Last night's storms got a bit ferocious around here. We had some serious damage, less than a half-mile from my house.
And I slept through it.
There's a chance that the storms included a funnel cloud or two, based on what some people say they saw. But since it happened around midnight, it is difficult to say that those reports are reliable. Whether tornadic or straight winds, the damage was ferocious. There's a defined area that suffered heavy losses of old, old trees (which fell on houses and cars).
We got about 4.25 inches of rain in a 24-hour period, which brought with it localized flooding, too.
The winds, in whatever form they attacked, overturned vehicles, took roofs off a couple of houses, downed an electric transmission line, blew some structures off their foundations, destroyed carports and garages and generally caused mayhem. They even sent porta-potties scattering downtown.... yeah, nice landscaping!
Residents of the most affected areas came up with the same description over and over: It looked like a war zone.
I drove through the hardest-hit areas this morning and tend to agree with them. I have seen more damage, after an Oklahoma City ice storm and of course during the May 3, 1999 Oklahoma City tornado that went on for miles and miles.
You know what? That doesn't matter a bit to the people here who wound up with trees coming through their roofs and crushing their cars. Their losses are enormous.
I'll tell you a little secret, too. One of the people I interviewed this morning was a man I had known all through school, clear back to kindergarten. In fact, he was the first person I ever called on the telephone. After I watched a tow truck right his travel trailer (it had crushed an SUV when the winds flipped it on its side) I told him how good it was to see him, though I wished it had been under better circumstances.
His response: "Does it really matter, so long as you have the chance to get together again?"
Profound words from someone who has figured out what's really important in life.