Tuesday, July 22, 2003

Downtown Memphis is Trashed

Very intense storm this morning, by far the worst this year. Trees, everywhere, are shredded . The Utility Company's building is beat up, while the Gibson Guitar Factory may be a total loss. I didn't walk around much farther than that, but I can only imagine what the rest of the city looks like. Roomie is supposed to take pics with his digital cam -- if so I'll put them up when I can. More later.

Well, the roomie never went out to take pics, but The Commercial Appeal has some good coverage of the local carnage. Articles here and incredible slideshow here.

photo credit - A.J. Wolfe, The Commercial Appeal

I have been nearly beaten to death by hail, missed driving through an airport-destroying tornado by five minutes, and lived through a funnel cloud going directly over my old farmhouse, but yesterday was by far the worst looking storm I've ever weathered. There was the "train" sound you always hear about; there was not the sickly yellow-green colour of hail storms but an awesome blackness to this front. It was freakish. As far as I know, only one window in my building was blown out, but I reckon if not for the cover of the building arcoss the street, it would have been much worse. I myself felt the wind through my windows, and was a bit nervous as the lights flickered. Still, I had no idea the storm was that bad -- the sirens never went off, which is amazing because they have gone off probably twenty times already this year -- until I went outside later in the morning. Insulation and tree limbs were laying everywhere. Traffic was more insane than usual. Everyone was chattering excitedly.

I'm really freakin sick of tornados. Living through the day of 100 of the damn things was bad enough, back in Arkansas. When I went to Delaware last year, the damn things seemed to have followed me; the day after I arrived Maryland and Delaware were trashed by a rare flurry of tornados. Where can I move that this crap doesn't happen? Still, I'm affected for life -- where as a child I had nightmares of living dead and snakes and spiders, as an adult most of my nightmares, in the classical sense, are of the world being destroyed by myriads of marching funnel clouds, the brushing fingers of a capricious god.