Browsing in the Basement

There’s a tornado warning in Springfield, so we’re down in the basement. This is my first tornado here [Missouri State University – Cheek Hall – Computer Services] with the MacBook, and it makes the whole experience a lot more pleasant. Instead of sitting down here just cooling my heels, I can obsessively refresh Twitter, check the weather, and bring up videos on YouTube.

In addition, it’s the first serious storm since we moved into our home, so April’s in the basement with the kittens. That makes me feel way better than I have in previous storms because I know that she’s safe. Unfortunately, I also know that the storm is dropping 3+ inches of rain, and our basement has a small leak in one corner.

At any rate, the tornado warning is in place until 9 this morning, and we’ve been down here since 8:10 a.m. or so. Without coffee. There are worse things, but not many.

I’ll update this post later with more updates, like when we get out of the basement. The latest I’ve heard is quarter-size hail, lots of rain, and 60-70 MPH winds. There’s a tornado in Republic (about 30 minutes drive from here) and it’s headed towards Springfield, was supposed to be here about 10 minutes ago.

If God wills, I’ll update again shortly.

Update:: Of course, by virtue of Murphy’s Law, as soon as I published this the warning was cleared and we were allowed to go back upstairs. I don’t trust it though. Springfield tends to blow the sirens at the slightest provocation, so I grabbed coffee as quick as I could and got things done so I’m ready to go back to the basement if need be.

Cell reception is terrible, so I could barely get a hold of April. Things appear to be fine at the house.

Update 2:: Yep, back down in the basement at 8:48. Wind’s blowing so hard that we can’t hear the sirens.

Update 3:: 8:56 a.m. and we’re back upstairs, and supposedly it’s done now. Whee.

Update 4:: 9:01 a.m., back in the basement. Tornado on I-44 at the 83 mile marker, wherever that is. Lots of damage in Republic. April called and said something got torn off the neighbour’s house, maybe the rear siding. It’s in their back yard now. Hope it’s not our siding…

Update 5:: 9:09 a.m. Pat, the building coordinator, tells us that Springfield is just recycling the sirens and the threat is pretty much gone. He’ll come by and tell us if we need to go back to the basement again. Back upstairs for now.

Update 6:: 11:50 a.m. and I hadn’t really planned on updating this further. The storm has passed and now we’re just surveying the damage, so I didn’t think there was any need for me to go on. However, they just taped off the front entry way to Cheek Hall on the Missouri State University campus, where I work, because a tree “shifted” during the storm and they fear it might fall over.

Our Help Desk Call Center is right next to that tree, so we’ve taken what precautions we can to keep people safe. The tree looks solid to us–no damage visible on the ground, so the roots haven’t pulled up or anything and the trunk appears un-cracked–but we’re going to take as few chances as possible.

April sent me some pictures of our neighbour’s back lawn and our front porch. It looks like the neighbours lost some siding, which really sucks. On the bright side, they rent, so the landlord has to deal with it, but they just moved in a couple of weeks ago.

img_5978 img_5984 img_5985

Update 7:: It’s 1:50 p.m., two hours later, and the tree out front of Cheek Hall is still standing strong. I had a very pleasant walk outside during my lunch break with the sun shining and the birds singing–it is amazing to me how easily nature rebounds from these things that frighten humans so much.

I’m anxious to go home in three short hours. I’ll try and take some pictures around the neighbourhood and the park and post them.

Update 8:: I went across the atrium to visit Brenda and noticed they were cutting a tree down. Apparently, they were referring to a different tree than we thought–the one we thought they were saying had “shifted” is just fine, but one just a bit further east is now being excised. I’m really hopeful they’ll plant new trees there to replace it.

Too bad I don’t have a camera here.

Twitter

About 8:11 a.m. | Tornado spotted in Republic. Missouri State University is in basements and such. Tornado estimated to be in #SGF by 8:25 a.m.

About 8:15 a.m. | April and the kittens are in the basement at home, which makes me feel a lot better. As for me, I’m 15 feet underground; can’t hear sirens.

About 9:10 a.m. | Apparently, the least safe place to be in a storm is Fairgrove Elementary. http://tinyurl.com/ou8k59 #sgf

About 9:13 a.m. | According to our building coordinator, #SGF is just recycling the sirens. We’ve been allowed back upstairs indefinitely; ignoring sirens.

About 9:30 a.m. | Fair amount of limbs down on the Missouri State campus :- Always makes me sad. Not going outside to inspect the damage yet, though. #SGF

About 10:30 a.m. | RT @donwyatt #sgf Storm was serious. Pls use caution when you inspect damage. Downed power lines can’t always be seen.

About 11:32 a.m. | RT @donwyatt: #SGF Wal-mart on N Kansas/I-44 has closed. No power. Lots of debris in parking lot. http://bit.ly/Lbkkf

About 10:45 a.m. | Did a power outage at Drury knock out their web servers? Can’t get to their website right now to confirm class cancellation. #SGF

About 10:50 a.m. | Internet appears to be down at Drury University #SGF . People on campus can’t connect out, and I can’t connect in.

About 10:55 a.m. | RT @ChrisBrewerNL: Photo of damage from Fair Grove school: http://twitpic.com/4s7yp #SGF

About 11:26 a.m. | RT @donwyatt: #SGF Glendale HS update – SW corner roof of N wing damaged. No injuries. No damage inside bldg. http://bit.ly/Ipvet

About 11:37 a.m. | RT @AshleyReynolds: My grandparent’s farm was hit by a tornado this a.m. broken bones and barns down. I ask for your thoughts and prayers.

About 11:41 a.m. | Front entry of Cheek Hall closed b/c a tree “shifted” and they fear it might fall. Looks fine to us, but we’re taking precautions. #sgf #msu

About 1:47 p.m. | The birds are singing and the sun’s out. Almost couldn’t tell we had a storm this morning, except for all the downed limbs. #SGF

About 2:06 p.m. | Correction: Tree is totally being cut down. We thought it was a diff. tree that had shifted. Hope they plant new trees there. #SGF #MSU

For continued updates on this subject, I suggest searching Twitter for SGF. I’ve been following it all morning to keep up with what’s going on and it has been an excellent resource. For direct news, @donwyatt has been very informative and on top of things.

4 thoughts on “Browsing in the Basement

    1. Between that and the power lines down across 65 at Division, traffic around Springfield has got to be terrible right now. I sympathize for the people having to drive through this.

  1. This was a thrilling read. I had no idea what was happening accept that kittens love basements and running in circles.

  2. nathan’s mom called him last night to tell him they are fine, but that springhill (their church, the one matt is worship leader in) has a 20 ft hole in the ceiling above the stage and that his cousins school got a bit ripped apart. with kids in it, of course, broken bones ensued.

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