A few minutes before eleven last night, John and I were sharing the goodness and challenges of our day, when the storm suddenly pushed against the house in a loud roar. I rose to look out the front window, the sky was dark, the rain thick and the wind loud. There was a loud explosive sound and the neighborhood went dark. I listened for a warning siren, but there was only the wind yelling as I ran upstairs to grab Libby. We huddled together in the living room waiting for a siren that never came. Emergency vehicle sirens sounded and whizzed by the house and many more south of our street. John and I donned our shoes and headed out the front door to assess our situation. I have observed that Missourians meet storms head on and can often be found out on their front porches to watch their world blow by. The wind was gusty, the rain not pounding and neighbors were out and about curiously checking their houses, trees, and yards. Everything looked fine. Looked normal.
Back inside, we turned on the radio and lit candles. Libby Lu snuggled up on the couch for the night and fell asleep. She did not seem afraid, but I felt much better having her down on the main floor with us. Radio announcements revealed storm damage on the South side of town, where my little nieces by heart and friend Ashlei lived. We called. She said they were out when the storm came through, only to return to have to negotiate debris (road signs, lawn furniture, roofing barbeques, a bank sign) on the road, about a mile from their house. They were okay, tucked in safe at home.
Reports came across about more sever damage just a couple of blocks from our home; however, we would have to wait until morning to know any more than that. John and I were keyed up, so we gathered candles on the table in our small dining room. I tried to crochet, and now have a great understanding how difficult it was in those places in history when women managed their domestic arts by the light of a candle. We played a game of Quiddler. I was lucky. The power was still off after midnight and we set our cell phone alarms and snuggled in under the quilts.
On the way to school this morning, we discovered the storm damage a good deal closer to our home than originally thought. Just two blocks away tree tops were shattered and one large old tree had been pulled up by its roots and lay partially in its home yard, partially in the street. Bits of bark and roofing littered the neighborhood. We were lucky once again. A few businesses south of area were hit hard and traffic light standards were twisted and thrown to the ground making traffic a bit tough for many this morning.
I want to make sure I note that while this storm whipped across Oklahoma, Kansas, and Missouri, Arkansas also experienced storm damage. Many of these areas hit were still without power from the ice storm of two weeks ago. It does not seem fair. Please keep these people in your thoughts.