Sunday, April 30, 2017

2 am Tornado Warning!!!

Left at 7 am from Cedar Lake, Indiana, found a rest area around 8:15 to feed the dogs and us, and stopped in Blytheville Arkansas around 7, even with a stop for an hour long nap.  Now the Blytheville route is longer than cutting over to St Louis and going down I-44 for our Fort Smith destination...but the weather was much much better this way. 

About 9 pm a front moved through Blytheville, where we had hunkered down at a Arkansas Welcome Center.  Had a news station out of Memphis and they assured us that it was a fast moving, non-tornadic storm.  By 10 a truck parked right next to us, NEVER turned off its engine.  By 11 I moved us over to Wal-Mart about a mile away.  Marcia went to bed, I watched the weather.  At midnight I thought the storms were dying down...

At 2 am Marcia's cell phone goes off...followed by mine.  Tornado detected headed for, yep you guessed it, BLYHTEVILLE!  I position the motorhome to better handle the wind and get far away from trees. The night security guard drove by and told me it was best not to drive away...yep, you can't outrun these storms when they are only minutes away.

The motorhome shakes and rocks, we see two or three Wal-Mart carts flying down the parking lot looking for parked cars to cause havoc on.  We hold hands, hold Skruffy (Bubba sleeps through these things).  Suddenly I see a bright colorful light glowing about a quarter of a mile away, and all goes dark around the Wal-Mart.  A minute later the lights come back on...and then I again see that bright glow, and all goes dark.

I have the Memphis news streaming on my Kindle Fire.  40 minutes later the danger is over, but winds and lightning and thunder and heavy rain abound.  We go back to bed...this time with our clothes on (not in our night clothes).

7 am we hit the road again.  Stop 3 miles down the highway for coffee at a new Love's Travel Stop.  Their electricity only flickered during the night, enough to knock out the computer that controls the pumps, but they have coffee, so we are good.

Now in West Memphis watching church as I blog.  Fort Smith is on the other side of the state...a route I know well.  The rain will last through Little Rock, but we are safe, whole, and still going.  One only wonders how those who stayed in the rest area with their engines running all night made out...only good thoughts, I promise.  


6 comments:

  1. Glad you are Safe. keep an eye on the sky.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. It was about 10 minutes of high anxiety...thank goodness that is all it was.

      Delete
  2. Last weekend we had friends headed our way. They stopped at the local Walmart and got caught in a tornado warning. That Walmart had everyone gathered in their "safe" area until the warning lifted. We were at the house ready to head to the basement. Lots of this stuff around here in Cullman, AL (google it) That must be why there are 8 tornado shelters along the road within two miles of our house. Safe travels to you from here on.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This happened so fast we felt it was best to sit in the driver/passenger seats of the motorhome. There was no way Marcia could have made it into the store, let alone a safe room, in the 3 minutes we had from warning to when the wind and rain hit. Never did hear if it was a tornado or not.

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  3. That's always scary! Last time we were stuck in the middle of a tornado warning we went into a Big Lots and watched through the windows. Everyone was ready to head into the bathrooms which they figured would be the safest spot. Fortunately it never touched down anywhere.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We just did not have time to move out of the motorhome, so we road it out. Just now posting another blog which shows a picture, and map as to how close we were to damage....scary stuff when you see like this.

      Delete

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