Friday, May 28, 2010

Dog from Tornado Alley

Life is always exciting in Northwest Arkansas! In the heart of Tornado Alley, storms toughen you up. As a pup, I poopied on the floor everytime a sky-boomer (thunder) roared; I finally had to realize I would have no poop left if I kept that up. So I stopped, stood tall, and barked, "Bring it on, sucka!"

Mommy and I are really grateful that most tornadoes go around us. They wreak havoc to our west in Oklahoma, to our north in Missouri, to our south in Texas, and to our east in central Arkansas; but they don't usually hit us. OK, it is true that the roof of mommy's school was blown off twice by tornadoes, but that was way before I was born. Usually, we just don't have to deal with the reality of tornado devastation. But this May, twisters came dangerously close as we endured THREE tornado outbreaks, all in the first half of the month.

Tornado Outbreak, April 30-May 1

Hail started falling in my area a little after ten o'clock at night on April 30. Sky-boomers rumbled and rain fell, but we didn't have tornadoes warnings so mommy bedded me and my doggy sisters down with her.

While we slept, tornadoes started touching down from Texas to Wisconsin with ping-pong sized hail reports extending all the way up into the Dakotas. Over the next day, 3 people died as 20 tornadoes ripped through Arkansas: 1 person was killed by a tornado and 2 people drowned in the torential rains. Houses were damaged, a fire station destroyed, and countless anipals terrified...and possibly killed, but FEMA - the Federal Emergency Management Administration - refused to make any funds available to help Arkansas families recover. Shades of Katrina!

Tornado Outbreak, May 10

We doggies, kitties and momma breathed a sigh of relief once the bad weather moved out of Arkansas. After all, tornado outbreaks don't happen THAT often. However, 10 days later it happened again on the other side of us.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported that during the evening, night and early morning hours of May 10-11, 40 tornadoes injured many people in Oklahoma and Kansas, and killed 5 in Oklahoma including one little boy. KFOR television news of Oklahoma City broadcast photos of 3 semi-tractor-trailer trucks overturned on I-35 south of the Oklahoma-Kansas border. Houses and garages were crushed, and windows were shattered by baseball-sized hail. In Northwest Arkansas, we had some rain, wind and hail, but no tornadoes.

Tornado Outbreak, May 13

No one expected the mini-outbreak of May 13. Yes, we had been told to expect possibly-severe storms, but those forecasts are given all the time. My dog sisters and I never expected that the skies would grow very dark and the wind would start howling. We especially didn't think hail would fall, sky-boomers would roar and lightening would crash almost continuously. And all those things happened while mommy was at work. Me and my sisters huddled in the bedroom, and the kitties hid under the couch, and Mommy told her students to get ready to go to the storm shelter. Then, suddenly, the bad weather stopped, and the skies grew lighter.

Later, we discovered that 9 twisters had hit on the south side of Tulsa, Oklahoma, the largest city near us, and one EF-0 tornado had briefly touched down south of us in Arkansas.

Yes, life is always exciting in Tornado Alley! Before you ask why I continue to live here, stop and ask yourselves what the dangers are where you live. You might find out that your life is exciting, too.

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