Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Atascocita Thunderstorms

One of my first posts on here was Weary but Blessed where I compared emotions like Texas weather. Yesterday's storm that hit out here must have been frustration and anger all rolled into one. This is very close to where I live, in fact Atascocita is pretty much one big neighborhood.
I was at home doing my "couch potato" thing in my recovery. I noticed thunder but other than that nothing more than the usual. It rained a bit, and then power went off. No big deal, it happens out here quit a bit.

The rain died down and Lisa and I left to go to run some errands with my daughter and one of her friends.

We usually cut through subdivisions to avoid traffic and about half way to where we were going my cellphone rings. "Are you guys ok?" a voice calls "What do you mean?" I asked. It was my daughter Lexie's friend's mother. "A tornado just hit over here and I wanted to make sure you guys were all right." We were flabbergasted, we had no indication whatsoever that anything like that occured. She went on to explain that trees were down all over the neighborhood and there was no way traffic was getting through. Lisa turned a corner, and we saw powerlines sagging where a tree had hit and rolled off. "Woooah!" we cried. All before us was the kind of damage I had seen in east Texas after Hurricane Rita.
Trees sheared off at the base, leaves, bark and debris all over the roads. All the damage occured in about 20 to 30 minutes time. One minute life is great, the next lives are changed.
Trees I had seen in front of houses for years suddenly gone.

There is nothing creepier than turning on your radio in the midst of this chaos, traffic, and downed power lines and hearing the spooky growl of the Emergency Alert System. Especially when the warning announcement is more severe thunderstorms rushing in. Ominous thunder echoes in the background and fat raindrops start plopping on the windshield.

My wife Lisa is driving through all this mess. I can't drive for another two weeks. Now, Lisa and bad weather do not mix. She hates storms especially when she is out driving. The scary thing was, she and the girls had been out earlier getting an ice cream. She dodged the worst by ten minutes, and now we had been caught between t-storms. She normally drives like granny coming home from church but yesterday? She was Jeff Gordon personified. I have never seen her so aggresive. "Get out of the way!" "Turn turn!" she cried. I do believe she set a land speed record getting us back to the house before the second storm hit. I was so proud.

We went out later and surveyed the damage. It was pretty rough. My heart went out to those who suffered damage. Trees smashed into homes. Collapsed garages. Thanks to the Lord there were no serious injuries reported.

It was interesting, seeing the damage pattern. A little damage here, then nothing. A lot of damage there, then nothing. The storm seemed to be like a childs tantrum.
What did I tell you about Texas weather.


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