What a wild day we had around here yesterday! We don't get many actual tornados here in the Florida Panhandle but an F1 tornado came through Pensacola yesterday morning. Several people caught the twister on video and we've watched them several times with our mouths hanging open. I've lived here my entire life and have never seen anything like this. Sure, we get the occassional waterspout that forms over the Bay or in the Gulf, but those dissapate as soon as they come ashore, and we all know that tornados spawn during hurricanes, but according to the news last night this is the first time in over 30 years that we've had a full fledged, non hurricane related tornado. It was fascinating to watch it form, see it touch down and then watch the debris flying everywhere. Of course, fascinating probably isn't the word the people who were in the path of the tornado would use but since no-one was seriously injured and I wasn't even in the same city - I thought it was very interesting to watch. They say the tornado was on the ground for about 15 minutes and it did some severe damage to several homes and businesses. It must have been terrifying for those people who were caught in it!
We live about 50 miles from Pensacola and were under a tornado watch for most of the day. My sister-in-law picks my son and niece up from school in the afternoons and she called to tell me that they would be late because all of the kids had been moved into the cafeteria because of the weather and they were not letting the kids even stand outside under the awning. When my son came in he said they had spent most of the day in the cafeteria and couldn't walk on the breezeways to go to the library or anything. I asked him if he had been scared and he looked at me, grinned and said "No way, it was so cool in there!" Obviously our elementary school staff did a great job.
My daughter's school is right on the water and she said they spotted a waterspout over the Bay and the principal came on the loudspeaker and told them to huddle against the classroom walls away from the windows. Island Girl said she thought it was a drill until the principal said "This is NOT a drill". When I asked her if she was scared she looked at me like I'd lost my mind and said "Well yeah, I was scared!" LOL Poor girl. She said they huddled against the wall for a while until they got the all clear to resume normal activities. She said that when it was time to get on the bus to come home that they made everyone go into the cafeteria and line up according to which bus they were to get on. When everyone was lined up they practically ran to the bus and the bus driver pulled off before everyone was even sitting down. That bothered me. If it's not safe enough for everyone to sit on the bus while it's loading how is it safe enough to drive through town with the kids on the bus? I know they have to get the kids home but I would rather get a phone call telling me to come and get her than to have her on a bus careening through town trying to get everyone unloaded as fast as possible.
Fortunately, here at our house we only had rain - lots and lots of rain. I read in the paper this morning that the major highway along the panhandle was closed last night because of flooding and several other roads here are closed. One of them is the entrance to my mother in law's house. They aren't letting anyone in or out of there yet. I haven't talked to her yet I'm sure she's not a happy camper to be trapped LOL Our backyard is now a lake that the boys want to swim in.
So while most everyone else in the area was dealing with tornados and flooding, the oldest Island Boy and I were reading and writing and napping. Sometimes oblivion really can be bliss.