On Wednesday night, our area was hit by a massive storm front. After last week’s storm in which lightening lopped off the top of a tree next to our building, we didn’t think it could be much worse. We were wrong.
I had just set up a towel behind the Trinitron monitor to take pictures for sale on craigslist, when lightning and thunder began to flash and crack its way into our small apartment. My cat immediately reacted by hiding behind the towel, his fur ruffing up in fear.
When I see lightning, my first instinct is to turn off all electronics to eliminate shorts. I turned off the computer, and told my husband he’d better back away from the electronics he was holding. It worked, not because I was telling him to do it, but because at that moment, the internet chose to go out.
A few minutes later, I peeked out the window as the rain began to pour down. The sky became an ugly, dark, greenish-gray-black to the south. I’ve seen this color before several times.
When I was in grade school in Michigan, a tornado touched down on the football field between the grade school and the high school, while we shuddered and huddled inside the tiny space between the boys and girls bathrooms in the kindergarten room. One of my stays with Hansens landed us in their basement, hovering in wait as a tornado roared through the area. Another of my forays into the tornado realm had me huddled with my own students a couple of years ago, calming frayed nerves and nervously waiting out the storm.
Wednesday’s sky was perhaps the worst I had seen since kindergarten. There is some primal instinct that dictates caution when the truly dangerous approaches, and that instinct was out in full force. The rain began to pour down, almost obscuring the malevolent sky.
It was minutes later that the tornado siren went off, jolting me from fear to jagged action. “Do you hear that?” I asked. “Hear what?” asked my partially-deaf-in-one-ear husband. “That … is the sound of a tornado siren.” I ran for my cell phone and told him that we needed to go downstairs to the basement. It took him a few minutes. I mean, urgency just doesn’t seem to be a part of the genetic factor for him.
Downstairs he opened the basement door to find that it was flooded with about a foot of water. We weren’t going to be staying there. We sat in the hallway, worrying about Cosmo, and then Mike went up to get him and bring him downstairs with us. It was at that point we noticed that we were sitting directly underneath a glass skylight located at the top of all the flights of stairs in our apartment. The things you notice, eh?
We opted to stay inside our apartment, huddled in the hallway with our kitty. The power went out, the winds howled, and the rain pelted down for nearly forty-five minutes. I have never experienced a storm with so much rain that lasted for so long.
When the storm finally ended, we were left with an aftermath of flooding that is the worst I’ve ever seen. Of course, Mike and I did decide to live in a town with “river” in the name. The street was flooded all the way into our lawn.