Thursday was a dark and stormy night.
The remnants of Harvey finally showed up in middle Tennessee. Predictions on all the weather forecasts warned us for a week.
But when did it show up? At rush hour, on a Thursday night when the interstates surrounding and intersecting Nashville are crowded with people who just want to get home.
Neither Larry nor I, thankfully, were sitting in a car trying to find a shortcut home.
Weather completely dominated the news at five. Bright green, red, and yellow radar screens told the story. Torrential rain and gusting winds whipped through our neighborhood.
National news at 5:30 was preempted on our local channels. Tornado watches and warnings crawled across our screen.
Our local sirens blasted, and TV news told us to get to our safe places.
Our safe place is the hall closet under the stairs, packed with storage tubs and winter coats. I quickly sort out a space, put a stool in the closet, grab my phone and Ipad. Larry puts his shoes on, checks on several things and then . . .
the warning is cancelled.
Our house sits on a hill. The house behind AND above us catches rainfall that flows down to our backyard. Water then flows down our front yard into the sewer drain (if it is not filling up). The excess flows across the street to our neighbors’ front yard, and down their backyard.
The flood of 2010 filled our backyard, and we spent quite sometime one afternoon in the pouring rain digging out the ditch that leads to the sewer drain. We knew we needed to keep close watch this dark and stormy night on our backyard.
By 7:00 P.M. it was time to get to work. We dressed in raincoats and boots, grabbed a big flashlight and a hoe. Larry dug while I provided light. Water had filled the ditch and was not flowing out. He dug, cleared, and waited to see if it flowed. Repeat that process numerous times.
Standing in the rain, getting soaked and cold from the wind, I thought of Houston and all the people who had no time to do anything about their homes.
It’s much harder to dig out a ditch in the dark. The weather conditions are already a hindrance. When we come in the back door, soaking raincoats, boots, hats, wet shirts and pants are piled on the floor or kitchen chairs.
Why does everything seem worse in the dark?
Larry goes out a second time in the evening to dig some more.
We watch the 10:00 news, keep looking out our windows, and then . . .
a tornado warning comes for another part of town.
I eventually prepare for bed. Before I turn out my light at midnight, that jarring warning goes off on our phones. A tornado warning in our neighborhood. I alert Larry who is in his office – he didn’t hear it.
Again, we prepare the closet, and he decides it’s time to put on clothes instead of pjs. Finally I sit on the stool, sleepy, irritated and then . . .
the warning is removed!
I’m too tired to put the closet back together and just leave everything cluttering up the bedroom.
It’s hard to get to sleep after these warnings, but we did. The dark and stormy night ended with no more warnings. We wake to light rain, a water-soaked backyard, but no damage.
A few people in Nashville had to evacuate their homes in the night. Some minor damage from those tornadoes, but nothing like the 2010 flood or the deadly 1998 tornado.
We thank God for our safety during the dark and stormy night, but continue to pray for the thousands in south Texas.