I was coming home last night in a really bad storm with an ominous, eery looking sky when a tornado alert came on the radio. The rain had been pounding, intermixed with pea sized hail, when suddenly - everything went completely still. The storm sirens started wailing and the radio reported a funnel cloud had formed over Huntsville. At the time I was stuck in slow moving traffic trying to get over Chapman Mountain. I managed to get off the main road, out of traffic and onto a back road that went parallel to the Hwy when suddenly stuff started falling out of the sky! It looked like roofing material, paper, all kinds of crazy stuff. I was scanning the sky from my limited vantage point when a super gust of wind sheered down upon me and nearly lifted my truck on two wheels.... :shock: I'm not exaggerating! I looked out the window where the gust came from and there was stuff flying at me ... looked almost like streamers, and at the same time a transformer blew! Then my truck shook like a train was coming through. I was white knuckle scared and pulled off in a nearby neighborhood thinking about getting out and laying down in a ditch. Storm sirens were blaring. I stopped for a moment and that weird calmness came back again - so I decided, wisely or not, to head for home, ignoring speed limits completely.
My mom calls my cell phone and asks where I am ... I tell her I'm on 72 E. She's watching the TV weather alert and tells me there's a tornado heading right down 72 E. I'm not sure if the thing is behind me or in front of me! I get off 72 and start heading down Ryland Pike which pulls away from 72. My mom starts quoting places in the path of the funnel cloud ... 72 E, Maysville, RYLAND PIKE!!! Holy sh!t, that's is exactly where I am!
The sky was ominous black - I mean more black than you can imagine - except it was lit up by frequent strings of lighting in the clouds. I pass a Dollar General and that place is PACKED. People are getting out of their cars and running in for shelter. I figure, the tornado probably looks at a Dollar General like a condensed trailer park. That thing has a bull's eye painted on it for sure. I have no idea how I am going to die, but I am determined it will never happen in a Dollar General. There was only one car on the road, a Sheriff headed the other way! I wondered if that was a bad sign. Regardless, I didn't slow down and he wasn't about to turn around after me.
Anyway, I made it home without any further excitement and, while it was wet it didn't look like any wind damaged had hit my cove. No trees down. No abundance of branches down. Dogs were fine. Wife and kids managed to get home about a half hour later. All was safe.
I have to admit ... it was the most exciting drive home I have had in a long while.http://blog.al.com/breaking/2010/01/huntsville_tornado_photos_vide.html