Tornado Day


I remember working for The Oklahoman newspaper on May 3, 1999, when the F5 tornado went through Moore. It was city council meeting night, and that’s where I was, covering the meeting for the paper. For weeks afterward we did post-tornado stories. (In fact, I was kicked off my beat for a while so they could put a more experienced reporter on the hot spot.) Anyway, I did one story in which I was comparing that tornado outbreak to the movie Twister and the guy at the weather center at OU kept repeating that the movie was pure fiction and May 3 was an anomaly.

Turns out Twister might have been a harbinger. Since May 3, we have had several weather events that spawned multiple tornadoes across a huge area of the state. Today was one of those days.

We’re all okay here. There was a tornado very close, but it died before tearing up Moore. However, there are multiple communities dealing with death, destruction, and one case in Piedmont where a toddler is missing while the rest of her family is in various hospitals. I can only hope the toddler will be found unharmed like the baby from Bridge Creek was back in ‘99.

I was watching through the front door as the storm moved in. We had a lot of hail. More than likely the vehicles are beat up some. Lots and lots of rain came. The weirdest thing was when the wind went from pounding us from the south to suddenly coming to a dead stop, then ripping just as hard from the north. I was sure I was about to hear the roar of a tornado then, but it never came.

My wife and kids rode out a tornado in this house in May 2003 while I tried desperately to get home from my job in downtown OKC. I sure hope that’s something we never have to do again. We don’t have a storm cellar or basement in this house.

In other news, tomorrow is the last day of school for the year. It’s the last day for the class of 2011, the class I’ve sponsored for the past three years. It’s going to seem really strange to have those kids gone. However, with all the testing and some issues I’m having with a staff member, I have to say I’ll be glad when this year is over. I desperately need a break. The seven-period day with three preps and only one plan has been brutal.

My partner in crime, Carrie Jones, is at BEA promoting our After Obsession. If you’re lucky enough to be around the expo you should drop in and say howdy to her.

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