Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Violent Weather Season

Last night was the start of violent weather season in Alberta, and it got started with a bang.

Mickey and I had the radio on while we were scrapbooking, listening as the announcer kept telling us that there was a violent thunderstorm watch and a tornado watch in our area.  That didn't bother us too much, weather forecasters aren't known for their accuracy.   Right?  That's what we thought too.  Then the radio started emitting a high pitched squeal preceding the ALERT!  We were told that there was a strong possibility of a tornado hitting down in Lethbridge within 30 minutes!!!  and everyone should get off the roads and take shelter in basements, blah, blah, blah.  I've never experienced one of those alerts before - it about scared the bejeebers out of us.

I knew we'd probably be safe in in the storage area under the staircase in the basement so we grabbed candles, matches, a couple bottles of water (we couldn't find anything stronger!!), and our iPads.  As she was heading downstairs, Mickey called back to me, "Bring the chocolates!".  She had already grabbed the jar of mixed nuts. 

We had to haul boxes out of the storage area in order to make room for both of us to sit hunched over working our iPads, listening to the radio through it.  We called our husbands far, far away and let them know what was happening.  Or at least we tried to.  The phone and cell lines were tied up and it was very difficult to get through.

Mickey with a decorative candle and her iPad. See the stairs over her head.

Checking with the weather network while listening to the radio

Trying to stay in touch
After awhile we heard that the tornado struck down just outside the town of Taber, a few miles northwest of Lethbridge.  So we crawled out of our hidey-hole but were prepared to go back down.  The radio announced told us that the storm is swirling aorund and the worse of it should be over us between midnight and 2 am.  We were too tired to be bothered by then so went to bed at midnight.  I was awake at 2:30 and everything was still.  By morning everything had calmed down and it was still raining.

On the news tonight we saw footage of the storm damage in Taber - huge trees uprooted, etc. but no injuries.  These tornados usually touch down in farming fields which are much more abundant down here than large towns.  We were lucky this time.  At least now we know the drill - grab your chocolates and nuts and run for shelter!!!


Mickey said...

It was a good drill & also at the time quite stressful! Have never done a prep like that before! Now we know what to grab in a very short time! I actually felt very safe in this very well built house..

Mickey said...
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RoeH said...

What a scare! We don't get too much of that here. Tornado stuff that is. The electrical storms in July and August can be scary at times. I'm so glad that tree is down in front of my house.

just call me jo said...

I didn't realize you had such weather occurrences there. It's weird to see you with computers and such and no electricity. Funny world we live in, huh. Glad you're safe.

Magpie said...

That sounds scary!! Glad all is well with you both. You're right, now you know just what to do. Hope you don't get more practice though.


What a fright you had. You need to listen when those alerts go off. Glad you and your friend were safe. It is a shame about the property damage near you. But fortunately nobody lost their life.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

It's good that you had a safe place to go to. We rarely get tornados here, but I have a weather radio that will keep me advised if the weather gets rough. There have been some bad ones over the years and we know to be safe and not take a chance. Prayers for all those affected by your storm there.

Granny Annie said...

Excellent advice. "Grab your chocolates and nuts..." It's funny how we all have important things we must go back for. Once my dad was late getting to the community tornado shelter because he had to change his shirt an tie. The entire town blew away that night. My sister would have to make sure she had her lipstick. I would have to bring my guinea fowl...Ah heck, I'd just have to ride out the storm and take my chances with the animals. Actually I did that once and my husband went to the shelter without me but that's another story.