Joyce and I went quickly into our storm emergency mode. She got candles and some bottle water from the kitchen upstairs and I raced upstairs to our bedroom on the 3rd floor. The wind was rising quickly and I saw lightning flashes through the upstairs back windows as I retrieved my cell phone and billfold. Joyce and I both met at the door to the stairs which led back down to the Family/TV room on the basement level (this is also where our storm shelter is located). As we started down the stairs we heard a terrific roar of wind and then a crash.
After the winds had died down some we went out on the deck with flashlights and although we couldn't see that well, we could make out a big tree limb on our front deck. Next morning, I went outside to check on the damage.
First, let me show you a picture of our front deck in normal times (click on the pics to make them larger)....
Now, here's a pic taken this morning from close to the same position (if you look closely, you can make out one of the chairs under the tangle of limbs)...
I walked out in the front yard and got a pic from another angle. Our house (38 years old now, and counting) is a chalet style with a 12/12 pitch roof. That's the peak you can see sticking up above the limb of the fallen tree.
You can see from the pic above and from the one below that there were two separate sections of the tree involved. One fell on the deck and its upper limbs mashed up against our six front windows. (None were broken.) The other part of the tree fell on the roof. We're pretty sure there's no damage to the roof, but we won't know for sure until the tree guys remove the tree.
So, it was a pretty scary night here in the hollow. There were 5 more trees down in other parts of our yard as well. What hit us wasn't a tornado, but some very fast straight line winds (apparently in the 50-70 mph range). We've already quite a few powerful storms this spring and most seem to come at night. When you can't see very much or are half asleep when the roaring wind wakes you up, the anxiety level can rise pretty high.
It's been a stormy spring all over the midwest and south. I read yesterday that the total number of deaths in the Joplin, Missouri, tornado was more than 120. And on Oklahoma blog friend Staci's website yesterday, she posted some pics of what a tornado did to some of her kin's house in Hinton, Oklahoma. We're lucky so far that we haven't had anything near as bad as the folks in Missouri, Oklahoma, Mississippi, North Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama have experienced.
Joyce and I will be happy to welcome those hot muggy days of summer and leave this stormy spring behind.
UPDATE: Staci visited Hinton, Oklahoma, to see her cousin and husband and to help out. She has a new post with pics of the devastation caused by the tornado.