Storm, no chaser

While Matthew bedevils the south Atlantic Coast, I am minded of my reaction to the F6-if-we-had-F6’s tornado outbreak in May 1999:

[T]he worst managed to stay to my south and west, though not very far. At its peak, the funnel was nearly a mile wide, and its easternmost flank ventured to within half a mile of this desk. At least, that’s what they said in the newspapers; what I saw looked more like a matte painting from a science-fiction film, and an ill-lit one at that. The electrical power went dead here almost immediately, and was not restored until the next day. The only actual damage to my premises, though, was some ostensible surface excitement added to the top of my car, courtesy of a barrage of high-speed ice balls. Given the sheer strength of this storm — bigger vehicles than this were picked up and dropped across the street or in front of houses or even into houses — I’m not inclined to complain a great deal about a handful of dimples.

The phrase that pays is “what I saw”; I reasoned that if this damn thing is going to kill me, I’m not going to huddle in the corner and simply wait for it. Which doesn’t necessarily tell you how I might behave with a hurricane breathing down my neck.

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