Friday, March 2nd, 2007
I’m feeling like a weather girl lately. Some really bad storms came through Alabama, killing 10, including eight high school students in LA (lower Alabama).
All the schools and many of the businesses in town shut down early to let everyone get to their homes before the storms hit. My office let us out AFTER the tornado sirens starting sounding. I can’t blame them exactly – around here everyone overreacts to the weather, and it’s hard not to think of James Spann as the boy who cried wolf.
I didn’t have time to get home before the worst of the storm came through, so I decided to wait it out. Several others had the same idea. I went to huddle in the back hallway by the art department but found them all hanging out on the stoop (the smoking porch) watching the storm.
In spite of being raised to have a healthy respect and fear for the powers of weather, I joined them on the porch.
Fortunately, our area of town got little more than rain. But the clouds were incredible, swiftly changing shape and color all around us.
Here’s just a small part of what we saw:
Once we found out people had died in the storm, I felt a little terrible for treating it so lightly. But even as I laughed with the others and snapped photos of them tramping around the parking lot with cigarettes in their mouths, in my belly was the cold tightness. The radio said a tornado was heading for downtown Tuscaloosa, and that’s where my parents were. And another for Northport, where the rest of my family lives.
It’s a scary thing to contemplate the things a tornado can take from you. I think we were laughing so we didn’t have to think.