|Let me tell about what happened to me one day, near the end of July 2010. That is a day that where I live, Western New York, was scarred with the destructive power of four tornados, one being an F-5, or so Iíve heard. Most people probably messed their pants when they saw it. Me, well Iíll be honest, I never saw them, but if you were to take a look at the road between Kennedy and Randolph, two small towns near where I live, youíd be shocked. Even now, the damage is still there.
It was a day like most, or at least thatís how it started. It might have been raining somewhat, or it could have been sunny, Iím not exactly sure. However, I know it soon started to rain heavily, with winds gusting. Then my family, that is, my younger brother, stepfather and mother, heard that there was a Tornado Watch, which was soon upgraded to Actual Tornado, and it, and a few buddies, were in the area.
Well, my older brother and his then fiancťe, who lived next door, and our one neighbor, soon went to get their pets, so we could go wait out the storm in the barn. However, by this time, the wind was blowing very hard, breaking limbs left and right, and it scared the animals, including my neighborís pet cat, so I offered to help out. Unfortunately, the rain caused my glasses to become obscure, forcing me to take them off, and Iíll tell you, at a yard away, everything becomes fuzzy, and thatís on a good day. This was a bad day, but I could make out the shapes, and thankfully, I know my neighborís place inside and out, as Iíve been there often, and Iíve known the place long before she, and her late husband, moved in, as it used to belong to my grandmother, and I was over quite often.
Anyways, I couldn't see too well, but I knew the place. I also know this much, that cat wasnít one that liked people trying to reach into her hiding places and getting her. I think I found her in my neighborís husbandís bedroom, but that cat was so scared, she didnít bother trying to run from me, especially after I started scratching her ears, which helped to calm her down. My neighbor then got her cat carrier and we put the cat in it. Then we left the place, and I was promptly soaked with rainwater. I would like to say that I was on the lee side, and out of the wind, but there wasnít any place that was out of the wind, and that rain was falling like machinegun bullets. Iím just glad there wasnít any hail, or I might not have lived. Finally, we managed to get into the barn, where everyone, and everything, else had taken shelter.
First off, this barn is old, over thirty years old, and there isnít much of a safe place except for the milk-house/storage room. That is made out of concrete at any rate; the rest is made out of wood and tin. Also, the back of the place is more of a really big open space, with a huge area open to the pasture for the flock of goats that my neighbor keeps. I could see everything, the branches of the trees swaying, the two swings in the yard being tossed around, small branches snapping off and hurtling towards the ground, a whole mess of stuff. Letís just say Iím glad that my older brother had cut down some of the larger branches previously, or else the yard could have been a real mess.
After about thirty or so minutes, the wind finally abated, and the rain stopped. After that, we took stock of the damages, one trailer soaked with rainwater, some skirting on one of the trailers torn loose, which was promptly fixed, several branches that were picked up and put on the fire pile. Over all, we made out alright.
In a larger view, the whole area was lucky; aside from a few calves in a hut, and whatever birds lived in the trees that were on the road between Kennedy and Randolph, and the trees themselves, there were no deaths. Several houses in the town of Randolph had been damaged; the house of one of my friends had a tree collapse onto it, the roofs of others torn off, and a few other things like that. Power was out for the whole area, and roads were blocked.
However Randolph folk are a self-sufficient breed, and the next day, when we went to my little brotherís graduation party, the roads were cleared, and people were at work helping each other to repair the damage. My own father and his brothers came to town to help fix things up, as did anyone who was related to some family in Randolph. Eventually, power was restored and things returned to normal.
However, some of the scars still remain. The sides of the road are still littered with toppled trees, which are all the more visible due to the lack of leaves. My dog, which would have ignored a thunderstorm, is now terrified of a small shower, and will stay by the door, as if waiting for the words of ďGet to the Barn!Ē
As for me, on Writing.com I added ďSurvived TornadoĒ at the end on my handle and told everyone about it. I think people got sick after I told the story the first dozen times and told me not to repeat it again (lol). Iíll say this, Iíll never forget it.