Many people who follow me on twitter, or have any idea about my Facebook may have noticed a series of strange blurbs about a tornado that rampaged through parts of Colorado recently - most specifically, my apartment complex. Convincing myself I'm a writer, I thought I'd put down the ordeal in a written account. (Also, a few pictures to curb boredom.)
It all started on a rather quiet evening. I was finishing up an evening of playing one of the most interesting arcade games I've played in quite some time with the developers of said game. I gave them my impressions, and went on my way to writing the review at about 10:15pm. Not two minutes after signing off of Xbox LIVE did the power begin to flicker. No rain, no wind, just flickering power for about a minute.
"That's weird," I thought, praising myself for the pretend forethought to turn off my (7th) Xbox 360 before surges ruined it. I proceeded to unplug my Mac for the same reason, and was half-way through a second review sentence when the thunder started cracking close to the apartments accompanied by hail and rain in a flash. It was the wind that did it, really - drive me to the bathroom, that is. Don't worry, no britches were soiled. I didn't have time for that.
Hail the size of golf balls came at a sideways angle toward the North side of the building, shredding glass, trees, cars, and some homes in the process. My pathetic single-paned glass was no match, and it didn't take long for the hail to rip through my apartment. The noise was unbelievable! I was shouting for the cats at the top of my lungs, and I could not hear anything
aside from thunder and breaking glass. The best way to describe it would be gunfire at a slow, powerful rate.
As I wrangled the cats to the bathroom, expensive laptop in hand - the young kitty became far too spooked for sensible judgement. Silly Dax ran toward
the breaking glass, and bullet-like hail. Since common sense in a situation like that is rare, I went into the shredding livingroom after the frightened cat! Somehow, my tank-top and jeans provided enough protection to avoid any serious injury - though, I could've sworn I was hit repeatedly with glass in the shoulders and back.
After wrangling the second kitty, we 3 huddled in the bathroom (the only room without windows) for about 10-20 minutes before things calmed enough to venture out. Two cats who normally barely get along, were huddled together in the safety of a bathtub, while I was taking a mental inventory of things that needed to be dried off immediately. Ah, family.
"What the Hell
was that?" I repeated, while fumbling in my toolbox for a flashlight (after I'd picked up my Xbox for drying - priorities.) I flicked on the dim emergency bulb to survey the damage, and this is what I saw:
(Not the gaming chair!)
It took maybe 5 minutes to actually realize: I've been hit by a tornado, and made very poor decisions in the process.
While trying to figure out what to do next, I sent a few shocked text messages and called my mom warning her that it might be headed that way. I also spoke with my neighbor and multiple other friends who all had a similar "did that just happen?" reaction. I paced on the phone with my boyfriend for a while, mildly freaked out, when I realized I wouldn't be able to sleep in my own bed until the ice and shards of glass were removed. I was already dealing with slivers of glass in my shoes, pants, and shirt - just brushing my skin enough to irritate and itch like razor splinters.
It was time to decide what to do next. I packed up a few overnight things, and called my sister for a camera to document (partially for insurance, partially for my own recollection) the damage. Since things occur to a shocked mind in stages, it was also time to worry about my material posessions after all creatures were accounted for. Three wide-open windows, a nice new PS3 or Xbox 360, some movies, and loads of pawnable video games prompted me to grab boxes and start packing up.
At about Midnight, my sister showed up with the camera, and we wandered around taking pictures of anything and everything. I convinced her to hold on to a few boxes of irreplacible/out of print comic books, and the aforementioned material goods at her apartment - since my car would be full of kitties, and things like clean clothes.
While we were putting things in her car, my neighbor called to warn me that the gas main near our apartment was leaking - it was time to go. I picked up the following items and prepared to drive my illegal car (spider-webbed windshields are not street legal to drive):
1 litter box
1 kitty food container (with kitty food, and cat-nip inside)
1 laundry basket full of clean clothes, shredded blinds, and glass
1 Xbox 360
I settled into my mothers house at 2am, in time to get about 3 hours of sleep before my first final of the semester. What? Did I forget to mention that? Yes, this is finals week. I did a paw-check for broken glass, and crawled into bed with my head in a bizarre state of unrest in spite of being completely exhausted.
The next morning, I drove back to my apartment to pick up a few more things, and get daylight photos of the whole mess before class. Trees were down in the streets and on top of cars, power line poles were cracked like toothpicks, street lights were bent, many of the 50,000 homes without power were still without power. I've now got a new windshield on the way, boarded windows, a functional Xbox 360, and a warm bed to sleep in with my fuzzy monsters.
The more I think back on it, the worse that whole thing should
have turned out.
Reasons this was weird:
It was a TORNADO!
Actually, to be more precise, it was a flash tornado - with no siren, or even weather warnings whatsoever. I know I'm not in a high-class area, but I don't even have wheels on my home! (And now, I don't have windows, either!)
My 55 gallon fish tank on the wall opposite the largest window in the apartment was hit repeatedly with ice and/or glass. There are nicks in the glass throughout the front - yet, somehow, it was still standing, full of it's own water and fish.
My xbox, which was all but on the floor in front of the broken window, has turned on and connected to Xbox live without trouble. After practically dancing through 6 other xboxes before it, I was sure this one was a goner.
I have met all of my neighbors, most of whom I didn't even exchange greetings with on a regular basis.
My car suffered extreme hail damage which looked like I parked at a golf driving range and a severely cracked windshield. Yet my motorcycle that was parked on the north side of my car, suffered no damage whatsoever.
I really, honestly, should have been shredded by that hair brained cat-rescue. Actually - the cat should've been shredded as well, but I'm more than grateful we weren't.
I am still going to PAX. No Tornado could ever stop that!
Also, apologies for not being around much! I miss D-toid!