We had a bit of excitement last night: my very first tornado warning!
First off, everyone’s okay. There wasn’t a funnel on the ground around here. Secondly, I am afraid of storms (especially at night) but am trying my darnedest not to pass that irrational fear along to my currently fearless two- and three-year-old daughters.
We had finished dinner and I was taking out the scrap bucket when the cell phone in my back pocket made an alarming beeping sound and began vibrating aggressively.
Emergency Alert: Tornado Warning in your area. Take shelter now.
Check local media for details.
I told my husband what it said and we turned on the news to see the radar.
It didn’t look good. (I didn’t know how to read the STORM TRACKER VELOCITY map, but the constant babble of the meteorologist explained that the area south of West Concord, where the red and the green touched showed wind rotation.) The tornado siren in Kasson started to wail and so, armed with a flashlight, a few bottles of water, and the Bunyan girls’ favorite blankies and teddy bears, we headed down the crooked stairs into the basement around 8:50pm.
That was about the time that my mother-in-law called and asked if we were in the basement. She lives further east and wasn’t near the path of the storm, but saw the alerts on television.
In the basement, the girls quickly settled in my wine cellar, which is under the center of the house where the old staircase used to be. They have never been allowed in the basement before, so there was a lot of excitement and exploring to do. As you can see, they were having a wonderful time! (I was trying hard not to show any signs of nervousness, but I was pretty uncomfortable until my husband came downstairs too.)
The clouds got thicker, lightening lit up the sky, the winds picked up, thunder rumbled constantly for several minutes, and a boatload of rain fell in a very short period of time. By 9:15pm, the radar showed the area of rotation had moved about 8 miles south of us, so it was time to come back upstairs. The girls were having such a good time that they were literally kicking and screaming when we brought them up.
They asked if we could please have a big storm again sometime. (Next time, I’m bringing a corkscrew so I can have as good a time as they do.)
~ Phoebe DeCook