Its that time of year again! It's times like these I miss living back down south where they get real weather! Not that tornadoes are always a good thing, but I find them to be pretty cool at time. I grew up in central Oklahoma/Texas and later in western Arkansas/Eastern Oklahoma, so I have dealt with tornadoes my entire life.
Yesterday central Arkansas got hit by some gnarly storms [video of storm destruction]. My dad and several friends live in the area so I was worried when I heard (not till noon today however, the press is not really covering it, internet wise). My dad and friends are all ok. My friend Erica and her husband made it safely though the storm, although it pass about a block from their place from the sounds of it. My dads church lost part off its roof (it had lost more of the roof earlier this year in high winds, they had just replaced it). The storm took out a bank just north of my dad's house (less than a mile, you can see it from the back yard) and part of the roof off the wal-mart near it. Sounds like it really trashed the airport. I guess it was only a F3 though.
I have many memories of tornadoes growing up where I did. The first one I remember was probably when I was 4 or 5 and we had to go hid in the basement of our church in Ponca City. I remember looking up in the sky wondering when the giant tomatoes were going to fall, since I thought my mom had said "tomato" not "tornado!" I remember sitting on my grandmas' porch and watching on go through a field out in the distance when I was probably 5 or 6 in northern Oklahoma... Seeing one go past northern Oklahoma City when we went to pick my mom up from work when I was a kid.... I remember when one came through Van Buren, Arkansas, in 1996(?95?) over Mothers Day weekend. The movie Twister premiered that weekend, so it was rather ironic. They decorated the theater with real tornado debris. There is one scene in that movie where they fly over an area that was hit by a tornado, and it happens to be a city in Oklahoma where my parents first lived after getting married. You could still see their old place. We use to chase after tornadoes when I was in high school for fun. I have ton's of tornado stories, but I will stop boring you now.
Glad everyone made it though alright. I am sure we will have more over the next few months (just not here in the land-o-gray)!
CNN news story