Just Shelley

Blame it on the hoosiers

Don from Hands in the Dirt wrote of yesterday’s stormy weather we in the midwest shared:

Of course, Indiana changed to daylight savings this weekend, something it has resisted for over 30 years. Coincidence?

I’m glad that Don and family survived unhurt, but between Rogers dropping RSS 2.0 in favor of Atom, and Indiana finally supporting Daylight Savings Time, we could almost think hell had frozen over this week, and therefore the storms of hell had to go someplace: might as well be the American midwest.

The storms yesterday blew up without necessarily a lot of warning. We had the sky go from clear to dark as night in less than 20 minutes. I was outside watching when the worst of the winds hit, and could see from rotation in the sky that a tornado was thinking about forming over the area about 1/2 mile away. I wasn’t surprised by the tornado sirens, and when the neighbor across the way came out to ask what was happening, I started explaining about rotation in the sky and how this appears on radar…only to look over and see her turn white with fear and run into her house. Next time, I might be a little less clinical in my description.

The storm got bad enough for me to grab Zoë and put her in the interior bathroom, just in case. First, though, I let her out to have a peek on our deck — photos at end of story. After the tornado sirens, we could hear police, fire, and ambulance sirens for well over an hour.

We had deaths from this storm in the St. Louis area, and yes the city area was hit by tornadoes. One man died when a store collapsed, and another young hiker died when a tree limb fell on him at one place I go every once in a while. A town to the south of us, Caruthersfield, was virtually wiped out, with several hundred people left homeless. Tennessee was particularly hard hit. It’s surprising to look over at Google news and not see a damn thing about it–which I guess goes to show that for all the newness of our technology, human rubber necking is still human rubber necking, and interest in a story is based on number of deaths not overall impact. I guess 27 wasn’t enough deaths.

The weather has been freaky: early warmth forced early buds and then the late cold nipped them and the winds this week carried them away, so our Spring hasn’t been as pretty. This is my last Spring here, so I’m disappointed; I’m moving from St. Louis as soon as my current contract is finished–most likely in July/August. I’ll be staying with my Mom a month or so, then tooling around the country to see folks here and there, as well as enjoy the fall colors. From there, to Seattle I’ll go, hopefully to find work and a new home.

In spite of the dangers, I’ll miss these massive thunderstorms here in St. Louis. I feel incredibly alive during a storm. I’ll also miss Zoë, who will be remaining with my roommate.

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