Today is my sister's 36th wedding anniversary. I'll never forget the noontime storm we experienced that day on the way to the service. It got so dark that the streetlights came on. For years afterward I always anticipated a major storm on June 17th. Eventually I forgot about it when the date went by without incident. It all came back to me last night when we were awakened by the tornado sirens going off at 12:01 a.m.
I drive almost daily through the Midvale Heights neighborhood very close to ours, where a tornado went through in 2004. And my brother-in-law and his family lived on Alice Circle, the street that was the epicenter of the 2005 F-3 Stoughton tornado. Luckily they were on vacation out of harm's way.
That's why I got dressed and grabbed the essentials: my purse/phone/flashlight/iPad/rainjacket and went in the cellar last night. I briefly watched the TV news with Mark but could hear the wind rising and the bells by the back door ringing madly. I stayed down there until Mark announced it looked like we were OK and could go back to bed. I have to admit I was a bit frustrated that he exhibited typical guy behavior and stayed upstairs by the TV in a room with huge windows. Especially since we have a TV in the basement to say nothing of laptops and iPads.
This morning the garden is sparkling and water lilies are blooming even though its pretty gray outside and rain is forcast for most of this week. The rain gauge measured 1.49" and there were only a couple of twiglets down here and there in the garden. (The center tube holds one inch and the bigger tube holds the overflow).
Mark just came home from the coffee shop and sheepishly announced that whatever blew through last night did serious damage a mere three streets away from us! According to a report in the Wisconsin State Journal this morning, Mark and I were very lucky. Lots of trees down and at least 23 homes seriously damaged. This side of town is known for its big old trees which is one of the joys of living here.
The story noted that "John Marshall, a public works supervisor who’s worked for the Madison Streets Division since 1977, was on scene and said the damage was the worst he had seen since an F-1 tornado ripped through several West Side neighborhoods, including Midvale Heights in 2004." Way too close for comfort for me. And Mark admitted next time he's turning on the TV news from the basement.
Here's a link to storm damage news photos.