck, youse gonna do fine --it's like the rain: take yore umbrella an' it never rains. Fergit the bumbershoot, a downpour thrashes ya.'

Me an Uncle had a tornado come over the place onc't--'bout 25 years ago. *Nothin'* like the magnitude y'all has had, but enough to know I doan ever wanna hear that freight train again. It were very weird--no foolin' I think my guardian angel woke me up to git us ready--

Wuz in dead sleep, January, but weather weirdly mild with warm air an' light rain--pleasant. Woke up about 1 a.m., heard rain, got up, padded along the hallway to rooms, opened windows to let in fresh rain smell, wuz almost back to our bedroom when the horrifying shriekin' whine began, I yanked open the double French doors on our balcony then a howling sucking vortex wus on us-- Uncle sat up, "What the h---" then wuz flattened back against the bed.

Then it wuz gone.

All over the area folks came outside in their nightwear--dazed, confused. Massive oak trees uprooted--their rootballs stickin' 10 feet up in the air. Fences down, roofs ripped off--people drenched in their beds whar' they slept until the roof lifted an' went flying into the ether capacious. The sky looked like dawn but it wuz 1:30 in the mornin'. A neighbor's pool furniture wuz found blocks away...dawgs never found.

An' we's so fortunate--it were a "baby" twister. No house transformed into matchsticks--jes' blown out windows, missing roofs,cracked walls, trees that looked as though a cosmic buzz saw chewed through 'em....a stunning mess--an' in the path of the monster to the south of us-- lost lives an' utter destruction.

Nuthin' like the plains states, but we do git vicious storms--in 1998 we lost 42 people to a tornado.

But wait! If Bush caused katrina, is this tornado outbreak Obama 's fault?

So relieved y'all is OK in OKC.

Aunty Belle said...

P.S. Please register me fer the camera seminar!

dearjohn said...

Glad you all were out of the tornado's way! Can't believe you watched Mike Morgan's coverage though. I thought he was going to have a heart attack he was so wound up!

Pam said...

AUnty: You have had a closer encounter with a tornado than I have ever had. So scary. That freight train sound is unmistakable. The big one in 1999 sounded more like a jet engine coming our way. They are just a way of life in this part of the world. OK is just situated perfectly to get warm Gulf air heading north that mixes with cool mountain air heading south. Voile'. Tornado.

DearJohn: Ooooh, that took me a minute to figure out who you were! I was actually clicking on all three, plus Fox25. Would normally settle on Rick, but he was much more wired than Morgan (to me). And one has to watch Gary England for the entertainment factor, don't you agree?

Troll said...

Glad you and Kym are okay!