On Friday, June 12, we had one of those storms. The kind where you look out the window and think, “Man, the sky sure does look weird,” just moments before the bottom falls out. The kind where the tornado sirens blare. The kind where warnings like, “take cover immediately, find cover in the center of your house, wear your shoes and have ID with you,” scroll across the television screen. The kind I had rarely experienced prior to moving to the flatlands of the Mississippi River.
It started about 4:45. Little was watching Caillou on the computer when I glanced out the front windows and noticed the sky had a very eerie orangish-green hue and the quality of light was very odd. I turned on the TV to check out the weather situation and almost immediately the lights began to flicker. About that time Matt walked through the back door and just a short time later – think seconds, not minutes – the rain started falling (thank God that Matt made it home before the bad weather hit!).
Looking out of front window the rain was falling so heavily and the wind was blowing so hard that it seriously looked like we were in a tropical storm. Rain was coming from every direction at once and we couldn’t see the crepe myrtle in our front yard (maybe 10 feet away) for all the water falling. It wasn’t long before the power went out for good, the tornado sirens revved up, and we were packing it up and heading to the hallway (our most interior location).
Little wasn’t sure what to make of it all. She didn’t cry or act scared, but you could tell she was a little nervous. She wanted to be right beside Matt or me or, preferably, in my lap until everything had passed by and she could see that it had cleared up.
Boo, on the other hand, was totally unfazed by the whole thing. He thought everyone being in the hallway together was big fun and the that flashlight was the greatest thing he’d ever seen.
We emerged from our hallway-hiding-place on two occasions only to hear the tornado sirens start up again so back we went. When the storm finally rolled on we were able to get out and survey the damage a bit. Fortunately, most of our immediate area suffered little or no damage – there were a couple of houses that lost large limbs from trees (none fell on houses, thankfully), a couple of houses lost a few shingles, and, of course, there were all kinds of small branches and debris from the trees. We found out later that an F1 tornado had cut a swath about a mile and a half south of our house and done more considerable damage, so we were indeed fortunate.
We had no damage beyond the power outage, but a power outage in June in the South is enough to drive anyone toward the edge (especially a pregnant lady!). We went on with our Friday evening as usual expecting the power to be restored any time. When we woke Saturday morning and were still without power we decided to get out of the house for a while and hoped the power would be restored while we were gone. By Saturday afternoon we’d pretty much given up hope of it coming back up anytime soon.
Saturday evening, a dear sweet friend took pity on us and our hot selves and invited us to her house to spend the night. There are not words to express how thankful we were for her friendship, her hospitality, and her willingness to help us out. And the four kids (ages 4, almost 3, 20 months, and 14 months) thought a sleepover was such great fun that the older two have asked more than once if we can do it again!
We found out on Saturday that more than 75,000 residences were left without power and that the electric company was saying that it could take all week to get everyone restored. We came home Sunday afternoon to ponder our possibilities – should we pack up and head to Nashville for a few days, should we try to stick it out in our hot house, should we head back to S’s house, should we try to find a hotel room in town – and to our great surprise and delight our power was restored at about 1:30 that afternoon.
We are so grateful to God for keeping us safe, taking care of us, and providing for us during the storm and the crazy weekend that followed.