The weather guys on TV were saying that severe weather was on the way. They said that the threat of tornados was fairly small, but that this would be a significant hail event. Outside, the sun was shining. The air was warm- a little too warm for this time of year. I decided to keep the local news channel on so I could keep an eye on the reports and the radar.
Suddenly, large thunderheads started popping up everywhere. Storm chasers were out and about reporting the location of supercells and watching for hail and tornados. I could see on the news that a line of thunderstorms was forming to the east and heading up Interstate 44 as is typical for these things. Then storms to the west began to pop up and expand with sudden ferocity. This mess was heading right for us!
My husband and I had our usual discussion of what to do. The news guys were still talking primarily a hail event. We could go to our son’s house where we could put a vehicle in his garage and ride out the storm, but he doesn’t have a shelter in case of a tornado. We could stay here in the RV park in their storm shelter, but the vehicles would be exposed to hail damage. We opted to stay at home and pray. We called the RV park office and asked if the storm shelter was unlocked. They said “No. We will open it up if there is a tornado warning”. REALLY!? Severe weather is only about 10-15 minutes out. It should be open now!
Suddenly, all hell broke loose! A tornado was reported on the ground approaching Tulsa. People were experiencing large hailstones all over the metro, some as big as baseballs. The weather service had still not issued any tornado warnings and the leading edge of the storm was upon us!
Two to three inch hail began to pummel the RV. Then the wind hit. Hail thundered down on the roof while the RV rocked back and forth in the wind. THEN the tornado sirens began to blare. “Great, this is just great”, I was thinking. My car is being blasted by hail. We can’t get to the storm shelter now without being killed by hail stones, we don’t have a clue what’s going on as we had to put down the satellite dish before it got destroyed, and to top off everything the electricity went out!
My husband and I began to pray- very loudly! I tapped into the live stream on my phone to see what was going on and if a tornado was approaching. When the screen came up, they were reporting on a tornado on the ground in Moore, OK- again. Moore is ground zero for the most frequent and violent tornado activity in the nation. We live 20 minutes from Moore.
Suddenly my prayers turned to fervency and intense intercession for the people of Moore. It was less than two years ago when an EF5 tornado hit Moore killing 24 people, most of them children. I had watched that one unfold on TV. It was heartbreaking.
As suddenly as it started, it was over. The winds slowed down, the hail stopped, and the sirens ceased their loud wailing. It was still raining pretty heavily, so we waited to go outside to survey the damage. When we finally looked things over, the damage was pretty minimal. A few broken plastic pieces that can easily be replaced, and unfortunately, hail dents on the vehicles. Miraculously, our plastic skylight that was destroyed a few years ago by hail was still intact. We had no broken or cracked windows (unlike many others in the RV park). Best of all, no one died in Moore this time!
It’s still early in the severe weather season, but I trust in the Lord my God. He who has called us here to this place to be with kids and grandkids will keep us safe In His loving arms. He didn’t (for reasons I don’t understand) keep my vehicle from being damaged, but He did protect us from harm, kept the damage to a minimum, and answered my prayer to protect the people of neighboring Moore, OK.
In the immediate aftermath, I didn’t get any writing, book marketing, or work done that day. I did watch more than the usual amount of news and weather, called relatives to make sure everyone was safe, placed a claim with my auto insurance, and praised the Lord that all things considered it wasn’t near as bad a day as it could have been. Welcome to springtime in Oklahoma!