Have you noticed that nearly every time Brandon and I have to travel to or from an assignment, the weather just goes insane? Like. . . the blizzard that stranded us in Wyoming for days, the epic ice storm that almost kept us from getting to Pennsylvania, the blizzard that turned a 12 hour trip to Wisconsin into 28 hours, etc.
Yesterday was the day we had to move out of our apartment building in Kansas City. No way a blizzard could hit this time! Nope, we had tornadoes instead.
While we were in Kansas City, loading our car, a tornado hit. Luckily, I was blissfully unaware. I mean, yes, the sirens were going off, and yes, Brandon took a picture of a freaky funnel cloud. But the sirens had gone off so many times in the last few days that I didn't take it seriously (I know, I know, you should always take it seriously). Little did I know that there were two tornadoes on the ground-- one in the community next to ours.
We got about an hour down the road, noticed some freaky clouds, turned on the radio, and discovered there was another tornado in the next town over. Huh.
At one point, I was pretty sure we needed to just spend the night on the road, because the area of Arkansas that we were driving into was listed as "Tor: Con 9" which, from what I'm told, means there was a 90% chance of an F2 or larger hitting within a 50 mile radius. Everyone was freaking out. Churches cancelled services, schools dismissed early. Reed Timmer from Stormchasers was in the area, as was the TIV and those guys. Um, can you say freaky?
But my husband is a genius. . . and a storm nut. If he wasn't an ER nurse, he would be a storm chaser. Seriously. So, he looked at all of the models and said he thought we should just go for it. He was pretty sure the storms were going to form in our area, but that they wouldn't be anything like the apocalypse we were all expecting and would move out of the area a few hours earlier than expected. He explained why-- something to do with the ridge, the delta, the low pressure, the jet stream, yada yada yada. I wasn't paying much attention. I was too freaked out by what we were hearing from everyone else. . . and of course by the images of what had just happened in Joplin, Missouri.
I was sure he was wrong. I'm pretty sure I told him we were stupid to be driving into such a dangerous situation.
But he was right. We drove through sunshine all day. The storms were long gone before we made it home, and while there were some tornadoes in Arkansas (and, sadly, some loss of life), it was nowhere near as bad as everyone was expecting. I'm so, so thankful for that. Not just for us, but for the entire state. Arkansas has really been through the ringer this year, with tornadoes and widespread flooding that have devastated many communities. It's been a rough spring for the south.
So we made it home safely. It's hard to believe that we won't be packing up again in a week for another travel assignment. Next time, we'll be packing up for good. . . leaving this home for our new one. Very surreal. We're so used to temporary assignments that I don't think it will sink in for awhile.