Monday, August 9, 2010

A Small Tornado Struck My Office

On Thursday, I was sitting at my desk at work trying to motivate myself to continue to plow through the mountain of work I have to do, due to campaign season. I looked out my window, my face green with envy, as I saw clear blue skies and sun all around. I wished so badly I could either be outside with Milly or at the barn riding, really, I wanted to anything but this mound of work!

About five minutes later I looked out my window again, yes, I have ADHD, and noticed the sky was this weird black. It was almost like in a movie - half of the sky was still clear blue, and the other half was a greenish black. I immediately typed an e-mail to a co-worker without a window saying, "The sky is black and green. I hope we get a storm and the power goes out, I can't focus on work! Ugh!" Mind you, I love my job and love the people I work with, but on Thursday I just didn't want to be in the office. A few minutes later I start hearing strange noises and look out the window again. To my horror, the entire sky is this greenish black, rain is pouring down sideways, trees are blowing like mad.

I pull up and type in the office zipcode. Page after page of weather warnings pop-up. I'm reading, "golf ball sized hale and 60 mph winds" when the power goes out. I wait a second, thinking the power will reboot momentarily, but it doesn't. At this point, all I can think is I hope this storm isn't at my house, because I left Milly loose in my room, and she hates storms!

I peer out the window and now the glass of the window in my office is shaking violently. I hadn't heard of any tornado warnings, but I did lose power before I could continue reading the warnings for my area. I assume, this is just a bad thunderstorm that will pass. The next thing I know, my boss and co-workers at my window, too (I have the best view in the office), and the trees are literally losing branches like they do leaves on a breezy fall day, and the sky is now pitch black. It's 3:30pm, and everything is so dark it looks like it's 9:00pm!

I keep thinking about Milly. If I'd known this storm was going to hit I would have prepared better. As she has aged, her fear of storms has worsened. She used to not fear thunder at all, but has always feared guns and fireworks. Now, she's terrified of storms. I'm watching quite possibly one of the worst storms I've ever seen, and my dog is all alone at home, loose in my bedroom. This is not good.

Little did I know that all around me trees were falling on buildings and cars!

About 30 minutes later the worst of the storm is over, and now it is just a heavy rain fall. Through the entire thing, I've watched police, ambulances and firetrucks going every which way, all with their sirens on, signaling a sense of urgency.

Fifteen minutes later, still scared for Milly, I ask my boss if we can leave. It doesn't look like power will be coming on anytime soon. While my building has a parking garage, I park on the top level usually, which is opened air and a normal parking lot. I walk out to my car, all seems well, and I'm thinking how glad I am we had this big storm, because I really needed to get the station wagon washed.

Less than a block away from my office numerous cars windows were blown out.

I'm still nervous for Milly, but I begin driving home. On the way, I realize all stop lights are out, and every 10 feet or so another huge tree has fallen over. Trees are in the roads, branches are everywhere. I realize even street signs have fallen when I have to swerve to avoid hitting a stop sign. I look out the windshield, half expecting a mooing cow to wiz by like in the movie Twister.

When I arrive home there is still a lot of thunder and lightening happening at my house, and Milly is a nervous reck trembling under my bed. I feel terrible for her. Now, I'm cursing myself for not taking her to the vet for the developing fear of thunderstorms. As a loud crash of thunder penetrates the air, she races up to me, shaking from head to toe, her feathers are even quivering. I decide to try an at home remedy I've read about - chamomile.

Luckily, I've been on a major herbal tea kick, and I have a box of organic chamomile tea in the cubboard. I spoon some organic pumpkin into her bowl, cut open a chamomile tea bag, and pour the shredded calming chamomile into the pumpkin. I mix it well, and pray that Milly doesn't have some allergy I didn't know about. She laps up her pumpkin, surprised she gets such a decedant treat before dinner.

I cut open a tea bag and poured the dried chamomile tea into a treat in hopes that it would calm Milly's fears during this terrible storm!

About 30 minutes later, I'm sitting on the sofa as loud cracks of thunder and lightening continue to fill the atmosphere. Milly is happily relaxed at my feet. Thank goodness this remedy worked, and thank the Lord that she wasn't allergic to it.

The next morning, Friday, I turn on the news and see "viewers photos" of the tornado that hit Shirlington. Apparently, cars less than a block away from me had their windows blown out, trees and power lines were all over the place. This bad thunderstorm was a tornado, and I didn't even know I was in the heart of it!

One of the many trees that was down on my drive home!

I thank God for keeping me safe, and am filled with joy that this monstrosity was just a bad storm at my house, when Milly was alone.

Here are the pictures from the aftermath. On Friday, I took Milly to my favorite dog park in Shirlington, and she rather enjoyed the obstacle course for dogs, comprised of large oak trees sprawled about the ground.


  1. Holy Cow! I am glad everyone is OK.

    Wags N Kisses,

  2. Wow. I've had a tornado near me, and it's always a horrible feeling!

  3. That looks very bad! We are so glad that you and Milly are okay! Lots of love, Debbie and Holly

  4. hi! i just stumbled upon your sweet sweet blog and it's lovely! i look forward to following your adventures in the future! xo, kate