After action report: Central Alabama Twisters 3/17/2021

Yesterday at eleven o’clock I was sitting in a sunny courtyard, enjoying coffee with friends. An hour later I was in the library’s tornado-shelter room, trying to keep people from wandering out into the open hallway to look at the funnel sighting across the river. An hour after that, the library and many other city & county offices were closed and evacuated. I’ve never been so close to tornado activity, and had I been home, I would have been closer still: a house in my neighborhood was destroyed by a fallen tree, and just down the road a cousin of mine lost her vehicles, shed, and part of her home to multiple treefalls.

May be an image of sky and tree

We survived ten hours of tornado sightings — I lost track of how many different rotating systems roared through the county yesterday — and can now see the sun again. Fortunately, the worst hit us early, in the light of day: despite initially being under a watch until 3 am, the danger was deemed over by midnight. Remarkably, despite the damage in my area, I never lost power or internet access. I had extra water & batteries for my lamps, and a bag packed in case I needed to pass the night at a friend’s house (there are multiple trees that can fall and smoosh me), and felt “ready”: I realized, though, that I couldn’t find my cellphone battery pack that I purchased back in late 2019, after a storm system knocked out power to my area for most of a day. I’ll have to find that one and buy a second backup, having now experienced the truth behind the expression “Two is one and one is none”. According to the news, the fury of the early storms sapped energy from the atmosphere and prevented the evening systems from getting out of hand,but there’s still a lot of damage, affecting many of the same counties that Zeta rolled through a few months ago. We were all bracing ourselves for something like the April 2011 outbreak that killed hundreds, but thankfully that did not happen.

Well, with the threat of death from the skies over for now, back to life!

About smellincoffee

Citizen, librarian, reader with a boundless wonder for the world and a curiosity about all the beings inside it.
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10 Responses to After action report: Central Alabama Twisters 3/17/2021

  1. Marian says:

    That first photo is ominous. I’m glad you and your stuff are ok!

  2. Cyberkitten says:

    Wow! Kinda exciting… *afterwards*. I think with everything the whole world has been going through in the last 12-18 months a *lot* more people are taking at least minimal ‘prepping’ into consideration. I think that can only be a good thing long term. Glad everyone’s safe despite some damages. Will insurance pay up for your cousins losses?

    • I would hope we’ve learned a few things about basic readiness in the last year, but I almost doubt it. My cousins are probably covered, but they’ll have a devil of a time cleaning up. At least the house is still mostly livable.

  3. Glad you survived the storms. I’ve never been close to such storms, in spite of its name the “Windy City” doesn’t get many storms like those you pictured. Once in a great while Lincoln Park, near me, will lose some trees.

  4. Glad to hear that everything is okay!

  5. Sharon Barrow Wilfong says:

    Yep. Tornadoes in Texas and Hurricanes in Florida. I’ve seen the inside of many a closet and storm shelter. The worst is when you’re out of power and water. Glad you’re OK. Keep truckin’!

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