Thursday, April 21, 2011


Last week, our neighborhood got hit by an actual honest-to-goodness tornado. The tornado warning sirens woke us up at 2 am, we pulled a sleeping Declan from bed, and went to wait it out in the stairwell to our garage. The storm didn't sound like much, and after half an hour we got the all-clear, and went back to bed. It wasn't until the next morning that we found out how close the tornado had been to us- its path ran just a block south of our house. This kind of made me retroactively scared, especially when we figured out the next day that the sirens went off *after* the tornado had hit, by a minute or two it seems.

This tornado was an F1 - class, the weakest grade, with winds between 86 and 110 mph. All the damage comes from felled trees rather from the strength of the tornado itself. It is very strange how localised the damage is. The path where the tornado ran can be clearly seen- all the trees are gone- but 25 metres in either direction and there's no damage at all. The only evidence in our yard was a few extra leaves blown on the ground. And our power was out for 24 hours, and we went without internet for five days. I believe this means I am a real Arkansan now.  This is also why there are so many unanswered emails in my inbox.  I've been without power and connectivity!

This tree pulled up the whole patio.

The morning after the storm everyone came out onto the streets to chop up trees and clear the roads.  It turns out that we are the only family in Little Rock that doesn't own a chainsaw.  Now I want one.  That, and a tornado shelter are on my list.

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