Try falling asleep when three tornados have already spawned in the area, and a tornado watch scheduled until 1am is consciously on your mind. With whisk the wind made, I jolted from a half-asleep state to being wide-awake wondering if I had seconds to jump out of bed, grab the dog, run to the center-most-area of the house and take cover. And even then, if a tornado blew through, would we be safe?
Hurricane-turn-Tropical-Storm Hermine wavered over the state of Texas bringing the much needed water, but causing a few floods and several tornados. Living in Texas, basements are an afterthought since the primary reason for basements is to take advantage of the warmth in colder climates in order to keep the foundation steady below the frost line. Texas basements though, would be better served as storm shelters and maybe should be marketed that way. Some developers offer a basement option with new home design plans, however this process can be costly because of the soil conditions or rock and clay. Okay, we can weigh the possibility and safety if a tornado hits, with a basement and without. Which one do you pick?
Tornados have too often, come too close for comfort. One, catching us by surprise one evening, passed only a few feet behind our property line, killing several in the area; two of which were elderly people who had no idea what hit them in their sleep. One young teenage boy was torn from his mother’s arms as they sought cover under their stairwell. I too, would have had no idea this twister had touched down had the power not gone out, and screams from the neighbors luring me out of the house to see what was happening. Everyone stared toward the Northeast end of our street where there was no doubt a huge tornado behind us, moving away, thank goodness. Sirens were not sounding and I was not sure whether it was due to the electricity being out, or because it simply failed.
Approximately 6:15pm, Wednesday September 8th, 2010 the National Weather Bulletin buzzed in tornado warnings for Central Dallas County, the city of Rockwall, Seagoville and the Fort Worth areas. I witnessed a funnel cloud emerge, drape down, and suck back up within seconds! I am not comfortable with the fact I expect these clouds every time it storms. This phenomenon was occurring all over the Dallas-Ft.Worth Metroplex. Unfortunately, toward the Metroplex West, flooding damaged homes and apartments, killing at least one man whose vehicle did not make it through a flooded creek crossing. (see http://www.indyposted.com/109148/hurricane-hermine-now-tropical-depression-floods-texas for more)
The tornado hitting downtown Dallas did not cause too much damage, but winds exceeded 100 mph, according to local weather reports. One local station reported the tornado crashed a semi-truck into the side of a warehouse collapsing the roof. The remnants instilled fear and left many submerged in water.
Dallas area emergency workers seemed to respond quickly and helped out where they were most needed.