Thursday, April 28, 2011

Tornado or straight line winds?

I am okay.  The dogs, cats and chickens are okay. The cabin is okay.  Even the trees around my cabin are okay, but just a few hundred yards away from my front door, things are not okay.
At 6 a.m. this morning either a tornado or straight-line winds blew across the mountain, at a speed of 80 mph, which was clocked at a weather station on Roundtop that a local TV station installed and which spits out weather info every 10 minutes.

I'd been awake since 4 a.m. by bad thunderstorms and heavy rain. I got up at my usual 5:30 a.m. and checked the weather radar.  A storm was coming my way, and the lightning and thunder started getting bad, so I turned the TV off.  At 5:45 my sister called to report we were under a tornado warning and that Roundtop was right in the path.

I grabbed the dogs, two cats and headed for the bathroom, the basement already getting some water in it, and besides, I didn't really want to go outside to get there, anyway.  Within a few minutes, the storm intensitified, and then the wind started to rise.  The wind and the noise started getting very loud and just kept building. I started hearing little things falling on my roof--just leaves and acorns, probably.  Then for 5 seconds it got very, very loud.  I won't say I heard the "freight train" but it was only a few steps below that. It sounded as though it was overhead but not actually on the cabin.  And just about when I was thinking this wasn't going to be good at all, it was gone.

So I gave it a few minutes, said "Whew" a few times and proceeded to take Dog for a walk, and when I got close to the lodge, that's when I saw the first of the damage.
The tree in the photo above is twisted, so until someone tells me different, I'm calling it a tornado.

As far as I could see, the lodge itself and surrounding buildings are okay. I saw some small pieces of building debris--flashing, mostly, or other small loose stuff and not a lot of that.
Across the road from the resort, over by that small building (a pump house), you can see trees in the forest just flattened by the wind.  The road itself is still blocked to traffic. I was finally able to get out by driving on a dirt road and then leaving by a normally-closed access road and avoiding this area. I don't know how far down the road the damage continues. I haven't been out that way yet and won't be able to get there until that part of the road is cleared.

Right now the sky is clearing, and the weather is improving. A few schools are closed.  There's lots of localized flooding but the main part of the storm is now over, and now the clean-up is underway.


Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

Carolyn, I am so grateful that you are OK and that your place was not damaged. That twisted tree looks like tornado damage to me too. So much terrible weather in the US in the last few days. Take care-

Carolyn H said...

Lynne: Thanks! It was just a close call. All is okay at the cabin. It felt kind of weird to have power and internet access but not be able to get out.

Carolyn H.

am said...

That's a shocking contrast. Good to know that you and your cabin are safe now.

Sam said...

Carolyn, I am delighted that you and yours are fine.

Carolyn H said...

Sam: I hope you didn't have any damage out your way. The water has been pretty bac, too.

am: Thanks! I am fine. It could have been a lot worse, and I'm really glad it wasn't!

Carolyn H.

Grizz………… said...

It's really good news, Carolyn, to know you and your dogs and "gals" came though the storm safe. The icing on the cake is that your cabin was not damaged, and none of your trees lost. And it's nothing short of a miracle you still have power and Internet!

Carolyn H said...

Griz: to me it's totally bizarre that I still had power and internet access but couldn't get off the mountain. I still can't quite wrap my head around that one.

Carolyn h.

Cathy said...

Grr! I think blogger ate my comment.If it's there just delete this one

Yea, you had a tornado. might been one those that touches down and goes back into the clouds. Straight winds do not twisted trees like that.

I just had a few good cracks of thunder and lightening. Plus a good dose of heavy rain

KGMom said...

Goodness, Carolyn. I have been checking blogs for people I know live in the southern part of the U.S. when it suddenly occurred to me that you are near where I live. Then I heard the news about Roundtop being hit, and I hustled here to make sure you are OK.
What a season of crazy weather it has been.

Carolyn H said...

kgmom: Yes, it was quite a morning, but after seeing what happened in the south, it really could have been much worse than it was. Still, I hope that's the last and closest tornado I ever have to deal with.

Cathy: I'm glad your weather wasn't any worse than it was. Radar looked pretty bad across the entire state on Wednesday night.

Cicero Sings said...

Wow! Scary stuff. I'm so glad you and yours came through unscathed.