Tag Archives: Tornado

I Survived an F-5 Tornado

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I Survived an F-5 Tornado

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Every year on the anniversary of the tornado, I re-post this…my story. It’s now been 48 years, and I’ll never forget.

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I SURVIVED AN F-5 TORNADO

Wednesday, May 11, 2016, will be the 46th anniversary of the Lubbock, TX tornado. From later assessment of the devastation, it was determined to be rated F-5, the highest on the Fujita scale. This is my story.

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May 11, 1970, is a date I’ll never forget. I was attending night classes at Draughon’s Business College in downtown Lubbock. We had noticed there was a storm coming, because of some lightning off to the west. Classes were let out early because of that.

My dad was picking me up in my car, but didn’t know we got out early, so I was waiting outside for him, around 9:30 or so. They’d already closed up the building, and only me, and a couple of others, were waiting for our rides. The wind was starting to get gusty. By the time my dad got there, it was starting to rain.

We headed for home down Ave. H, (now Buddy Holly Ave.) going north. Right before the underpass on Ave. H, at about 5th or 6th street, the wind, rain, and hail was so bad he decided to not go under the underpass, but turn back, heading south, to a little gas station/garage there on the corner. It had an overhanging roof over the gas pumps. We stopped there to wait for the hail to let up, but it only got worse. We had no idea it was a tornado bearing down on us. All we knew was the front end of the car was being lifted off the ground, and the brick garage was falling apart.

Bricks hit the car windows, breaking them out. We crawled into the back floorboard of the car, me and then Dad. The wind, hail, rain, and I guess it was the tornado, was so loud we couldn’t even hear each other. The doors to the garage were flapping open and shut. (later we’d see that those doors, the overhanging roof, and only half the garage were the only thing left of the building. I guess we came that close to being blown away). Across the street was a car dealership, and for some reason, I thought I saw those car headlights flashing on and off. (this was later corroborated by others – a strange electrical anomaly).

The hail finally eased off, so Dad said we should try to make it down the street to the courthouse, where he knew there was a basement. We got out of the car and walked the block or so down there. The wind was really strong, so we could hardly stand up. The water in the street was up to our knees, and signs and things were still flying through the air. I don’t know how we kept from getting electrocuted from downed power lines.

We finally made it, and the courthouse doors were actually open, and a few other people were there, too. I noticed I had cuts from the broken window glass, and of course, we were soaking wet. Someone suggested we all go downstairs where there was a tunnel that went to the police station, and emergency shelter, and the emergency operations center. We made our way through the underground tunnel, and found a huge crowd already there. The emergency workers were listening and broadcasting emergency information over their radio.

After awhile, Dad decided to see if we could find a ride home. We went outside – the storm was over by then. Everything downtown was a mess of debris. One of the weirdest things I saw was a street traffic light (on a pole). The metal was twisted all around like a pretzel. We found a guy that had just got off work, from the meat packing plant in another part of town, who said he’d drive us home. He was amazed at the destruction, as it hadn’t effected his work place’s part of town.

We went north on University, going slow to avoid power lines and debris in the streets. We finally made it to the Loop that goes around the city, and headed east toward our neighborhood. As we passed over another underpass, we could see the lower level was filled with water, and the guard rails on the top road were gone. Closer to our house in the Clayton Carter addition, some of the stores at the end of our street (north Ash) had been completely blown away. Our house, however, hadn’t been damaged, but someone’s camper had landed in our back yard, taking out the fence. My mom and sister had gone into our cellar, and didn’t know what had happened to us, until we got home, around 1 a. m.

The next morning, we drove around and took some pictures of the damage, and we had to find a way to get my damaged car back home. I was thinking, if we hadn’t turned around when we did, that night, to go under the garage roof, if we’d continued under the Ave. H underpass, we might not have been alive. That area just past the underpass was almost completely wiped out. As it was, one of my friend’s father was killed in that storm.

Other things I remember, was the electricity and water was out for days, and there were big trucks hauling water to the neighborhoods. We’d go fill up jugs when they came by. I never got to go back to the business college to finish, because the building had been damaged so much, that they closed down the college. We got my car back, and my books were water-soaked, too, and too damaged to be used, also.

My husband was in Viet-nam, at the time, and he only heard of the Lubbock tornado when it was written about in the Stars and Stripes military newspaper. He couldn’t find out if we were okay, for days.

I still have tornado nightmares, every spring, even now 35 years later (at the time I wrote this piece…now it has been 46 years). I still have tornado nightmares.

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IMG_2689 IMG_2687 IMG_2678 IMG_2679  IMG_2681 IMG_2686

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More information on this F-5 tornado can be found here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1970_Lubbock_tornado

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Now posted for the Daily Post – Survival https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/survival/

Thanks for visiting! Peace ☮️

© 2016 BS

Blown Away – Song Lyric Sunday – Natural Disasters

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Blown Away – Song Lyric Sunday – Natural Disasters

Song Lyric Sunday Theme for 1/14/18

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Today Helen has asked us to find songs with the subject of natural disasters. Thanks, Helen!

Quite a few songs came to mind when I read the prompt, but I went with this one. It kind of gives me the chills, as I know exactly how it feels to be in a tornado, as I was in one in 1970.

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“Blown Away”, by Carrie Underwood, was released in 2012, from her album, “Blown Away”. It was written by Chris Tompkins and Josh Kear, and is on the Arista Nashville label.

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Thanks for visiting! Peace }i{

© 2018 BS

 

STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS SATURDAY

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STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS SATURDAY

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS Aug. 26/17

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Todays SOCS is supposed to begin with the prompt word ‘When’. Join in the challenge and see other entries by clicking the above link.

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When I saw this on FB I wanted to save it, because what a week it has been. Actually, less than a week from the eclipse to the hurricane. Wild!

I hope anyone in Hurricane Harvey’s path is staying safe.

from “Texas Country Music Concerts” https://www.facebook.com/TxCMC/

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When we looked at the sky on Monday, we thought we might see a bit of the eclipse. We were supposed to have about 75 percent of it here. But, the day was overcast and the clouds were pretty thick. We took a photo, but there was just a bright spot in amongst a bunch of clouds. We have since had some rain, with thunder and lightning, but not from the hurricane. We’re a bit too far north to get any effects from it. Now, we do get some of the outflow from hurricanes, when they are on the west side of Mexico. They usually bring a lot of rain to us here.

When we were in south Texas, close to Corpus Christi, there was one predicted to hit, but it changed directions or something. Everyone was getting prepared beforehand, though, just in case.

When we were in south Texas, too, there was an eclipse. We were on the edge of totality, I think. This was 1984, if I remember. That time everything got pretty dark that mid morning, and the streetlights came on. It looked very eerie.

When we were in Japan, we were in a Catagory 5 Typhoon. That was Typhoon Tip. We had trees blown down, and lots of rain.

When extreme weather is happening anywhere, I really am interested in it all. I think that is because of the F5 Tornado I was in here, in 1970.

When I looked out the back door just now, I see that it is pouring down rain!

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Thanks for visiting! Peace }i{

© 2017 BS

51 WEEKS/51 SONGS FROM the PAST

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51 WEEKS/51 SONGS FROM the PAST – week 3 51-weeks-51-songs-from-the-past

51 Weeks: 51 Songs From The Past: Week 3: Sailor – A Glass Of Champagne

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Here we are, another week, another song from the past.

This time I chose, “Band of Gold” by Freda Payne. I always liked this song, and like to sing along to it. It was released on April 25 1970, and was played on the radio a lot. It brings back a memory for me that is terrifying!

It was May 11, 1970. I was going to evening/night classes at a business college at the time. I always drove my car there and back, but this time, the car needed some kind of servicing. I drove to the school, and my dad came later to get the car to have it fixed, then was going to pick me up after class. So far, so good, no problem. It was around 5 p.m. that I drove off to my class, and this song was playing on the radio. It was a very hot day, and the car had no air-conditioner. Later that evening, after dark, we kept hearing thunder outside the open windows of the classroom. We then got an announcement that classes would be let out early because of the approaching storm.

I wondered if my dad would happen to show up early to pick me up. This was before cell phones, and I didn’t have a way to call him. So, me and a few other students who were waiting for their rides just waited outside on the sidewalk. It had started raining by then. A few minutes later my dad showed up, and we took off for home. That was when we were hit by the F5 tornado!

It was the scariest time I’ve ever experienced. We finally did make it home, many hours later.

Now, whenever I hear that song, “Band of Gold”, it brings back all those memories. I call it the tornado song, but I still like it.

To read about my night of the tornado, click this link:

http://wp.me/p3RE1e-1k1

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Thanks for visiting! Peace }i{

© 2017 BS

SOUL SHAKING SPRING

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SOUL SHAKING SPRING tornado-572504__180

Buck up Buttercup

Only the strong survive

Twistering winds, wind up in spring

Testing tender flower-lings

What devils of dust

We think they must

Swirl across fields of new greens

Sirens split the foreshadowing air

Tornados don’t care if we

Live or die

They go on by

Swallowing up spring

Making hailstones and hearty

Flooding rains…

Gully washers – toad soakers…

Sucking up all in it’s path with

It’s writhing wrath

Nature’s force five on land

Re-arranging lives willy nilly

Hopping, skipping, jumping into spring

Eating up everything

Night-time? Fraught with fear

Candles kept near, for darkness descends

While the train roars it’s sheer terror to one and all

Pick up the pieces, ye of all species, while little shoots

Poke up for clear air…brown Earth needed rain, but

Not all the pain

Of little ones Lost…

So buck up buttercup

You’re lucky you’re still here…

In this Soul Shaking Spring of the year

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© 2016 BS

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Written for Prompt Nights – “Spring is the time of land’s awakening” (11)

http://www.adashofsunny.com/category/prompt-nights/

Thanks for visiting! Peace }I{

JUST JOT IT JANUARY # 3 – FROZEN

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JUST JOT IT JANUARY # 3 – FROZENuntitled

Today’s Just Jot It January prompt is the word Frozen.

But first…For some reason I didn’t think we were to do one on Saturday! Now, I find out that we were, and the prompt was ‘pause/paws’… I guess I took it literally, and paused for real 😉 …anyway, without further ado, here’s the one for today! Enjoy!

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FROZEN

First of all, I keep wanting to mention this, to see if anyone else sees what I see when I visit blogs. The Snowflakes that are falling across many of your screens. They are really cool, and hypnotizing. I could watch them for hours, just getting lost. The thing is, I use my PC for everything, and when I move the mouse different directions, the snowflakes on the screen move either in that direction, or the opposite direction. It’s fun! Does anyone else notice this happening, and is it supposed to do that?

Now, I have to mention the movie “Frozen”. It’s a great movie, if you like animation. My 2 year old grand-daughter loves it. She sings the songs, talks about Elsa and Anna and that snowman (forgot his name…Olaf? or is that the reindeer?) We got her a play costume dress-up dress for Christmas, that was like one of the girls in the movie wore. She didn’t want to ever take it off, she felt so pretty in it 🙂

So, the day after Christmas, we were travelling back home from MO. We had to cut our visit short, in order to beat a blizzard that was due to happen in our hometown in TX. Well, we almost made it. Flights were cancelled, the airline put us in a limo for an almost 2 hour drive, through flooding rains, to St. Louis to catch another one, then at DFW everything was cancelled, they said for days. So…we rented a car to drive home, and wouldn’t you know it, there was thunder, lightning, and pouring rain…with tornado warnings all around us. We were lucky we didn’t get blown away. Then, finally on the highway, the blizzard hit, big time. Slippery roads, very little visibility, and strong winds. We had to drive only 30 mph for a long, long time. What a mess! Thankful we made it home. Oh, our suitcases were lost somewhere along the way, too. They did finally find them, and delivered them to our house…yesterday evening…a full week later!

Here are a couple of pictures. One of our back yard, and one out the front door (we had to shovel our way out it was so deep). If you’re from the north, and are used to this frozen weather, go ahead and laugh. We’ve never seen so much snow, and the whole city shut down for days!IMG_1935-2IMG_1941-2

Frozen…nope, don’t like winter or cold weather. Give me hot, hundred degree weather any time! 🙂

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Find more about the Just Jot It January Challenge by clicking below.

 

http://lindaghill.com/2016/01/03/just-jot-it-january-3rd-frozen/#comments

 

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Thanks for visiting! Peace }I{

© 2016 BS