The severe storm warning had not been issued when I had headed out late afternoon last Tuesday. I knew that storms were coming but I thought I had time to get to the store and back home before the brunt hit. By the time I was in the store for about 20 minutes, the tornado siren blared. All the customers and employees were shepherded into the back. There we waited while we listened to pounding hail and screeching wind. The lights stayed on, thank goodness. Everyone stayed calm. I watched the weather on my iPhone like a lot of the waiting people. Waiting for the unknown.
After the all clear was called, my hubby and I resumed our shopping at a steady, slow pace hoping the storm would be well north by the time we headed home. We lived 30 minutes away south in the rural in a small town. We made it to our truck in the pouring rain and decided to chance for home. I drove. And that was the scariest drive home ever. I grew up in tornado alley and have been in my share of storms and even outran a few. This storm was not only severe, it was relentless. Many times I stopped along with other drivers out on the highway in the middle of the prairie while the storm raged strong winds up to 70 miles per hour, torrential downpour rain where I could not see past the hood of the truck, and pelted marble sized hail. The truck rocked and I prayed we wouldn’t go airborne.
When the torrent would ease just a bit, I would slowly drive a few miles before stopping again and again. When we exited to our road, I drove to and stopped beneath the overpass while the hail loudly hammered everything in sight. Other cars were there, too, and a storm chaser car came sliding by. When the hail stopped, I continued for home a few miles away through water over the road in some places. It felt so good to get home safe and sound (well, the mental was a bit shaken and scarred), as well as the house still stood and our pets okay inside.
The storm pounded, shook, and blew until 2:00 a.m. flooding the area all around including our basement. A long night was spent bailing water out. A new sump pump is being installed after this soggy event. And there will not be a next time, if I can help it, getting caught in a storm. When severe storms are forecasted, I will stay home and off the road!