Not gonna lie. Yesterday was intense.
I'm not usually affected much by storms or tornado watches/warnings. I don't panic, freak out or hide in the bathtub for hours waiting for it all to pass. I can recall only once or twice in my life when I was little that we huddled under a mattress for a little while or huddled in the hall. My parents raised us in a spirit of preparedness but not a spirit of fear. Even during Hurricane Katrina, I laid on the couch in the dark and listened while the sounds of the fury of the storm raged outside. I just don't get scared in storms.
But technology is all about getting your hackles up in a storm.
So, the university made the decision to let us all go home at 3pm yesterday so that those of us who commute could be "safe" in our homes before the worst of the storms hit. We were about fifteen minutes outside of town, headed home when both my and Mama's phones started shrieking weather alerts that our county was under a tornado warning. A warning, ya'll. Not a watch. And this is the county we were driving towards.
Then the texting started. Daddy texting. Aunt texting. Various peeps texting Mama for updates and junk. Of course I was the one manning the phones since Mama was driving. So here I am trying to silence the shriek of multiple weather alerts while answering texts and phone calls. At one point I actually yelled, "Stop it!" at the phones. Mama and I both got a good laugh at that.
Reports and photos were already flooding social media about Tupelo and when Sis2 called she was describing some of the mass destruction she was seeing on the Weather Channel. Tupelo took a bad hit. And Tupelo being a place I actually am familiar with, it really hit me in the gut. I mean, it's one thing to see a town you don't really know and have never been to in the aftermath of a tornado. It's heartbreaking. But to see places you've actually stepped foot in meet such devastation...It's a whole other gut wrenching feeling.
Needless to say, by the time I got home, the adrenaline was pumping overtime and there was a little spirit of fear working it's way through my body. I tore through the house trying to prep as much as I could in the event that we got hit. Turned on the weather channel (all the local stations lost their satellite link so no local stations for me) and snuggled up with Libs to wait. She, of course, was spazzing out from the thunder and lightening and the dark ominous clouds. My manic behavior probably didn't help.
The Weather Channel was in tornado heaven, of course. This is the kind of junk meteorologists LIVE FOR. Thankfully, in a weird way, it was the Weather Channel that helped distract me enough to bring the adrenaline down a notch or two. Listening to them mispronounce all the little towns in our area of the state was hilarious. It's hard to get too worked up about possibly being blown away when you're giggling over the meteorologist saying NoxaPETER instead of NoxaPATER or pronouncing Louisville the same way they do up in Kentucky. We pronounce Lewis-ville, a fact that thankfully, one of the other meteorologists corrected them on. And Ahmory instead of Aimory for Amory.
It also helped that I said a prayer and let it go. Something you'd think would be my first go to in any situation. But what can I say? I'm a slow learner.
Thankfully, the worst we ever got in both my county and the county where I work, was a LOT of heavy rain and some light winds. Areas around us weren't so lucky, though. Besides Tupelo, Louisville got hit pretty hard and parts of Lowndes county (our neighbors to the southwest and southeast, respectively). The tornadic activity seemed to skirt around us. Also, thankfully, Tuscaloosa was spared another direct hit. They are just now nearly fully recovered from the 2011 April tornado blitz.
Anyway, from the sound of it, we're possibly in line for another round of storms/tornados tonight. I didn't get to watch any local weather this morning but from what everyone else has said, it's gonna be another hair raiser. So don't stop praying. Especially continue praying for those who've lost everything--both here in Mississippi and in Arkansas.