Thursday, March 31, 2011


(I-75 after the tornado/event happened. There was tree stuff every where!)

Today was... interesting. This morning HHH had a thing in Valrico at about 11am. He was off work anyway, so I rode along with him for the opportunity to spend time with him on the ride to and fro. We knew the weather was going to be poor, but I had no idea what I was in for! We got to the place, it was off of Bloomingdale in Valrico, and I waited in the car while HHH went into the office and spent about an hour or so talking to a few people about some maintenance issues. While he was in there the skies darkened, and the wind picked up. I was twittering the whole time & FB-ing photos. Tweets like...

"Hi! I'm the moron sitting outside in a truck during a severe thunderstorm w/tornado warnings flying all over! #blondeaintsmart"


"Oh goody! TWC shows a slight hook echo headed directly towards me! #blondeinoz"


"The wind keeps changing direction, swirling like a chocolate/vanilla Tastee Freeze cone!"

(Emergency crews on overpass where a tractor trailer overturned.)

When it was at it's peak, I couldn't see outside the truck. The water swirled into an impenetrable curtain of dark abyss. The green sky that peeped through highlighted the branches slicing past in the gale. I tweeted through the whole thing, and really, I was pretty safe. The truck barely moved in the high winds and sheeting rain. Finally, about an hour later, HHH got back in the truck

(Box truck on it's side.)

As we drove out, back towards the I-75 on ramp, we saw the devastation. Basically, the tornado/weather event passed about 3 to 5 blocks from where I was sitting outside in an unprotected truck! Tree damage was everywhere. Power lines were down. The roads were littered with debris. We saw the above box truck on it's side at an intersection. It had been blown over. There were two more trucks that had also been blown over. The second photo was of the 301 overpass where one of the trucks, a large tractor trailer, had been knocked over like a child's toy, possibly on top of a car! We also saw a public transit bus that had had something blown through one of it's windows. I think the scariest part was the produce stand. It "was" on the corner of Bloomingdale & 301. As we drove back past it....

It was gone!

It had been completely flattened! And not only that, but the storm had wrenched one of those giant metal traffic signal arms and dropped the whole thing on top of the now destroyed stand! HHH & I were hoping that everyone got out safely. It was a little scary seeing all the devastation. Then I thought about how CLOSE the whole damn tornado was to my dumb ass sitting out in the truck!


Yeah, that's Blonde! Still, it was cool seeing it happen. Now I am safe and sound in my house and I have the photos to remind me that...


Not something I'll try to repeat any time soon.


Russ said...

Live and learn! At least it was over quickly, unlike the rain here. Oh, it's supposed to be sunny today.

Nicole said...

The last time i sat through a tornado i was in high school...home alone, cowering in my basement bathroom with the dog. It put the backyard tree in my dining room :(