Hey Y'all!

It took me awhile to get here, but alas I'm finally joining the blogosphere of bloviation. It took a rant floating around in my head to send me toward this journey, but so be it. We'll have some fun here too. I promise. Thanks for stopping by! Don't forget to leave me a comment or two. ~ diane

Monday, March 5, 2012

WHEW! What a Storm!

On Friday, our little town of Kingston Springs was hit by an EF1 tornado. The damage was extensive to much of our area, the worst of it literally just around the corner from us. But all things considered, it could have been so much worse. We were without power for about 25 hours, and once it came back on, I was anxious to reconnect via TV to see what all had happened throughout the path of those 100 tornadoes that hit on March 2, 2012. I only had to catch a glimpse of other counties in middle Tennessee and farther north in Indiana to realize we literally dodged a bullet this time. And what a big bullet it was.

We'd been hearing for more than a day that a "perfect storm" was on its way. Yes, we have a "safe place" designated, including a kit of emergency supplies for those just-in-case scenarios. We were watching the local weather on TV as they described the progress of the storm and quickly realized it was headed straight for us. The last thing we heard was "Kingston Springs, it will be on top of you in ten minutes - go to your safe place now."

Our house is built on a hill, on about a 45-degree downward slope. The top of our house is level with the street above us. Meaning, our downstairs is basically built partially below ground. So our safe place is in the down stairs bathroom. We'd stocked it with blankets and pillows to use as buffers once we jumped in the tub. For a girl who grew up in Oklahoma's Tornado Alley, this is the most scared I have EVER been. I was in a near-panic, which was obvious when I got in the tub and SAT on the pillows. "No! Those go over you!" my husband shouted, handing me our bewildered dog, Darby, as he grabbed the pillows. He quickly jumped in with me, we covered ourselves with all those layers, the power went out, and BAM! It hit!  
Our KS Library just after the storm. (Photo: WSMV)

I was quite sure a train would plow right through the wall at any second. I have never heard anything like it in all my life. Yes, it roared like a freight train, which must have been the wind, but the pounding of the hail is something I'll never forget. It sounded as if we were being bombarded by sub-machine gun fire. It was SO LOUD! Ken & I were both praying out loud, simultaneously shouting (to make sure the Lord could hear us over that noise!) Over and over and over, we prayed.

I have to say, I was honestly expecting to hear a loud CRACK any second as the house would surely lift off its foundation. That's how loud it was, that's how scared we were. Darby kept trying to pull out of my arms, but thankfully I had enough brain power left to rub the inside of her ears which always turns her to putty in my hands. How did I think to do that at such a time?

City Hall. Photo taken by Bill Clark
And then it was over. I would say it lasted no longer than a minute or minute and a half, tops. We waited a couple minutes more then emerged from Fort Bathtub. What a relief to find the house still standing! We had some hail damage to our roof and the paint on the house definitely got whacked, but overall, we faired pretty well. Neighbors lost windows and a tree next door was uprooted, but again - it could have been so much worse.

We lit an oil lamp and all the candles in the house and made it through the night. Watched a movie on my laptop and later read a book by flashlight.

Then Saturday morning, we had breakfast at our favorite Kingston Springs eatery, the Red Tree right on Main Street. They were open - and crazy busy, as you'd expect since so few of us had power. But oh my - our little Main Street got hit but good. Our library is a log cabin (above) lost part of its roof. Primarily those shops facing west took it the worst. The hail literally obliterated the paint of most buildings.

I realize my little tornado tale here may seem miniscule in comparison to what happened to so many others. Still, after seeing the photographs and feeling the rumble and hearing the roar of that storm right on top of us, I am amazed the damage wasn't worse. I will NEVER take another storm warning for granted. I just hope this was the closest we ever come to one of these beasts.

And with that said, we continue to pray for the unimaginable loss of so many in the Midwest who've been hit this week, and especially those who lost friends and loved ones.

Stay safe,

p.s. I have a question and I'm not sure who to ask. With hundreds of years of storms like these across America, will someone please tell me why every town on the map DOESN'T have some sort of siren or warning system? Do NOT tell me it's a money issue. With so many absurd things government willingly pays for, why wouldn't they pay for that? If this storm had come in the middle of the night? I don't even want to think of what could have happened.
Photos below by Bill Clark:


  1. (from Stacy Aannestad)
    People need to have weather radios, too ... the kind that tune in to the local NOAA broadcast stations and sound warnings when there is severe weather. If every home had one of those, and had it turned on (it's not "on" the whole time, but if the National Weather Service issues a watch or warning for your area, the alarm goes off and you hear the broadcast), I think lives could be saved as well.

    My question is, why doesn't every home in Tornado Alley have a basement? I don't care how hard it is to dig into the rock here in Central Texas, it's ridiculous that we don't have basements, at least in our neck of the woods.

    SOOOO glad you're safe, Diane! I didn't realize one had hit y'all's town. Whew!

  2. I'm so glad you are ok Diane! Reading this brought tears to my eyes. I actually heard sirens in Brentwood (here in Franklin on the line) but nothing came through here. Miss you. Love, Elaine

  3. My weather radios never worked. Not sure I'd hear a siren either. But we were still ready because of the long heads up. So scary!

  4. I prayed for you all (Dad included) during those storms knowing you were in the midst of them. I've been in tornados and warnings before and know what you heard. I never had a basement and if one had hit our house, we'd have been goners for sure. I'm thankful NM doesn't have that kind of weather although there have been a few twisters around this area in the past. Many times we see clouds here that would send us into hiding were we in tornado alley. Your writing put us right in the tub with you guys, even to holding on to the dog. Thankful you are all right. I love you.

  5. I am SO grateful you are okay! Praise God and can I just say - I'm thankful for Ft Bathtub and a husband and wife who can pray together at the top of their lungs. Your writing put me in this story! Praying the clean up goes well. . .and that the storms take a long hiatis.

  6. Thankful you are okay. And I agree about the sirens. Every place should have them. We get phone calls in our area, warning us of impending storms. But if the power is out, these phones don't work. It's a catch 22. Still thankful you guys were safe.

  7. I'm from White Bluff and have a few pictures of the front that spawned the tornado about 5 minutes before it went over us, which was about 5 minutes before it hit you guys. you can clearly see something bad is about to happen. I was coming through kingston springs around 3:25, got to white bluff road at 3:35 and it went over us at 4:02 - if you'd like the pics email me vw_nick@yahoo.com and I'll send them.