Sunday, June 08, 2008

Should We Start Building An Ark?

Just a quick update for the weekend: Lauren's prepping for her second summer class and I'm prepping for my work trip to Richmond, VA next weekend, where I'll be with a team doing a software conversion from next Sunday to the following Saturday.

Given the storms we've had the last few days (complete with storms since Thursday, local flooding, and now a new storm watch today), and the local flooding, we're both wondering if we should be building an ark. At the least, we ought to start moving faster on plans to build a full basement, given we dodged a bullet Thursday night: we spent a half-hour in the small storm shelter we do have waiting out a tornado warning (and wondering why the town didn't blow the sirens even though NWS had called an alert for the entire county???)

In any event, we came pretty close to having a tornado in town; at about 8:30 pm, we saw the alert, called our neighbor with a full basement only to discover that she wasn't home, decided to get together some bare minimum survival items (windbreakers, water bottles, lantern/flashlight, phone (so I could keep up with the alerts and radar), laptops, and a bottle of wine and corkscrew (just in case it was going to be a VERY long night)), and headed down to our storm cellar. As I pulled the doors closed, I turned to see the beginnings of a funnel cloud (not sure if it was a cold-air funnel or an actual tornado) start to form from the cloud base down towards the ground. Even though it was south of town and heading away from our area, needless to say, I slammed the door shut and prayed that we weren't going to do a Wizard of Oz imitation.

Fortunately, the storm was moving fast enough that the funnel didn't develop any real rotation, didn't touch down, and dissipated as the front moved on. Even so, we didn't get much sleep that night; I stayed up until 11:00 until the tornado watch expired, and after that, I asked Lauren if we could purchase a weather radio with an alert that will wake us if we get warnings overnight, and she agreed.

EDIT: The weather radio came in today (6/9), and it's already coming in handy.