Saturday, August 22, 2009

Wind Toad

So, a few days ago I had all three boys asleep. I was laying awake in my bed with Atticus asleep next to me...raining hard outside...just thinking and praying. All of a sudden, the wind picked up like crazy, and then raised to an unbelievable roar. I got up to shut the windows, looked through the blinds and saw the neighbor's giant maple tree leaning at nearly level with the ground. I thought, "That can't be good." All I really thought was maybe I should get the kids away from windows and maybe to the basement. Suddenly, the wind, the noise was worse -- the house was shaking -- I scooped Lincoln up out of the Pak'n'Play, Atticus up from the bed, and ran into the boys' room and grabbed Dietrich -- running down the stairs with all three dangling in my arms as rain and wind rattled the house. By the time we reached the basement stairs, whatever was happening had stopped, just rain. I wasn't sure what to do. No electricity. No phone. All the cars on the street outside (a main, main, busy-all-day 3-lane street) were pulled over to the sides. I walked back up to our room and lay down with the three boys. Miraculously, Dietrich and Lincoln fell back to sleep while Atticus nervously figeted beside me. Eventually, Atticus and I crept out of the room and went downstairs to investigate. We grabbed an umbrella and stepped outside. Giant trees had fallen out into the streets across all three lanes of traffic. Nothing was getting through them. Rescue vehicles started showing up. A city truck pulled in front of our house. I asked him what had happened, what we should do. He said he wasn't sure -- then, warning sirens started going off and he said maybe we should go back inside. Later I talked with our neighbors to the south -- they said they'd talked to a police officer and found out that a Tornado had come out of nowhere and went down our street. I had 5 minutes left on our tract phone. I called Brad. I said, "Hi. We're okay, but a tornado just went down our street."
Brad: "A what?"
Me: "A Tornado."
Brad: (silence)
Me: "We're okay. The house is okay. Our van parked on the street is okay. Our fence blew down. We're okay."
Brad: "I'm coming home."
Me: "I don't know if you can get here."
Five minutes later, my sister bursts in the front door, soaking wet, freaked out. She sees Atticus and starts crying and talking like a, well, a tornado. She had taken the bus home from work, downtown and started seeing houses smashed in and roads closed the closer and closer she got to home. The bus had to work its way through all these side streets and finally dropped people off a few blocks from Portland. Bekah ran all the way home.
15 minutes later Brad arrives home.

We spent the night at the Millers -- Thank you!!!! Late the next day the electricity was back on. We've been on walks around our neighborhood. We are so thankful for our home being virtually untouched by the damage. Blocks of Park, Oakland, Portland, and 5th from a few blocks south of us and a few north of us have alot of beautiful trees down, garages and parts of houses and vehicles smashed in. Part of the conference center and large Lutheran church downtown were also damaged. No one was killed -- no one was even injured. And personally, we didn't even lose our food -- thanks to the Millers' refrigerator/freezer. Now we just need to get our fence back up for Victor and the kids. Enjoying our home. Glad none of our neighbors were hurt.

Atticus has learned about tornados and the power of wind. He thought we were saying a Wind Toad came out of the sky. He wondered if other toads would come. Now he is much more knowledgeable. He has asked many questions.

Our fence

Across the street from our house

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