While this week is a free week I decided to write on last week’s topic since I missed it. The past few weeks have been hectic and bizarre. But I am back and ready to write about living in Muscatine during the stormy season.
I live on the bend of the river, bluffs are everywhere. Growing up we were always told that tornados do not touch down here. So as a child storms were more of an adventure. I recall sitting on the porch watching the skies with my dad. When sirens would go we hardly ever went to the basement. We did when we were real little but by the time I was in middle school we didn’t go to the basement for storms. One year when I was in middle school the tornado sirens went off shortly after I got home from school. My youngest brother wasn’t home yet so instead of going inside to take shelter I ran as fast as I could to the bus stop 5 blocks away. He wasn’t there. His bus had not left his school before the sirens went off so the kids were still there waiting. A teacher tried to get me to stay there but I saw my mom’s car and ran out of the building. Together my mom and I went to get my brother and then went home. Shortly after we got home the worse of the storm hit.
We had plenty of storms that caused us to clean up the yard. Every spring the ever would flood. One year they were worried about the levee breaking so I got to spend a week with my cousins.
Seven years ago on June 1 is when I realized that the bluffs and river do not protect us from tornados. My sister and I noticed her dog acting up. We went outside to look around. My kids were at school for the last day field day. We lived about three blocks from the school. Everything got eerily calm then it all broke loose. We saw the funnel cloud over the tree tops heading toward the school where my kids were. I started for the truck only to have my older sister grab me and pull me into the house and down to the basement. It was only about six minutes before the all clear was sounded but it was the longest six minutes of my life. Had the school been hit? Did they get all the students inside before it got there? I was at the school doors before they even let the kids go back to their classrooms. I held them so close the rest of that day. The tornado missed their school but a few houses not far away lost their roofs. Several trees were down. Cars had been flipped over and windows blown out at the McDonald’s in town. It was that storm that taught me to take the sirens seriously.
I remember another storm later that summer that claimed someone’s life. That summer is the one that prompted me to make my kids take shelter. I still watch storms they come through but I make certain that my children are in a safe place.
Have you been through a tornado? Do you take shelter as soon as the sirens sound off or do you wait and watch the skie