Thursday, September 02, 2004

Hurricanes and Tornados

A hurricane is headed to Florida today and I am concerned about everyone whose home and workplace are threatened. I have lived through several tornados in Oklahoma, but never one that hit my home. It is hard to believe that you hunker down in a hole somewhere, and when you come out, all you have is bricks and boards. In a matter of a few minutes, your whole life changes. I'm sure, with a hurricane, it is all about preparation, boarding up, gathering suppliers, and then....waiting. When and if your home suffers damage, then you come out of the shelter, and have to start all over again. I get upset if I misplace a skein of yarn somewhere. I can't imagine having my whole world around me blown away. When I was in Oklahoma in May, a tornado went by 6 miles from our house, and I was able to watch the TV warnings, run outside to see the black flat cloud that was feeding the funnel, and then into the livingroom to tell mother the latest news. Actually a trip to the fruit cellar seemed like fun then. Coming out of the fruit cellar afterwards is the scary part. In Oklahoma, they are so used to tornados that the tracking is specific. They tell you what streets! the tornado is going past now. People have cellars or know someone who does. This tornado was a level one, rather puny, and strayed into the farm fields and only did damage to a few houses and a roof of a high school. Rather anticlimactic actually. A fizzle, thank you Lord.

This current hurricane has the same name as my mother, Frances. She will make note of that I'm sure. We don't get to name tornados in Oklahoma, only date them. In 1976, a tornado measuring a huge one mile across hit Union City, Oklahoma, 20 miles from where my mother lives. It just mowed down the whole town, the schools, the brick Catholic church, the houses, everything. Nothing left except dirt. Sometimes tornadoes even take the topsoil with them. When I went back to my high school reunion years later, I met a classmate who is now the principle of the Union City Highschool. They rebuilt. I will pray for the carpenters who will help rebuild Florida and I will pray that with all these early warnings that everyone in Florida gets out of harms way.