Sunday, April 24, 2011

Looks Like We're Not in Kansas

Several months ago, Cole was suffering from some anxiety about natural disasters. "What if there's an earthquake?" he'd ask, and we would say, "North Carolina doesn't get earthquakes."

"What if there's a hurricane?"

"We're too far from the ocean for a hurricane to do any damage."

"What if there's a flood?"

"We live at the top of a hill."

"What if there's a tornado?"

"Tornadoes are very uncommon in Raleigh because it's hard for that kind of storm to make it over the mountains."


Last Saturday, I got a call from my neighbor telling me that a tornado had been sighted just south of downtown and that I should find somewhere safe to hide. Michael and Cole were out running errands, so I called Michael and said, "There's a tornado heading your way."

He said, "We'll be fine," and drove straight into the tornado. This is the brilliant man I married.

Meanwhile, just as I hung up the phone, the power went out. I grabbed a stack of books and a flashlight and hunkered down with Eli and Rylan in my walk in closet. Which on further reflection is not the safest place in the house. We keep all of our tools on the top shelf of that closet.

The boys had no idea what was going on, and I kept a good poker face:

"Why are we in the closet in the dark, Momma?"

"We're just reading some books."

The tornado passed through really quickly, and all I can say is that it did not sound like a freight train. It sounded more like someone was shooting pebbles at my house. And maybe throwing lawn furniture.


The first thing I noticed when I opened the door was that our house was covered in leaf pulp.


Then I saw that a tree had fallen on my next-door-neighbor's house. Luckily, it fell at just the right angle so that it barely swiped her porch. Even her car (which is under that tree) escaped unscathed.


This was the extent of the damage to our house - part of the back fence blew down and our yard was littered with sticks and shingles.


And the biggest exclamation from me: "Ah, man, my seedlings..."

Our house suffered minimal damage, but some of our neighbors were not so lucky. The house two houses down (one of the few remaining old houses in our transitional neighborhood) was wiped out by a tree. The couple inside were able to climb out safely and are now staying with relatives. Here are a few other pictures from the neighborhood:





Michael and Cole made it home safely, though I do believe they drove right through the tornado. I also didn't really realize that the tornado had actually passed through our neighborhood until I saw this map tonight. So now, I am feeling very very lucky and grateful for the awesome builders who constructed our very solid home and also grateful that our yard has no trees (something I would never in a million years have been grateful for before).


  1. Glad you all are fine.
    (I hate to say that this post made me laugh at the way you wrote it.)


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