1/8/08

Kenosha Tornado

My dad called this morning to make sure we were all okay and asked that I post something for the folks back home.

A small tornado, probably no stronger than an F1, touched down and destroyed homes in Wheatland, Wisc., about 22 miles due west of us, then traveled east toward the lake, where it dissipated. A taco place three miles north of us was destroyed right near Carthage College. In between those points, it hovered above the city and was filmed by someone about two miles northwest of us as it passed over. Others touched down to the south in Illinois.

But was anyone surprised? Not at all. Temps hit 67F (19C) when I picked up the girls from school at 3:30. By the time we picked up Keven from work two hours later, after the storms had passed, the temperature hovered just above 40F (5C). I stood on the balcony during the storm and watched. Hardly any rain fell, although the sky filled with clouds and the occasional flash of lightening, but in Racine County, just north of where the tornado touched down, they experienced torrential rains--like a weather fault line. The winds were erratic, not constant, and alternated warm and cold against my face. The sky turned that particular shade of tornado green. If you've never lived in the Midwest, you've probably never seen it. The color alone is enough to raise the hairs on my neck, let alone the freaky hot-cold winds. Six (SIX) tornado sirens later and the girls were pretty freaked out.

Weird, really. Worst January tornado on record for this part of the country, and especially strange after the one that touched down a half mile from my parents' house in Nappanee, Ind., back in late October. Maybe that means my family has been Garp-proofed with regard to tornado damage. That would be nice.

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