16 April 2011

shaken and thankful

You might know that we have a NOAA weather radio. I've whined and complained about that thing more times than I care to admit. We bought it when we lived in Oklahoma, and it was especially annoying when there was a flash-flood warning, since we lived on the top of a hill. Maybe we have a basic model, but it goes off for ANY weather WARNING in the counties that we choose. Often times, Brad and I joke about shutting it off if storms are coming, but then say it would be the one time we need it and well, we just deal with it. I don't think there is a volume on it... its LOUD. And across the room so you have to get out of bed to turn it off. Which is good, I guess, to ensure that we are really awake.

Last night Brad had to stay at work all night. He was about 5-6 miles south of us.

The weather radio went off at 3:15am or so with a severe thunderstorm warning for the county we live in... And the storm did seem to get a bit crazy, super strong winds, rain and a bit of thunder & lightning.

The alarm went off again at about 4:45 am with our county and the county just south of us in a severe thunderstorm warning. I got up, turned off the alarm and asked God to keep me alert if there should be a tornado warning coming. I barely finished this request when the alarm went off again, this time a TORNADO WARNING. I prayed again, God give me wisdom about whether to wake the boys up or not. I turned on the TV to the channel that had been covering the storms all night. The area of rotation looked to be south of us... our neighborhood is really easy to pick out on the map because we are right near two highways that intersect. I decided to just watch and pray for alertness - rather than try to cram the boys, myself and the big dog into the coat closet.

Brad called to see if we were awake. I told him I was watching the news. They reported a possible tornado in the north part of Fort Benning area.

I kept watching really carefully, quite concerned about where Brad was... as well as everyone else involved in the Best Ranger Competition. I didn't know if they were sleeping in tents or barracks or what... (I use the word "sleeping" really loosely).

Anyway, the news channel did a stellar job covering the storm. They said that it had passed out of our county... AND THEN the sirens went off. The weather guys seemed as surprised to hear them as I did. Whoever makes the decision about the siren button might need to get on it a bit quicker.

We were all safe, nothing around our house looked out of place. Brad called this morning to say that a tornado did go through post by the new gate. I am guessing this is about a mile from where most the BRC stuff was. Praise God it wasn't any closer. The boys and I surveyed the area a little bit after watching the BRC events. It was much worse than I expected (although not nearly as bad as other places!) I took a couple pics with my phone, our camera charger is MIA at the moment.This is a new building, there was another mangled pile of metal at the opposite end of this parking lot.

There were a bunch of trees down as well. I am pretty sure nobody got hurt on-post. I am so thankful that the tornado went through in a less-populated area. I can only imagine if one touched down in one of our crammed-in-neighborhoods...or where the competitors & support for BRC were staying.

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