Monday, April 11, 2011

TORNADO!!! Psalms 34:7

Power came on about 4 AM CDT. Tonight, the angels were with us.
Apparently there is a garage down about a block over, with many trees down. I have not seen the damage two and more blocks north of us, but heard that there is more there. Heard that a house is gone on 9th St.

Reports were of a touchdown at 12th and Sullivan (the block behind our house).

If 15th St came through, it would mean our house would probably never have been built, since it would be here. So you can tell it was very close.

We were eating when the storm was first being talked about, and then the first sirens went off. I believe that was a bit before 7:30 PM. I told Mom we'd watch, but we may have to go to the basement. She was eating, and watching the TV news,... which took over the network sometime with just storm reports.

As it started to come closer, I suggested to Mom that she may want to -- you know, dignity here -- but we still watched the radar. Mom was getting anxious, and I knew she wasn't able to fully understand. I'd made sure she had her evening meds a bit early just in case, and I took things downstairs that I wanted to be safe (all her meds, incluiding her inhaler, mine, my puter and purse, my cell phone and landline, my Kindle -- for the light on the cover, as my flashlight had very dim batteries after no real use...
Finally, they began to tell us that the storm was now approaching Neenah, Menasha and Appleton area, heading toward us. I told Mom that we now were being told to get to a safe place and she made a bee line to the -- you know -- and I began to pray a bit harder for safety until I could get her to head down with me... LOL.

We were working our way to the basement, slowly, when Mom became very apprehensive. But she's a trooper, and she followed me down, holding the railing and my shoulder, one step at a time. There is a bed down there, and I had her sit, telling her that if she wanted to, she could curl up and go to sleep, snuggled warm like a bug in a rug. First, she needed her inhaler, and I'd brought a water bottle down for her, so she had that. Then she said... I need Kleenex!

Oh, man... I forgot the Kleenex! I ran up, got it, came down, and the lightening was increasingly violent.....

I got down, gave it to Mom, we grinned at my lack of insight, and then she curled up into her usual sleep position, and got under the quilt. I believe it was at that point that my oldest called and others began texting me... THEN, the phone I forgot -- HERS -- began to ring! Thinking it was a sibling, I raced up the steps, grabbed the phone, looked at caller ID and found..... I'd POCKET-DIALED MOM when I put my cell phone down!!!!!

THEN, the front door blasts open, and I ran to shut it tight, ran downstairs. STILL no rain, just violent lightening. I sent my message for prayers sometime before that, and then came back on for one more reassurance .... and right after I ...hit enter, the WIND came ROARING, the RAIN came HARD, and then... the lights flickered and... gone. No power, no landline, no TV, nothing. A short time later, emergency vehicle sirens sounding VERY close, getting closer, then silent

However, cell phones ringing-- something had happened at 12th and Sullivan, just blocks from here. Texts flying IN... not OUT.... all saying 'pending, could not send'... a few got through. Six people trying at once to get hold of us... Mom asked me if I was having fun... Not.

Oldest daughter called again, were we OK, did we need candles, did we want to go to her house ( uhm, she has cats, but we'd have gone if there was a need...) Do we need a flashlight? Told her yes, we could use candles, perhaps a flashlight, and that we were fine, would not have to leave the house. She said she was on her way. I told her to wait til all clear came through, but she didn't.

So, Mom decides she would really like to go upstairs and see what's happening (she sees all the flashing lights from the lightening), and we walked slowly with the light from my Kindle, she got very winded going up the steps -- part of it anxiety, understandably-- I felt anxious, too. Not long after we got up, and Mom was sitting in her chair .. (yes, we all know that HER chair is HER chair...=D) when a car races into the driveway -- not really, he was just driving ..) and a nephew is here to make sure we are ok, and tells us about the rain at HIS place of work... SUDDENLY going from straight down to HORIZONTAL!! And he has video to prove it! Sideways!!!! Next, my oldest daughter comes walking to the house, because they streets were blocked off, and we learn that a block away there is a hot wire down, and a bit further away, there is a tree hanging on a wire, and that block is a mess... then, as my daughter and her friend are leaving, a niece and her boyfriend came from Appleton to make sure Mom was ok. My nephew had left his car in our driveway to walk down and check out the damage, and he returned, shared his video with us, and told us what it was like trying to open hotel door (4 in only with a lot of force, then he was pushed back by the force of the wind, closing the door.)

Mom has no memory of the tornado, being in the basement, anyone coming over. She is comfortably sleeping since about 11:00. She is OK, but she knew that something was going on. Wanted to know why we had candles on the table and in the Bathr...oom, and was surprised to hear we had no power since sometime around 8:30. Wanted to know why there was so much traffic, etc. But she's a trooper, and she did just great.

Thank God, all is well HERE.... please keep those with damage in prayer. I have not heard if there were injuries any place or not.

We are well. The skies were clear when we came up from the basement, but it has gotten cold. Was in mid 70's earlier, and hot in the house before the tornado. Now that electricity is working, the furnace has kicked in (was not all that cold in the house).

The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them. This has been my song, prayer tonight.... =D


Anonymous Nancy said...

I was safely in the storm yesterday at Walmart in Merill, sitting near the rest rooms, and waitig un til it was wsafe to travel.
First time I've been to your blog, (got her via James Mary Evans) but your story with your mother in the storm reminded me of a storm with my mother. She had Alzheimers; I cared for her for 6 years in her home. When tornado warnings came one day, I pushed her in her wheel chair in the closet, the safest place I could think of. She was not too happy with me.

Monday, April 11, 2011 at 6:07:00 PM CDT  
Blogger WI Catholic said...

LOL I bet she wasn't!! We have dementia here, also, and I am Mom's caregiver.

My kids and I lived in Merrill from 88-95. I was looking at photos from the Daily Herald last night, and wondering how the city has faired. I heard that the school that was closed used to be St Francis, now public?

Welcome! And I hope those injured up there are well, soon! I'll have to check James Mary Evans to see how you got here from there... Wonderful!

Monday, April 11, 2011 at 7:11:00 PM CDT  
Blogger WI Catholic said...

Oh.. wasn't thinking! Probably from my comments. It dawned on me right after I hit send. Duh... =D

Monday, April 11, 2011 at 7:13:00 PM CDT  

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