Monday, April 27, 2009

Wild Weather Weekend

Saturday, for the most part was a lovely day outside. The kids were out a lot and Dan mowed all afternoon. However, as I was grilling the hamburgers and brats, it started to sprinkle off and on. When we were ready to eat, I flagged down Dan and he put the lawnmower away and came inside. Just in time, because as soon as he came in, it started pouring down rain.

That night was uneventful for us, but little did we know that there was a confirmed tornado in our county on Saturday night. Thank goodness it was on the other side of the county. Here is a link to a picture of it, which is pretty impressive. They called it an "elephant trunk" tornado. It did a little damage, but there were no injuries.

Sunday morning we got up and went to church. It was very cloudy out and it sprinkled here and there, but not much. We came home, ate lunch, and then Dan and the kids went outside for a while. While they were napping Dan left to stop by his brother's house and then go to Lowe's for a few things. We knew there were some storms around the state and that there was one set to hit us in a while, but it didn't seem like much. The TV stations were focused on the more severe weather to our north and east.

About 45-60 minutes after Dan left, it started thunder storming and I casually flipped on the TV and computer to monitor it. The kids woke up early and I popped some popcorn for a snack. Joseph was getting scared because of the thunder and I decided to take the popcorn party downstairs for a movie. As I put the DVD in, the lights went out. Talk about chaos ensuing, with 4 little kids in a dark basement! We went upstairs, with Joseph clinging tighter to me than a koala bear, to get a flashlight and boy, was it wild outside. Thunder, lightning, driving rain. I had the kids sit at the top of the stairs where it was light. As I found the flashlight, Dan called, said he was on his way home, that the tornado siren was sounding, and that he could barely see on the road. Yikes! I hurried the kids back to the basement and they were scared to be in the dark. We said some prayers and asked our guardian angels to watch over us and our house and keep us all safe. Then the lights teased us by coming back on for a minute. As the phone rang, they went out again. Dan finally got home and had to go shut the door to the big shed and then come in and manually open the garage door to get the mini-van inside. I couldn't do much as the kids were freaked out by all the wild weather and the dark. We just hunkered down in the basement.

Everything seemed to happen quickly and it was a fast-moving storm, so soon it had passed us by. Our time in the basement was only 30-40 minutes. Later we found out that there were rotating clouds, which triggered the tornado siren, but no actual tornado sighting. When we looked out there was water everywhere! Huge puddles, and in the backyard was a stream, just like when we had our big snow melt so fast. It was still cloudy and sprinkling, but no longer wild. So I let the kids play in the water. Here they are splashing through the stream in the backyard:
Joseph is up to his knees in this shot:

Talk about some soggy kids:

How fun is this?
Below are 3 video clips taken on our digital camera. Each one is only about 20-30 seconds long.
It was just so funny to watch the kids playing in all that water. Of course, today I am washing a lot of laundry, but that's okay.

As the kids played outside, the electricity was still out and we could hear the neighbors' generator going. Dan hung up the rain gauge and did a few things around the yard. After about a half-hour, the electricity came back on and it was good timing because it was getting close to dinner time. I turned on the oven to heat up the leftover bierocks. Then the kids came in because they were getting cold. I have never seen such a soggy, muddy, dirty bunch of kids in my life! They immediately got tossed into the bathtub and then got to eat dinner in their pajamas, which was of course exciting.
Meanwhile we were keeping tabs on the next storm system coming our way. We were under a severe thunderstorm warning and a tornado watch. We got the kids downstairs watching that movie they didn't get to see earlier (Here Comes Peter Cottontail). Then we watched the storm approach. Here is the backyard, where just a few hours earlier, a stream was flowing. And look at that wall cloud! It was enormous and threatening and moving fast!

Another view of the storm:

Joseph and Mommy watch the approaching storm:

Not long after this the rain started. It poured and it poured and it poured. Thunder, lightning, rain, rain, rain. We watched the local station's continuous coverage of the storm all evening. You know when they cut out the regular programming to show the weather, you had better pay attention. Finally, it seemed to get less severe and we were able to go to bed. The electricity went out one more time briefly, so we woke up to blinking clocks everywhere. Dan went out and checked things and there doesn't appear to be any damage. The rain gauge had 4.8 inches in it, and that was just from the second storm. We estimate we got a good 6 inches of rain or more!

What a wild and crazy time. I plan to get better prepared for the next storm that comes our way. After all, this is tornado season. One thing that I discovered is that Glade flameless candles are great to have for your kids' rooms, or anywhere, when the lights go out. They look like candles, but are battery operated and they smell nice, too. So no worry about the kids knocking over the candles and setting things on fire.

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