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A Mighty Wind

Posted Sep 14 2008 1:34pm

Falls_church_may_2008_026 Yesterday afternoon, we received a call from a meteorologist friend who lives in Memphis. He warned us that a ferocious storm was heading toward our area at a rate of 60 mph and that we might want to take shelter. When he called, the sky had just turned a dark gray, but there was no sign of any immediate danger. However, he seemed very concerned, so we heeded his warning and drove to the nearest sheltered garage. We sat in the cement bunker riding out the storm for about 20 minutes then headed back home. On the radio, we heard that a tornado had touched down just a few roads away from our house.

Upon our return, we found tons of debris on hour street, in our yard, and on our roof. We also noticed that the power was off in all the houses on our side of the street. Our neighbor told us we should take a look down the street where we would see the cause of the power outage. We headed down the block and over one road to find that a huge tree had fallen across the street, and had taken with it about 5 different power lines/cables. Somebody's huge garbage pail had escaped, and sat alone in the stream across the street.

On the next block, we came across a house with a tree that had fallen right into it -- the tree was embedded in the roof. I noticed that there was a TV on in the room where the tree had crashed down through the roof, and through the ceiling of that room. I was worried that there may have been people in that room. There were two cars in the driveway, whose license plates indicated that the residents were likely older folks.

We stopped the car and got out. Just then, another passerby stopped his car. Together, we knocked on the door to see if the occupants were okay. An elderly couple came to the door and said they had been watching the Weather Channel in a room on the other side of the house when it happened. They were fine and were taking it quite well. "We're lucky, and we're well-insured," they smiled.

We ran into them at a restaurant later that evening, and they told us that they were staying in a nearby motel. Because of the intensity of the impact, the fire department was worried the house could collapse, and told them they had to evacuate. The couple told us all of this with out any indication of panic, sadness, or anger. They were just happy that they were okay.

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