Many times I’ve mentioned how scared I was the night of the Joplin tornado . . in a cabin by myself not even knowing what county I was in with no land line and very, very little cell service and hearing the news on the TV from what had happened in Joplin, I had never been so scared. Last night was close, if not worse, than that experience.
We have a tiny little laundry room, not much more than a closet. In fact, most closets these days are larger than my laundry room. There’s a full size stacked washer/dryer in there, and a metal shelving unit that has a microwave and all the kitchen gadgets (pressure cookers, air fryers, food processor, waffle maker, etc.). That’s the only room in our house that has no windows. The master bedroom closet has a window and it has the gas water heater. One of the other bedroom closets is next to the fireplace (and I wouldn’t want to be crushed by all that rock if it came tumbling down) and the other bedroom closet is on an outside wall. The laundry room is probably our safest spot, hoping the dryer doesn’t come tumbling down on you.
When Vince is the one who says “GO TO THE LAUNDRY ROOM!” you know it’s bad. I’m usually the one saying “maybe we should go to the laundry room”. After last night, Vince said that if we move where tornadoes are prevalent, we’re having a basement AND either an underground shelter or a concrete safe room. I’m thinking . . I can start packing!
We cannot hear tornado sirens at our house but I had friends in town texting me that the sirens were going off in town. The radar showed that the worst of the storm was going to pass right over us so we grabbed my purse, Vince’s wallet and keys to all the vehicles (not sure why we do that) and went into the laundry room. I had a couple of quilts in there, we both had our cell phones and I had my tablet. We kept refreshing the radar from Accuweather and knew the storm was getting close. We both had alarms going off on our cell phone and the weather radio in the living room was constantly going off. They were interrupting one warning for another warning. Then . . the power went off. We had nothing. No cell phone service because we use WeBoost (electric) and a microcell through the internet and without those things, we have zero cell service. We were in the dark . . no power, no internet, no phone. We had no idea what was happening but the hail sounded horrible. I kept running to the window, shining a flashlight out; Vince kept saying “Get back in here!” We had both dogs in the laundry room. Speck didn’t have a clue what was going on. Rita was in full blown panic mode.
Even after we felt like most of the storm was over and came out of the laundry room, we had thunder for at least 3 more hours. I have to say . . Rita did an amazing job of calming down. She actually got up in the chair with me, curled up beside me and slept. I could see the big lightning bolts and would rub her head and talk to her as the thunder approached.
The electricity was off from a little after 8 until sometime between 11 p.m. and midnight. It was cool enough that we could sleep without the air conditioner but without power, we also have no water and I was already thinking about not being able to take a shower, or wash dishes. Before storms, I always fill up a bucket of water in the bathroom for flushing the toilet a few times, and I fill half gallon jars with water for drinking, cooking, washing our hands and brushing our teeth. I was surprised and thankful that the power was back on quickly.
This morning there seems to be no damage other than a couple of places where we need to put more rock on the driveway. The solar panels are producing power but the reporting system isn’t working and it will be Monday before Vince can talk to Longhorn Solar about that.
The fruit trees don’t look too bad. The peaches on the trees were damaged and I’m guessing the plums were too. Holes in the fruit means they’ll probably rot and fall off the trees but the trees should be ok.
The garden . . that’s a sad tale. The tops were broken out of every tomato and even if they survive, as soon as the night temps get higher than 70°, they stop setting fruit. They won’t have time to produce new blossom and set fruit before the night temps are too high. We’ll probably get a few tomatoes but not enough to can. I was so hopeful for this year’s tomato crop. Here’s a before and after shot of the same tomato plant.
The lettuce was starting to bolt so I’m not terribly upset about losing it.
With a bit of sun, most of the beans will perk up and should be ok. Some of the beans on the vines were damaged. The blossoms were all knocked off so we won’t get as many beans as we would have but they’re not lost totally.
These melons . . probably history.
The squash are twisted, turned and split. I’m hopefully they’ll survive.
These pumpkins look rough but they have lots of time to recover and I’m thinking they’ll be fine.
We do the best we can but some things are just out of our control and weather is definitely one of those things. We’re truly blessed that things weren’t worse and there were no deaths or injuries and no substantial property damage in our area last night.