Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Jeff and I were touched today to receive a few notes from the M-Brane world checking in on us after yesterday's tornado in the OKC area. As it happens, we're fine and weren't really too near the twister's path. We live in the northwest quadrant but in the southern- and easternmost parts of it fairly near downtown, several miles east and south of the worst of the storm. The accompanying photo of tornado destruction was taken in Edmond, a suburb north of the city. Though OKC is not anywhere near the biggest city in the country population-wise, it is quite nearly the largest in sheer land area, so you can have a disaster happen "in town" somewhere and still be a long way away from it, as I explained to my Dad when he called last night (we were startled to learn that our weather made the news up in Wisconsin where he is--we weren't yet aware ourselves of the seriousness of it).

When the tornado itself was going on, we were actually experiencing no rain and no serious wind in our neighborhood. Then, later on, some more thunderstorms came through, and we got a lot of rain for a while and the bloody power went out for about three hours (what the hell to do with one's time without electricity and the internet!).  The outage affected a fairly large swath of NW OKC, also encompassing the neighborhood immediately north of us where our friends Pat and Heather live (we called to see if they had power and if we could come over and hang out with them in civilized light--no luck). We passed some of the time in the candlelight by listening to stored podcasts of This American Life. We were close to giving up on the night and going to bed way too early when suddenly the lights came back on.  Glory! Pat's house got turned back on at the same moment, so we assume that there was one problem that they fixed that solved the whole situation in our area all at once. As annoying as the power outage was, we're glad that we avoided the bad part of the storm and feel a lot of sorrow for those who took the worst of it.

During the years we lived in St. Louis, we experienced a fair amount of heavy weather and a lot of power interruptions, but full-on tornadoes didn't really get into the city center.  When they happened in the area at all, it always seemed like they were in the far north or far west suburan areas.  Even a lot of normal rain, hail and snow often seemed to veer north of us. I don't know for sure, but the difference may have something to do with terrain: St. Louis proper sits pretty much at the low point of a river valley whereas OKC sits out in the wide open on a basically flat plain, a sitting duck for things like this.

We certainly hope that this early February tornado is just some kind of freak event and not just a very early kick-off to the heavy weather season. We're still going to be living here for at least the rest of this year, and I do not want to get any closer to one of those twisters than we were yesterday.

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Merc said...

I'm glad to hear you guys are all right!

Christopher Fletcher said...

Thanks, Merc!


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