Irene’s Evil Twin?

“The wind shows us how close to the edge we are.” ~Joan Didion

It had started to darken outside and I could hear a bit of rumbling and see a flash of lightening here and there. I decided to cook a quick dinner in case we lost power. About that time Dirt Man called.

“Have you looked at the clouds? They are mammatus clouds, really wicked looking. Go outside and look at them. Take your camera and get some pictures.”

I went outside and was amazed at how eerie the sky looked with those dark clusters of lumpy clouds with bits of light illuminating around the edges of some.

I’d hardly gotten back inside before Dirt Man arrived. We went back outside to look at the sky. At this point, rain was soft and sporadic, hardly any drops at all. We moved from beneath the tall trees into the cul de sac as we didn’t want the lightening to target us. The cloud rotations were quite unusual. We watched the clouds come together and pass through one another. When we looked at the opposite side of the sky, the clouds were pushing away from one another. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such amazingly weird cloud activity.

“Something big is going to happen. Conditions are ripe for a tornado.” I took that as my cue and went inside. Shortly later a tornado warning was issued.

While we were eating dinner we heard a whistle, sounded like a train traveling down the street. I looked out the front picture window to see a “tree” stretch across in a swirling fashion. It turns out it was actually the wind pulling through the azaleas. Then we heard thumping like someone was at the front door. No one was there so we assumed we were getting hail, but it was limb debris hitting the house. At this point, conditions were getting scary so we moved downstairs until the noise ceased.

We ate dinner with the electricity flickering only once. A while after dinner Dirt Man went outside and called for me to come out and note the street flooding. Usually our street does flood, but the water flows out within an hour or so. Sticks, pinecones, and leaves littered the yard. I turned the corner to see two huge limbs from one of the tall pines stretched across the side of the yard. I called Dirt Man over to investigate.

Then we saw what appeared to be a tree down in the middle of the cul de sac. You have to remember we were assessing the damage in the dark. We were trying to figure out which neighbor’s yard the tree came from when we discovered it was actually a couple of large branches that had been whipped off the top of a tree and scaled over (and clearing!) the power lines. There were actually a couple of leaves hanging on the wires, but how it happened without us losing our electricity is beyond me. The pattern of the down limbs indicated we possibly had a small twister come through.

Note that all of these photos are in color, not black and white. The appearance of black and white shows the intensity of the storm conditions. Dirt Man later read on one of the weather sites that our area had over 3600 lightening strikes in a two hour period and three inches of rain in ninety minutes…all I can say is WOW! Since we were fairly unscathed from Hurricane Irene, I can only wonder if this was her evil twin sister back for revenge!

These are the two downed limbs on our side yard.

This is another view of the limbs.

This is one of the fallen limbs from our neighbor’s tree. It actually landed in the center of the court, but the neighbor had moved it to the side early this morning.

These are the other limbs that were ripped from our neighbor’s tree. He moved these to the side of the court as well.

55 thoughts on “Irene’s Evil Twin?

  1. I remember storms like this when I lived in New York state. Scary storms, when my Great Dane would lean against my lap to comfort me because I hate when lightening is striking in my backyard and the wind is trying to take my house away. Beautiful pictures. Amazing how much beauty can be seen in a destructive sky!

  2. Amazing! And I mean AMAZING photos, Suzi! Especially the 7th one down – it’s stunning! And yes, the appearance that these look as though they were shot in black and white DOES give them an intensity.

    I’m so glad to hear that your home did not have any damage from this storm.


    Have a great day, my friend…..X

  3. Those were good-sized limbs, glad they didn’t cause any damage. It’s the first time I can remember being caught outside and unable to get home. We did drive through a bad storm coming home from Suzanne’s once, in separate vehicles, bringing one of theirs here for repair. Not something I wanted to do again!

  4. So glad that all is well Suzicate at your home. The pictures are indeed haunting,….. like a great Edgar Allen Poe Poem,.. it says be ware; there is evil just beyond the dark clouds,….. take cover and be safe Suzicate.

  5. When I heard about this on CNN, I thought about you and your family. I’m so glad everybody is okay. That is some scary business! The photos show Ma Nature really turning on the ghetto attitude! Dang!

  6. This was very cool Suzi! I love the moody feel at the beginning, it almost made me shiver, you know, that shiver you get when you can feel a storm about to hit? yeah, that’s the one. 🙂 I love love love storms, even if they can be scary! 🙂

  7. WOW! What great photos. Amazing. So what was the temperature? Was it a cold storm?

    I am amazed that those big limbs just whipped around and landed in the middle of the street. How cool is that? That they landed in the middle of the street and not on someone’s car or through someone’s window. Pretty incredible.

    I am glad you and Dirtman are safe. How was Wylie during all this?

  8. We had lightening and a storm with flood warnings too but nothing like this. This is the wettest September on record. We are eight inches over the water table as is. This is not normal weather. All due to climate change from pollution. Scarey. This is an omen of what winter will bring. SCAREY!

  9. Yikes! You’re lucky you weren’t alone when this one blew through! But Suzi, you’ve got to be more careful — running around outside and taking pictures when the sky looks this creepy is not a wise thing to do (though I enjoyed seeing your photos!)

    • I feel better having someone here with me when these things happen, but I have been here alone through them before. Probably not smart to go out in it, but this was way before the wind became intense.

  10. I see your neighbor wasn’t so lucky with the limbs. Looks like he got a tree trunk across his fence. At least it wasn’t his house! Glad you guys made it through okay. Those pics are amazing.

  11. Good grief, Suzi, I think you and Dirt Man must live charmed lives. Two horrendous storms in two months and so little damage done. I was astonished when you said those photos weren’t in black and white. There isn’t a speck of noticeable color in any of them that I can see.

    What will we name the evil twin? Tornado Evilla? heh heh – or does that indicate a younger sister, not a twin?

    • We have been fortunate (and we’re not complaining!) , maybe because we don’t live right on the water.
      You can see a bit of color on the houses and trunks of the trees, but that’s about it.
      Evilla is a good one.

    • Connor, I’ll bet you would have been like one of those storm chaser guys and outside filming in the midst…I’m not that brave or crazy! Though I imagine it would have made for some spectacular photography!

  12. The photos are so beautifully dramatic! Our weather…??? The other night we had such a terrific wind storm that branches and debris were all over the roads when I headed out for my morning walk. I slept through the whole thing so was completely amazed. If I hadn’t, I may have had some major concerns!

    • I find it amazing when I sleep through them, too! After this storm passed, I slept welluntil about 1:30 and stayed awake for hours after but didn’t know what woke me up…hubby told me there was another storm! Glad I missed that one!

  13. oh wow, awesome shots, even more awesome you are safe and sound. Glad those tree limbs didn’t fall on houses as they would have cause a great deal of damage. Oh, I too, thought the pictures were in black and white. wow.

  14. Living in the Midwest, I’m all too familiar with those kinds of skies. Glad you all were spared any serious damage. I have a very healthy respect for the power of tornadoes.

  15. Wow, those storm clouds were dark. We don’t get storms like that here (except for last October, we did get a hail storm that did a number on my car.)

    I’m glad you’re okay. I hope Irene doesn’t have any more sisters 🙂

  16. In 2005 Wilma 10 days before Katrina hit Miami harder than Katrina. I mean it took 10 huge trees at my townhouse condo complex. They usually resist but 10 days of steady rain disabled the soiled from supporting the root system and the just toppled over. We used to be called the Woodlands. Not anymore.

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