So we had a tornado hit Massachusetts yesterday. In fact we has more than one tornado hit Massachusetts yesterday. It was some wild stuff, I gotta tell you. This is how it went down for me:
5 PM: I'm at the store and I get a call from my mom. She's worried and telling me to get home, as they just issued a tornado warning for our county until 7pm. I am scheduled to meet a friend for dinner, so I, of course, pooh pooh her pleas, laugh, and think to myself that it would never happen here.
6 PM: By now everybody in the store is talking about the tornado warnings and watching the TV news. Western MA has been hit by these fast moving storms causing severe damage. I call my friend and tell her that I'm going to go home and wait till 7, because they are also reporting that traffic is at a standstill. I tell her I would wait to see what happens and that I would stay in touch.
6:30 PM: The news stations are showing all weather reports with heavy rains and wind and hail moving close to our area. They are also reporting that there is more than one area that has been hit with funnel cloud tornado's. In all 19 communities have been affected and at least one death has been confirmed.
7 PM: Nothing has happened where I am so I decide to go meet my friend, to which My Guy says, "Are you nuts?" I, again, laugh and decide to think for a minute whether or not I should risk it. The TV news reporters are talking about emergency preparedness, going into the basement or the lowest level of the home, turning up the TV and staying there. The Emergency Broadcast System is popping into the telecast about every five minutes with that annoying beep, notifying us that in the event of an emergency....blah, blah, blah.
7:15 PM: I decide to cancel, to which my friend laughs, but it's no big deal. We re-schedule. (in hindsight, we would have been FINE)
7:30 PM: We are transfixed on the TV because now they are showing live shots of some incredible devastation in the Springfield area. It looks not too different from some tornado pictures of Missouri last week. What the? This is New England. Stuff like this never happens here. I thought it only happened in other parts of the country.
7:40 PM: Gov Duval Patrick comes on TV declaring that MA is in a state of emergency, and that Springfield has been devastated by tornados. A reporter ask him about whether or not this is the worst weather the state has ever seen, to which he replies, "Well, it's not over yet. These storms are still strong and the threat is still very real."
8 PM: I switch to the Bruins game. I got my priorities, ya know. But during the commercials, we were flipping back to the news. One of the huge storms is headed in our direction. We figured if we were in danger the Emergency Broadcast System would keep us posted, but we have one eye on the game and one on the news.
8:50: The dogs are going berserk, the light show outside my window is amazing coupled with some nasty, banging thunder. I see rain beginning to hit my window in a way that is not ordinary.
9 PM: Full blown wind and hard rain are now pelting my home. We are still in Bruins mode, but the outdoor events are hard to ignore. We are now watching both the storm and the game.
9:30 PM: We see blue, flashing lights go by the house and turn onto the street where my parents live, then go right into their driveway. Red lights then follow up the street, as a fire truck then pulls into my parents driveway. Their phone goes right to voicemail. My Guy gets a call that my parents alarm went off at their house, so we waste about a nano-second getting into the car to go check it out. It's still whipping rain and wind.
9:31 PM: My dad opens the door to his house, laughing. (thank God) Their house was hit by lightening and it set off the alarm. My mom said it was so loud that it scared the Bejesus out of her. They are fine. We check the house, like the fire department asked us to, for any smell of smoke or smoldering. Check. They are all set.
9:50 PM: The rain, lightening and thunder have stopped. It's over. We were lucky. Just some wild wind and rain and save from a few branches scattered around we got nothing.
4 confirmed deaths in the aftermath of the storms. The photos from Springfield are unbelievable. Unbelievable because tornados don't happen here.
It was some wild stuff, I gotta tell you.