“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.