Last Friday, right during rush hour, Omaha experienced a storm like no other for this part of the country – comparable only to a hurricane, I’ve never been in a storm quite like this one. I was watching the news when a thunderstorm warning was issued for our county, including large hail and strong wind gusts. Whatever, I thought, they always inflate that stuff.
As it approached on the radar, I called Michael, who was working at a coffee shop out west, to head home to spare the Honda any hail damage. He decided to pack it up and call it a day. Reese and I opened up the garage door and sat on the back step, watching the storm roll in. I like to stand outside, looking for the storm front and feeling that definite change in the air – but then I saw it. Really dark clouds, rushing past overhead, trying to outrun themselves. Something felt wrong, so we went inside. Everything else happened really fast. The wind picked up, sending all sorts of debris everywhere. (I’m getting knots in my stomach again as I write this!) Trees bowed before the storm. Tornado sirens went on and off. Rain fell horizantally. Even the flies caught inside dropped to the floor, oddly sluggish. Hail fell like a thousand machine guns at 90+ mph, and the power went out. The sound of it all was deafening. I felt like Dorothy. I snatched Liam out of bed and we ran for the bathroom, while I tried to call Michael, to no avail. It was all over in a few minutes.
He called five minutes later to tell me he was in a car accident, right in the thick of the storm. As he was racing home (quickly realizing he couldn’t outrun it), the traffic lights all went out and as each intersection became a 4-way stop, he made his way through a busy intersection and got t-boned by a woman who wasn’t paying attention, driving at warp speed. She shrugged and drove off. He was left there to get his car off the road and try to call me. Our phones went out.
The rain stopped and I went outside to try a neighbor’s phone, and noticed the quarter-sized hail piled up inches thick against the house. We were lucky – no damage here, but as we drove through midtown later, MAN. Big, old trees were uprooted and laying everywhere – on houses, cars, in streets, on powerlines. Much of the city did not have power. Every time we’ve left the house this week we see how fortunate we were not to have had any major damage to our duplex, and made it through mostly unscathed. I really shouldn’t whine about my double impatiens getting tattered. Michael’s okay, the car is getting repaired, and if ever there was a great time for us to be renting, this was it! People here say they’ve never seen anything like this storm (believe it or not, there was NO tornado) and I agree. Aren’t these photos amazing? (the first ones were taken by local photographers) The last one is within walking distance of our place. Michael said it reminds him of how everything we have here is fleeting. It can be gone in an instant. Seeing the meterological fury last Friday put me once again in awe of the One who can stay it all with a whisper – who could snuff that powerful boiling sky under His pinky finger. Majestic and humbling, when you think about it.