I was just near the area the tornado touched down on my way home from Cody’s follow up appt (for his tonsillectomy). I noticed the sky was really really black … so black that it was hard to not keep looking at it. It was just weird-looking to me and I wondered what kind of storm it would bring.
We got home and I logged back into work when I started hearing thunder off in the distance and thought, “here’s the storm…” then my power flickered enough to reboot my computer. I logged back into work and told them sorry… thunderstorm.. power-flicker… rebooted, etc. They were like “whatever”. LOL….
About five minutes later a spark (arc??) went through the kids monitor next to me and it scared the daylights out of me. It made a pop, like when you shock someone (when you touch them) except louder and before I could finish the thought “what the heck was…” KABLAM!!!! The loudest thunder I have ever heard in my life rocked the entire house. I let out a scream… I was still startled from the spark then following it up with the loudest thunder I’ve ever heard… This in turn scared Cody and my dogs, and Cody started whimpering. Then the wind came out of nowhere and hail started falling.
At this point I had no idea what it was and even chastised myself for letting out a scream over a stupid thunderstorm… but I told work I was shutting down my computers (the arc/spark/whatever through the kids monitor is not a good thing, lol) then I called Jack to tell him about the monitor and that I was shutting down all the computers.
The wind was blowing like crazy and I heard garbage cans get knocked over.. then the hail just came barreling down. I opened the door to watch it (still not having any clue what it was) and I was relaying to Jack what was going on. He was amazed because where he was they had pretty much nothing.
Almost as fast as it blew in, it blew right out… so I powered up my computer and logged back into work. I apologized for taking off unexpectedly and explained the spark through the monitor. They were again like “whatever”. Then my email loaded up and I see this:
From: Weather Underground Email Service
Date: Jan 10, 2008 12:27 PM
Subject: Tornado Warning for Vancouver, WA
1225 PM PST Thu Jan 10 2008
The National Weather Service in Portland has issued a
* Tornado Warning for…
southern Clark County in southwest Washington…
southwestern Skamania County in southwest Washington…
* until 100 PM PST.
* At 1220 PM PST…the public reported a tornado near Hazel Dell…or
about near Vancouver downtown…moving east at 30 mph.
* The tornado will be near…
Sifton…Orchards…Brush Prairie and Evergreen around 1230 PM
PST… Camp Bonneville…Salmon Falls…Lacamas Lake and alpine around
1240 PM PST… Elkhorn Mountain around 1245 PM PST… Larch Mountain around 1250 PM PST…
I live in Orchards… and I was like NO FREAKIN’ WAY!! I saw the time they claimed it was reported (12:20). The time I told work I was shutting down:
(12:20:45 PM) tracie: i have to shut down….
That was right after the spark/arc-monitor-thunder thing.
I turned on the TV and it’s on every channel. I called Jack back and told him and he and his co-workers were all saying “NO WAY!” We just don’t get tornadoes here. It’s been on TV all day. If the state of WA gets tornadoes it’s usually off in a field in the middle of nowhere and it’s very rare.. I think they said about one tornado touches down in this state per year. There was none in 2007. They just said on TV it may have been an F2 … and possibly F3. I also heard F1.. who knows. I know they tend to blow things out of proportion.
The tornado touched down about 6.5 miles from where I live and headed this way but dissipated before it got anywhere near here. I am guessing the weather here was from the outer edge of the system that caused the tornado. I tell ya, had I known there was a tornado heading this way I sure as heck would NOT have been going outside. I should have taken the hint from my dogs. When I opened the door to check out the hail coming down, the dogs stopped dead in their tracks at the door. Normally they run right out with me. They knew better. The look on their faces were, “I ain’t going out there… no way lady!”. I thought they were afraid of the hail but come to think of it.. hail has never stopped them before and Randy usually chases it. This time they wanted no part of it.
All the schools went into lock-down. They put all the kids in the hallways with their hands over their heads. Casey said they had to stand there for a half hour like that. I do not think our schools have ever had a tornado drill, let alone follow an actual REAL tornado procedure. But it sounds like they did the right thing.
Here’s a good story with pictures:
Rare tornado sweeps through Clark County, leaving damage in its wake
I especially liked this part:
Sparks fly as lightning strikes next door to Prairie High School in Vancouver, WA. “It sounded like a building collapsed” speaks one student in Mr. Bell’s 5th period computer class. Multiple students claim to have seen sparks fly form computer equipment during the first strike. After the second strike, hail 2cm in diameter falls. Now at 12:29 PM the wind is blowing the hail sideways at the buildings as thunderclap after thunderclap is heard. – Amanda Merrill
Prairie High is only a few blocks from here.
This story has been updated with video footage of the tornado: Tornado touches down in Vancouver area
So.. yeah. Crazy day! (Crazy week actually… but that’s another story..)
[tags]tornado, vancouver, vancouver tornado, hazel dell tornado, tornado in washington[/tags]