Monday, April 16, 2012

stormy weather

Saturday campground clouds

No tornado destruction photos here, all is well.

Watched TV weather coverage ALL day Saturday, watched the sky change from sunny to dark to light to gray to sunny again over and over as the storms traveled up from Oklahoma and across to our west. By 8 p.m. we saw the one we had been waiting on all day - two hours SW of us traveling straight for Wichita.

Time for a road trip.

Headed south on I-35 from Wichita (see map we are blue). It was very dark and windy, the only light was the constant lightning to our right (on my side!) and the light from my iPhone with The Weather Channel radar. As soon as we got on the road and turned on the radio, the announcer said DO NOT try to outrun a tornado in your car!

The storm was traveling 35 mph and we were going 75, so we passed it no problem.

Saturday campground clouds

We pulled into a rest stop to regroup and saw the sign Welcome to Oklahoma. Pulled out the laptop and watched the local television coverage while the storm hit Wichita, the news of the 6000 fans at the Miranda Lambert concert, the report of torrential rains, the power outages.

We waited there over an hour until it was safe to go back to Wichita, and about that time a new line of storms popped up to our west, heading in the same direction as the last one. So once again we got on the road and headed east, ending up in Ponca City, Oklahoma in a brick Holiday Inn, ground floor after midnight. As we slept, 5 people were killed in the Woodward Oklahoma E4 tornado 150 miles to our west.

We learned the next morning that the city we chose for shelter, Ponca City, Oklahoma, was used in the movie Twister.

Sunday we arrived back at the campground, the camper was fine, I was worried about hail damage on my car - it was dry and dusty, apparently it did not even rain here.

The local news is full of destruction, homes, property, injuries, but no deaths here in Wichita. Between newscasts are commercials for personal tornado shelters, crypt-looking concrete boxes to plant in your back yard...

Saturday campground clouds

All is well, for now. But this is just the beginning of the season here in Tornado Alley.


Linda_J said...

E4, not good. I am always so sorry to hear of the loss of life with these storms. Quite an adventure you are having.

We are coming up on the year anniversary of the multiple E3-E5 storms we had in Alabama (April 27), wave after wave like what you are experiencing now.

Joann said...

Glad you are staying as safe as you can. As scary as tornado's are here in GA, it is hard to believe there are places that are more scary! Glad you have the good sense to get out of the camper and get to a more neutral location!

Everything Changes said...