Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Typhoon? Tropical Storm? I do live in Kentucky, right?

This may sound redundant, but the weather keeps happening:
My daughter's softball game was at 6:30 this evening, about 45 minutes away in another county.  When it was over, we decided to go to one of our favorite restaurants down on the river for dinner.  My grandparents decided to go straight home...my boyfriend didn't go to the game because he had to work late...my daughter and I had gone with my mom since I try not to drive anymore, ever (and it's a good thing I wasn't driving for this...).
We take the turn onto River Road, happily oblivious to the darkening sky, admiring the trees and the water and the houses and the boats, going on our way...
And then, the wind picks up and I see leaves and twigs flying around in the air above us.  Immediately, I knew. 
We kept our calm for a few seconds, kept driving, until suddenly we were in a bad remake of the movie "Twister", only we would have to replace the tornadoes with a hurricane.
The problems with driving on River Road in bad weather are:
1. The road is, amazingly enough, right next to the really, really big Ohio River.
2. It is lined with lots of trees.
3. There are no commercial businesses at which to stop for help.  It's mainly private property, boat docks, and country clubs.
These things are not necessarily bad things, unless you happen to be driving along it when the worst storm in 30 years comes out of nowhere, and there you are.
The wind slammed into us at 80 miles per hour, thanks to the fact that it was coming down from Indiana and had picked up speed going across the really big river.  The trees bent sideways and, I swear, the river looked like the pictures you see of beaches during hurricanes...it was blowing in waves over the docks.
The trees started falling down.  Remember the movie "Twister"?  We reenacted it in the car.  My mom driving, me yelling "Left!", "Right!", "Tree!"...and my mom even said at one point, completely without irony and with total fear, "We have to get offthis road."
I really thought, for a while there, that we were not going to make it home.  It's probably moved to the top of the list of the most terrifying things I've ever experienced.  Especially because my daughter was in the car...I just knew we were going to either get crushed by a tree, or be blown off the road. 
And we were just lucky, because some cars were.
When we were both completely panicked and sure we were going to die because we didn't know where to go to get away from the falling trees, I remembered to call my boyfriend, because he knows everything (well, about that area at least, since he works down there)...he directed me to the expressway, where the rain was falling in sheets and we couldn't see and the leaves and twigs were still flying through the air and everyone else on the road had pulled over under the overpasses...except us, of course, because after the terrifying experience we had on River Road, we were in complete panic, running mode.
When we finally made it home, every channel was covering the unexpected fury of this storm.  The final tallies:
Hundreds and hundreds of trees down, including over 100 down on River Road itself, and over 100,000 people in the area without power, the worst outage since the F5 tornado of 1974. 
All I could do when we got safely inside the house was cling to my daughter and thank God that we were alive, with the images in my head of all those falling trees that managed to miss us.
Note: It's starting to rain again and I see lightning through the window, so I guess I'll shut down for the night while I still have power.
Life tastes better, right now...


  1. Michelle~

    We went through a storm like that a week ago.  Not very fun are they?  I'm so glad you made it home fine!!


  2. OMG!!!  Thank God you are all okay!!  I would have been freaking out so bad!!  Thank God you kept your cool and got home safely.  Prayers to you and I hope the power comes back for all those people....  Keep me updated!!  Hugs, Julie

  3. Hi Michelle,

    I went through something similar to this a couple of weeks ago and it sure isn't any fun.  Now, there were tons to businesses around since this is the big city, but it is still very scary.

    I am so sorry you had to go through it.  You are very brave that you can handle it when there are no businesses around.

    BTW, I am still praying for your family.


  4. All I could think of is this, "Was she going to Captains Quarters?"  My daughter called me almost in hysterics Tuesday night, she lived downtown in the 800 Bldg....they worst storm she has ever lived through...she was too young to remember the  summer storms of '84 (could be '85)...but I heard and see that these storms are even worse.  So glad you were not hurt! I do not mean to sound cavilar about your experience.  I can feel how terrified you were from the description.

  5. Wow that sounds like an experence   john

  6. oh my dear, my dear, what a horrifying experience this was!  especially so to have your daughter and mother with you, fearing for their lives as well as your own.  high winds are so frightening to me, and it sounds like pure luck that you made it off the River Road without a tree falling on you.  i'm so glad you are all okay.  there has been a LOT of Big Weather lately, here too.  there was a huge storm just north of us last night, the whole state was under a tornado watch, but the tornado hit Penna instead of De.  

  7. Thank goodness all of you came out of it safe and sound!  I would've been absolutely terrified, even more so with the kids in the car.  A big thank you to Dwayne for getting you home.  

    Although the whole event is NOT humorous......I have to comment on your mother's statement "We have to get off this road."  LOL!!!  In hindsight, I can laugh because I'm thinking to myself..."yeah, like Michelle doesn't know that already!  how helpful is that statement?"  giggling!!!!  But when you are in the moment I can understand stating the obvious.  

    Again, So Very Glad you're all safe and sound!!!!  Big HUGS!!!!!