Tornado Warning

Storms again today. Why are there so many tornadoes lately? I don’t remember ever having this many tornadoes, about twice the normal number.

All day long we heard how they were coming. Severe weather warnings, pictures of big red weather blobs on the radar screen. Gosh, if this storm is half as bad as it looks, we will be reduced to splinters.

“It will be here at one o’clock,” said the weatherman. How do they know what time it will be here? Apparently, they don’t.  At one o’clock the sky was blue with fluffy clouds. We began to wonder if they really knew what they were talking about or if it was another futile weatherman’s rain dance.

But that ominous red storm front was still pulsating on the radar, surrounded by yellow and green.

At about quarter till four, the tornado sirens went off. Then the emergency alarms sounded and the intercom told us to go to a safe place in the building. Safe places are stairwells, conference rooms, and offices without windows.

We do not argue too much about moving to shelter when there is a tornado warning. Many of us were working downtown when a tornado hit the city years ago. We remember the chaos, how people didn’t take warnings seriously and were caught in flying debris and glass from broken windows.

About that time my cell phone rang. It was honey calling. I thought he wanted to warn me.  How sweet. But no, he wanted to go home.

“Are you crazy? There’s a tornado coming. It isn’t safe outside.”

“We will be safer at home,” he argued. “They said we can go.”

I can’t believe this man.

“No, we are safer right here, in a concrete building with steel reinforcement.”

He continued to argue. By then it was raining and wind was blowing about 60 mph.

“I’m not going until this passes over,” I said.

Finally, he gave up. “Well, call me when you are ready to go.”

Remembering the last time, I knew phones could go out, and cell phones went first.

“We need to have a meeting place, in case phones don’t work.” Finally, we agreed on the parking garage as a good place.

By now you couldn’t see out the windows it was raining so hard. Even the brave hearts decided to come to the conference room.

“What’s that noise?” asked someone. We could hear the rain and wind as it passed over, but if there was a tornado in the storm, it did not touch down.

It was moving fast and was over in a matter of minutes. Eventually, the all-clear was issued, and we ventured out of our holes.

I called honey and told him I was ready to go home now. 

On the way home he told me he had watched the rain and the hail bounce off the roof of another building.

“I told you to stay away from the windows.” 

As it turned out, the people in his office did not go home. They had more sense and waited it out too.

“If we had left when you wanted to go, we would have been caught in the car in the hail,” I told him.

“No, we could have made it.” he insisted.

No point arguing with a man so hard-headed he thinks he can outrun a tornado.

So, we dodged the bullet, but a lot of other places didn’t.  You can read about it on the news.

I don’t know where all this terrible weather is coming from. Tornados happen in Kansas, Illinois, and Indiana – not in the hills of Tennessee.

Would someone pass that message along to the weather makers?  It’s thundering again and I’ll talk to you when it’s over.


Copyright 2012 Sheila Moss

About Sheila Moss

My stories are about daily life and the funny things that happen to all of us. My columns have been published in numerous newspapers, magazines, anthologies, and websites.
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