A to Z CHALLENGE
Today's letter is......T
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May 11, 1970, I experienced what an F-5 tornado can do.
It was the strongest tornado recorded in Texas history at the time. Twenty-six people died, and hundreds more were injured. The city was devastated.
I was just out of high school, attending evening classes at a business college downtown. Thunderstorms had developed, and we were dismissed early, around 9 p.m. or so. I had to wait for my dad to come pick me up.
As we drove through the downtown area, on our way home, there was an underpass we had to go under, but the wind, rain, and hail, was so bad, we instead, pulled in under a gas station awning, to wait it out.
We had no idea a tornado was bearing down on us.
As we watched in horror, things began flying through the air...all kinds of debris. Then, bricks from the gas station began to crash into the car windows, shattering glass all over us. We felt the front end of the car being lifted into the air, by the strong winds. We dove into the back seat, to take cover, where my knees were cut by the glass.
As it eased up a bit, we got out, hoping to make it to the next block where we knew there was a basement in the courthouse. It was a miracle we didn't get electrocuted from the downed power lines, as they snaked through the air and into the calf deep water in the road. Still, trying to stand and walk down the street, we finally made it to the courthouse, where lots of other people had taken shelter. We did finally go through a tunnel that led to the police station and emergency center.
It was chaos in there, with frightened people, dispatchers on their radios, policemen running around, and no one knowing just what to do. Eventually, we did go back up to the street. As my car was ruined, we found a person to give us a ride home. That was treacherous, also, considering all the debris in the streets, sparking power lines, and flooding.
We did make it home that night...around one o'clock in the morning. My mom and sister had gone to the cellar, and had no idea what had happened to us. The next day, we managed to go find my car to be towed home. We couldn't believe how lucky we'd been. The gas station building we'd been by, was completely destroyed...only a few standing bricks of the front wall remained. We'd come that close to being blown away. And beyond the underpass that we almost went through...complete devastation...everything leveled.
So, now 44 years later, when the anniversary of the May 11 tornado comes, I still have horrible tornado dreams. I never want to go through a tornado again, but living here in Tornado Alley, it is always a possiblility.
Thanks for reading! If you'd like to, visit my other blog for the letter T. It is at http://teleportingweena.wordpress.com
Peace, Love, & Writing