Trickles of good news are appearing in Oklahoma as people write about family members found alive, horses that survived and other pets that are reunited with their owners.
Tornado damage can be very specific and very random. One neighborhood will be devastated while another, close by is left untouched.
When we lived in the Cleveland area, back in the early 90s, I was caught in a “microburst” which is like a tiny tornado. I was walking my dog and pushing my son in a stroller at the polo field in Chagrin Falls. Suddenly the sky got very dark and the wind picked up. It was very loud, like a train in the distance getting closer.
I sprinted for my car, got my son and dog safely inside and battled with the stroller, which was being battered by the wind. Once inside, I heard a huge crash and saw that in front of me a stand of pine trees had broken mid trunk. My two year old son pointed gravely at them. “See trees fall down!” he said. As he said that, more trees snapped around us, their trunks broken like pencils.
At that point I wondered whether being in the car was a good idea but I had no idea where else to go. Before I could make any more decisions, it was over.
Driving home we saw trees down, power lines broken and dangling, and debris everywhere. We lived only two or three miles from the Polo field. Our house was undamaged but there were downed trees all around it: one landed only inches from the French doors at the back of the house; another had crushed the car of the people who had only the week before decided to buy the house.
One street over from us, a roof had been lifted off a house. We were relatively lucky.
The force of that storm was truly frightening. I can’t even imagine being caught in a Tornado, let alone one of the force that hit in Oklahoma. The devastation is heart breaking, the loss of life is so immensely sad and the force of nature that is contained in a tornado is humbling.