Freak Storm

When I left work yesterday, the Emergency Broadcasting System was bleeping on the radio. The warning was for a fast moving thunder storm and high winds.

Indeed, the sky to the southwest was ominous. This is not unusual when a May day becomes a blistering 91 degrees, and a cold front moves in from the Pacific Coast.

It reminded me of a year ago when I accompanied my cousin on an unscheduled trip to Portland. We encountered one of those storm cells that makes you think you are in Kansas. The horizontal hail and the dirt falling out of the sky was a new experience for us, but we recognized the danger. Traffic pulled over to the side of the road for lack of visibility.

Although we didn't see it on that day , a twister preceded us across Interstate 84 and the Columbia River. The funnel was confirmed by numerous people. It cut a path through a B**se C*sc*de tree farm and a huge apple orchard. Thank Goodness the damage was only in agriculture dollars and not in lives.

Needless to say, I was unusually apprehensive yesterday when I walked to my car and headed home. The skies in the north were clear and full of sunshine. Dark clouds pushed against the Blue Mountains to the immediate south and I could see the curtains of rain streaking the hills.

A swirling mass of dust and debris hit the car about 4 blocks from home.

I arrived home to a street scattered with blossoms, leaves, and small limbs . The power was off. The hubby was in the back yard where he had been rudely interrupted while cleaning the little pond. (Too bad he didn't know what was coming,)

The neighbors directly behind us are remodeling. We share a fence with them and another neighbor who lives in a turn of the century homestead with the beautiful old trees.

The wind blew the flower pots and metal artwork off the farmhouse porch. Then it sheared the top off one of the 100 year old trees and sent it through the roof of the other neighbor's new addition.


After inspecting the mess with the gathering neighborhood gawkers, we barbecued dinner. (No electricity.)

We picked up the mess in the yard the remainder of the evening. (The hubby has to clean the pond a.g.a.i.n!)

The power of such a small storm gave me pause to stop and think about the horrible destruction and wrath of this past weekend in tornado alley. God Bless all those families and comfort them in their great loss.

Comments

Jodi said…
I'm glad you are okay. Those storms scare me!!
Matt said…
I don't think I'd rebuild. Not unless I had lakefront property....
Vicki said…
Oh heavens. Storms are scary stuff. We have a hidy hole we run to because this time of the year they are often.

Once I watched a Tornado pass by in the next caynon over from us. I stood outside in the rain with a raincoat on and muck boots and prayed it away. I stood there praying while my family watched me from the window. I had a slight case of insanity brought on by a huge dose of Faith. God heard me, the Tornado sucked right back up into the sky and moved along.
Beccy said…
I can't imagine what it would be like to be in/near a tornado. We 've had pretty bad/windy weather here but not anything like you have had.
Biker Betty said…
Wow, what a storm. Glad all's okay. When we lived in Wyoming I got to see twin funnels way off in the distance once. Luckily, they never hit anything important and never got near the city.
wolfbaby said…
glad your ok. That F5 that ripped through kansas was wow... pretty bad. those things.. they are scary.

take care ok.
Heather said…
we had one of those crazy storms the other night. lost a huge tree limb (thankfully, that was all, and eve more thankfully, it landed about five feet away from our house). a neighbor lost half his tree.
Dawn said…
My heart and prayers go out to the people in Kansas. Glad you guys are ok! I don't like storms and I have no problem with the fact that I'm a big ole chicken.

Take care
Karmyn R said…
I hope homeowner's insurance will take care of that.

That tree looks like how I feel (was fine at 2pm - sick at 2:30pm and still am - icky)
BarnGoddess said…
oh how awful for your neighbors! Sometimes storms are scary...
Susie Q said…
I am so glad you are just fine...albeit probably a little shaken. I would be. Such storms surely scare me. I have been through a few and the power of nature is something awesome. This has been a week of such horrible storms, floods, fires...so much loss and destruction. I have had all those in Greesburg Kansas and everywhere else on my heart and in my thoughts constantly!

Stay safe!!

Hugs,
Sue
Elizabeth Joy said…
At one point the storm felt the beginning of a Typhoon. And my crazy boy didn't want to come in the house. Too bad, he had to go in the house anyway. You just don't know when something dangerous is going to happen when those big winds come up. Nothing serious did happen over here that I could find, but it could have. It has happened before.

Elizabeth Joy
melissa said…
So glad to hear you're okay. Hugs to you!
ChrisB said…
This must be so scary I'm glad you are ok. We've heard a lot about the devestation in Kansas and I really don't know how people cope with loosing everything.
mjd said…
Yes, bless those families in the path of destruction.

I have to confess when we have tornado warnings, I grab the camera and look outside in hope of catching a picture. Luckily, we have only had low intensity tornadoes here.
Claudia said…
I've always loved thunderstorms (as long as I can be inside watching out), but windstorms and tornadoes are a whole other deal! Very frightening!
Tammy said…
Wow. You know I live in the NW, and tornadoes here are rare. I do remember during those three years I lived in Virginia, coming home for a visit and seeing reports of tornadoes and being shocked. (So was the incident you described around 1997?)

And you know, in spite of the fact that we rarely see them up here, for decades I have had "tornado dreams" where I'm just barely escaping. Maybe too many showings of the OZ growing up...but seriously, my heart breaks for those that do go through a devastating storm!

Glad your family was OK!
Julie said…
Tornadoes are very scary creatures. I have seen three in my life and the older I get the more fear I have of them. Yet I still would rather stand out on the porch and watch. Don't get me wrong, I do go to the hidey hole. And we are building a safe room inside the new house. :)

I have a friend who lost a family member in the latest Kansas tornado.

Glad everyone is okay up there!
ablondeblogger said…
Glad you're safe, Pamela!

Storms fascinate me and Rob and I are going to go on one of those storm-chaser trips when the kids are grown.

But, I've always felt safe with my basement nearby. I don't know how I'd feel in a truck in the middle of a field with a tornado coming at me!
Shelby said…
I'm very glad you're safe too! Oh my goodness yes we should keep the Kansas folks in our hearts and prayers. Thanks for the reminder. It's so sad.

take care.
kailani said…
Mother Nature can be so scary some times. Glad to hear that everything is ok.
Peter said…
That's too close for comfort Pamela, the power of nature is quite awesome isn't it.
Elizabeth Joy said…
Just remember you need to hurry and get the grandkids to Juniper Dunes before the end of May.

I was riding with someone, so I don't have directions in my head. I was talking too much. It takes some walking once you get there to reach the dunes. You walk through some gates, and such. But it is fun. I'm sure the grandchildren will love it.

Here is a couple websites that have directions.

http://www.spokaneoutdoors.com/Juniper.htm

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/getaways/032097/hike20.html
her indoors said…
so pleased you ok, i would find that very scary, we do not have it bad over here, well certainly not bad like you get
Kathleen Marie said…
Well, I am just very thankful that you are alright! Wow, what a scare! Angels were watching out for you!
kate said…
It is amazing how much damage Mother Nature can do... We just began hurricane season here... Andrea is brewing in the Atlantic right now... I have never been in a hurricane but I bet I will be this year!
Bibi said…
Wow. Mother Nature is certainly unpredicatable and I'm glad all is ok with you.
C said…
There is so much devastation lately with fires, storms and tornadoes.

It's scary. My mom said she could see the smoke from the fire at Griffith Park in Los Angeles.
Gattina said…
Thank you for your comment on the English English, lol !
A trunk is a torso without head, legs and arms so if you talk about a trunk in your car, it's a corpse ! And cookies you delete in a computer and pay attention when you eat biscuits, lol !
Little Miss Moi said…
Dear pamela. That sounds scary. My parents have a 150+ year old gum tree in their front yard which got struck by lightning a couple of years ago and half of it was destroyed, just blasted away. Very sad but luckily none fell on the house, just the road.
judypatooote said…
I am petrified of storms....and I can remember loving them when i was a kid....we lived at the cottege in the summer and those nor easterns would roll in and thunder and lightning and i never was a fraid....you never heard of tornadoes, or hurricanes way back then......but as I became a grown up, our cottege was washed away by a huge storm....so I guess it was all a matter of time..... and by the way, I'm glad your ok too....
DesLily said…
they don't have to be twisters to destroy things..
The past 2 yrs the lightening storms here in NJ have turned vicious with many strikes/ downed electricty and such. we had some huge branches come down and destroy part of our fence.. I really do believe the global warming has changed weather conditions all over. The past 3 yrs have shown more disasters from weather then I can ever remember in any given year..and it doesn't seem to be letting up any.
I was in Portland about this time last year. I've only been there a couple times, but I'm under the impression the weather has really changed in the Pacific Northwest over the past few years.
Robin said…
But as a storm chaser was it thrilling you more than scaring you?

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