Monday, February 18, 2008

AFK: Tornado

Atlanta is one of those wonderful places in America where it gets nice and warm in the summer and not too terribly cold in the winter. We have one snow a year, and everything else is fairly calm. We're just far north enough to be out of hurricane range, and just far east enough to be out of blizzard and tornado range. Or so I thought.
Yesterday was a grey day. We woke up to a distinct lack of sunshine and checked the weather. Yep, another stormy day where we had to take the van instead of the scooter to run around town. Husband and I ran some errands early in the afternoon, and then headed over to our friend Bret's house to hang out, code, knit and play Mario Party. It was an afternoon like many other quiet sunday afternoons. Then the rain started.
It was slow at first, but then it started to really come down hard. Our friend Nick was outside in the carport working on his new motorcycle. Then work called me to check on my schedule for the coming week, and offhand they mentioned that there had been a tornado spotted in East Point, which isn't too far from us.
Laptops were pulled out immediately, doppler was checked, satellite images of the area were accessed, and we did indeed see that we were under a Tornado Warning. Not a Watch, an actual Warning. Bret confessed to being deathly afraid of Tornadoes. I told him that it was okay, that they didn't scare me. He could be scared for me, and I'd be calm for him. So we all agree that if we see hail, or hear a freight train, we head for the basement. So we sit and continue our knitting and coding.
Then the sirens start going off.
This is Atlanta, we didn't even know we HAD sirens. We leap to our feet, grabbing the expensive handy electronics as we go. I run to the front door and yell for Nick to get inside. We head down to the laundry room in the basement. Then the rain stops and everything goes kind of quiet, including the sirens. We sit there for five or ten minutes. Then the siren starts again and the rain comes back. And then the siren stops.
We gingerly head back upstairs, keeping one eye on the windows. As the rain settles back in, we breathe a sigh of relief and decide to go see a movie.
I confess, I was fairly excited by the prospect of a close call by an unexpected weather phenomena, and I really had no idea we had sirens. I am glad that that was the closest we got, though. It was certainly an interesting twist to an otherwise quiet afternoon.

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