Thursday, May 29, 2008

Surviving the Windsor Tornado

Last Thursday was a very exciting and very frightening day for us here in Windsor Colorado. That morning I was busy putting away the newest Glass Beads to come into the DJ Beads store and at around 10am I decided to dash off to the grocery store to get the weekly shopping done. The day was beautiful, a little cloudy and cool, but still shorts weather. As I was checking out I heard a gentleman say, "At least it's starting to rain a little outside", so I was prepared that I would have to make a mad dash with the groceries upon exiting... which I did.
As I started to drive away the rain was hitting harder and harder against my windshield, but being from Seattle, this didn't freak me out too much. I stopped to get some lunch at Taco Bell and after I placed my order found myself locked into their drive thru with no escape, (unless I went 4 wheeling in the car over the curb), and watched the rain turn to hail. Once out of there and sitting at a stop sign I called my husband from my cell and asked if he could hear the pounding of the hail against the car. I think he said something, but it was so loud I told him I'd have to call him when I got home because I just couldn't hear him.

The light changed and as I drove around the bend the pea size hail started to turn golf ball size. I was in a residential area on Garden where the speed limit is 30. However I was doing around 45 or 50 trying to get home and out of the storm. Every time a golf ball hail would hit my car I was just sure it was going to go through the sunroof, windshield or back window and I would jump from my seat a little each time.

I turned onto our Cul-de-sac and immediately started hitting that garage door opener repeatedly... and I was still down the street a bit. It opened and I came barreling into the garage and I think at that very moment is when the tornado hit. I ran inside to call the husband only to find that our power was out. By this time the hail outside had turned to baseballs. The backyard looked like we were inside a batting cage. The hail would hit the ground and then bounce 3-4 feet in the air. I called Ed from the cell and he told me that there was a really big storm cell East of Windsor. We then hung up and I went to the garage to start bringing in the groceries. That's when I saw the sky....

It was like nothing I'd ever seen before, a grayish green color that just looked eerie. I had 1 bag of groceries in my hand and raced back inside with it... hands shaking at this point... and called Ed back. That's when he said that a tornado had touched down east of Windsor. Having never been in this situation before I asked him what to do. He told me to head for the basement. So I ran back to the bead store and grabbed our old cat Bat Cat who is pretty much deaf and doesn't get around so well anymore. Two of the other cats, Hank and Shadow, just knew something was up and ran down the stairs with me. But I still had to run back upstairs to fetch our little Lucy cat. Grabbing her I ran downstairs with her and sat listening to the hail hit the windows and roof.

They always say it sounds like a freight train when a tornado hits, but I didn't hear a thing. Finally the birds started singing again so I called Ed to see if he thought it was safe to head back upstairs.

He left work early and saw the destruction first hand and was stunned when he got home to find that we were unscathed in this whole thing.... not a shingle missing from the house! In fact our garden is still in tact as well. Just 2 blocks from us is where the tornado hit.

We went for almost 6 days with no power, but fortunately my husbands boss brought us over a gas powered generator and we got by with that and some candles and battery operated lanterns.

Because of this I've also mastered the art of cooking ANYTHING on a BBQ Grill! The 1st morning we had egg's and bacon and made coffee on the grill. By the end of our 6 days I had learned to make Egg's Benedict... all on a BBQ Grill. Where there's a will there's a way.

These are a few pictures that I took from around our neighborhood about 4 days after the storm hit.

Our hearts go out to those that lost their homes and we are forever grateful that we were as lucky as we were... this could have been so much worse had it happened on a weekend or evening when people were home from work.