Thursday, July 22, 2010

Hunkered down in the *&%$# cellar for 45 minutes.......

or, this isn't Kansas anymore.

Hey, I live in Maine. We're not supposed to get tornado warnings.  Are we?

It started out a gorgeous, warm summer day. Weather forecasts were predicting severe thunderstorms in the afternoon, but we've heard that before.

Not a cloud in the sky.

By late afternoon the weatherman had hi-jacked all 3 Portland stations. They were showing non-stop radar maps of the rapidly changing weather situation. 

"See this hook? Sure sign of rotation.  Wait...yes....our doppler radar indicates two rotations (code word for tornado) right there and there.", says the meteorologist as excited as I've ever heard him while using a pointer aiming right at where we live !

"You're sh!ting, me!" I proclaim.

"I must stress", says the weather guy, "this is a serious situation. A warning is much worst than a watch. You must take precautions right now."

Promptly a graphic comes up with directions for what to do. 

1.Go down the cellar if you have one. If not, go to they furthest place in the house away from windows. Do not open any windows.

2. Cover your head and neck with pillows or mattresses. Try to go under a sturdy workbench or table. (Workbench...ha...ours doesn't get any work done on it's out in the garage, But that's another story.)

3. If you are outside, do not attempt to outdrive a tornado. Get out of the car and lay in a ditch.
(I have issues with this one, but nevertheless.....)

In a controlled panic I ask Hubby....."how do we know when to go down the cellar?"

A confused look is all I get. My interpretation of the look is, "I'm not going down the *&%$# cellar!"

Five minutes later we are down the damp, unfinished 200 year old *&%$#  cellar with every pillow I could find, 3 flashlights, 2 cats and a portable radio that emitted static.

It was way to creepy for me. Scrunched up on one of the pillows, I was just waiting for the sound of a freight train. Thank God, it never came.

But it did come elsewhere.......

Despite the tree damage, there appears to be little structural damage. We lucked out....this time.

UPDATE: The National Weather Service confirmed that 3 tornados touched down in Maine that day. The above pictures show the damage from one of them.


Unknown said...

It was pretty scary! We didn't get anything here but rain, thunder and lightning. Great photos, by the way.

Empress Bee (of the high sea) said...

yikes, that is very scary! glad you are okay honey.

smiles, bee

brattcat said...

Good grief! I'm glad J. wasn't there alone when the tornado came to town. But somehow I wish none of you had been there...of course then you wouldn't have had this amazing story to tell...

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad to hear you are okay. That is some major crazy weather!

Balisha said...

Our weathermen are like that everytime it rains here. So excited you might think that they actually want us to have a tornado. So glad that you were safe. Those pictures show what a big storm can do. We got 4 inches of bad storm.

Debbie said...

Oh my God!! You told that story so well! I was watching that same weatherman and I was feeling the same EXACT thing as you. My husband and I both looked at each other, laughed, and said at the same time "DITCH?" What the? We were watching Charlie Lopresti on Channel 13 and he kept apologizing, every so many minute,s for taking the viewers away from their regulary scheduled programming! I was driving my son to Mercy hospital during the rain storm before the tornadoes struck and that was nuts! I could barely see to drive. Great post!! I am glad you and your family are ok. Loved your story!

Betsy Banks Adams said...

Those darn tornadoes are scary as heck. Our community has a big siren which they blow when a storm is near... I think it has only happened once--but it does scare one to death! Our half basement can only be gotten to by going outside.. SO ---we huddled in our interior closet... Luckily, like you, nothing happened. BUT--others weren't so lucky.

Glad you are okay...

JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

Scary stuff - and we DID live in Kansas. One night we watched in horror as an unannounced tornado came barreling down on our house - our kids asleep upstairs and no time to even run up and fetch them. Thankfully it hopped right over our house - pulled up the roof on the barn as it went over - but left the roof and us in one piece. It was like the roof was breathing in and out. The tornado hopped across some fields and really tore up a tennis club.

If we had had the time to do anything all we could do was run for a big ditch across the driveway - and that didn't seem very safe - so we stood in horror for those few seconds it took for the tornado to pass. Not long after that we moved back to our wonderful California - no tornados there - at least not so far.

Sarah Laurence said...

We got a tornado warning but only saw rain and lightening (no wind) so didn't go down to our cellar. From the looks of those pictures, it's good you did. Scary!

Lili said...

Oh Lord, I hope this isn't going to be a trend here. I thought I said goodbye to all that when we left the Midwest. Glad y'all are safe. (My midwest accent just kicked back in just thinking of it!) ~Lili

BumbleVee said...

We, too, are not supposed to have tornadoes around here...but, a week ago...same thing. Tornado warnings! I did kind of hang out in the basement for about an hour after hearing that.

There were some funnel clouds just outside of the city and one actually touched down so... they knew what they were predicting..... now if they could just figure out when it is going to hail so I don't take the car out of the garage at the most inappropriate time!