Monday, April 28, 2014

Moogie Dodges a Bullet, or a Mortar Round

The tornado warning sirens went off last night. Pepper, the dogs (after we convinced Mysti to come out from under the desk in Pepper's office), and I went downstairs to our "safe place" where we remained for a good thirty minutes as the sirens went off and back on. And off and back on. And off and back on. We're pretty sure the cell passed overhead nearby, but we were spared any damage -- we didn't even get any hail(to the relief of the newly planted plants!). The lights also stayed on -- just a couple of flickers. We lucked out.

The good people some 20 minutes from here didn't, including some of our long-time friends from the National Guard. This is near where their new house used to stand, next door to their son's home. Their new brick house. Both houses are now little more than piles of rubble.

Thank God they weren't physically injured. Many Guard friends, including us, offered them a place to stay, but they went to their daughter's. That's probably for the best. The death toll has been revised down to 14 from 16 (because two people were counted twice), but the Governor expects that number to increase.

Weather experts are speculating that the tornado will be classified as at least an EF3. Pretty powerful. It's so very hard to see all this devastation -- the poor town of Vilonia was wiped out yesterday after re-building following an EF2 that hit in 2011. The emotional toll is heavy -- even on those of us who were spared. All we can do to help right now is to donate money to relief agencies -- State Troopers and the Guard are keeping non-residents out of the hardest hit areas to prevent looting and other wrongdoing by scammers who invariably show up to capitalize on disaster. Or to gawk. Been there.

To lighten up a bit, this is a picture that Younger Daughter posted on Facebook after the all clear -- it's Grandbaby #5, and it's captioned, "Baby's first tornado. It's an Arkansas thing."

Sometimes we just need to hang onto a sense of humor. And to train our kids about storm preparation -- #5 has his flashlight and some fruit snacks.

Welcome home to Tornado Alley, Moogie and Pepper, after 14 years in Hurricaneville. I don't think I'd like to be our neighbor if given a choice -- we seem to be storm magnets.


  1. How terrible. I didn't realize Arkansas had a rep for tornadoes... I thought that was limited to Texas, Oklahoma, and points north. Now I'm schooled but I wish I hadn't been, for your and your friends' sakes.

    I did two and a half years in OKC and fully appreciate the damage tornadoes can do, given I've seen enough of it first-hand. My best thoughts go out to your friends, Moogie.

  2. I'll pass them along, Buck. Tornadoes seem to have a thing for I-40 and I-30.

  3. I'm glad you are safe. My heart goes out to those who were hit by the tornado. Having lived in Tornado Alley all my life, I have seen the devastation a tornado leaves behind. But I've also seen the goodness in people in the hard times.

  4. That is very true, Lou. Very true.

  5. Praying for those affected and glad you are all safe. xo

  6. Thanks, neighbor! It's been a hard day. We're good. Happy Jazzfest!

  7. At one point we were sandwiched here in Russellville between two tornado warnings, one to the north and one to the south. Thankfully both cells passed by without dropping anything, though our carport got cleaned out by some heavy straight-line winds after midnight. As bad as the destruction was, it could've been worse - supposedly the weather was primed for a full-blown tornado outbreak like three years ago and we could've easily gotten several more like the one that actually hit. Glad to hear things are okay out in your direction.

  8. I've been through 2 small tornadoes and that was enough to convince me that I would simply die of heart failure during one of any size. Glad you guys came out OK.

  9. Sorry about the damage, Dave, but glad you're safe and that it wasn't worse.

    Thanks, PH. They're pretty scary things, and unlike hurricanes, you can't outrun them!