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.