Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Spinnin' Round

Yesterday I came the closest to being in the middle of a tornado that I ever want to be in my life. Now, a few years ago, I was sitting at my desk at work when Indiana's earthquake rumbled through. But it doesn't even compare in natural disasters.

I'm on the interstate yesterday, and the storm going through is the worst storm I've ever seen. It got to the point that I couldn't see anything around me and traffic was at an absolute standstill. Rain and hail were blowing at 90 degree angles across my car, and the wind was blowing my car out of it's lane. A semi was parked in front of me, so I pulled up next to him so that my car didn't get blown away. And then I called my dad.

I wanted to know what to do, because I wasn't sure if I should stay next to the semi, which I was certain was going to fall over on me anytime, but still thought it was a better idea than being blown into oncoming traffic. Cause my little plastic Saturn can't withstand 70-80 mph winds. So the dad suggested that I stay where I was with the semi blocking the wind, and I sat for another 5 min. I still couldn't see anything except the semi next to me and the 4 foot tall construction barriers flying by my car.

And then the worst sound possible. The Emergency Alert System goes off and says "There is a tornado warning for Southern H County (right where I was). Funnel clouds have been spotted and are expected to touch down in minutes. If you are in a vehicle, evacuate it immediately and seek cover in the lowest area you can find."

At which point I start panicking. The abandoning your vehicle is the dumbest advice I ever heard since I was on a stretch of the interstate abutted by soy bean fields on either side and it was quite possibly the flattest stretch of roadway in Indiana. So instead, I sit there having no clue what is happening and expecting to be living a scene from Twister any time soon.

But after about 10 minutes, the worst of it passed. And I survived. Though, honest to God, that was the scariest moment of my life. I was still shaking when I got home over an hour later.