If you remember back a few months ago, I described my fear of tornados after a night of blaring sirens and raging storms. I am always on high alert whenever thunderstorms rumble through our area, checking forecasts and the skies for the possibility of twisters. I pride myself on knowing what to look for and what to do if I was ever in a warning area. Tonight I missed everything.
It rained most of the day today. The weather was really quite unremarkable. Local weathermen predicted a possibility of mild storms. I was lulled into a false sense of security. Close to 7:15 tonight, I thought I heard the sirens. It wasn't blaring like the last time, but more a quiet hum faintly broadcast over the baby monitor. I hadn't heard any thunder, and the rain was calm with little wind. I dismissed it as an ambulance. Last time, I could hear the sirens over everything, so this couldn't be the sirens.
I continued to watch Sesame Street with Aveline, popping up briefly to prepare her supper. While in the kitchen, I thought I heard the sirens again. I looked out the windows. It was calm. The last time the sirens blared, there wasn't even a tornado warning. The city had sounded them to signal a severe thunderstorm. We hadn't heard the sirens since, and we had experienced numerous occasions of bad weather. I decided I would check on the computer. The Weather Channel's site showed no warnings or alerts for Middletown, so I scooped up Aveline and continued with our nightly routine.
It wasn't until nearly 9:30 PM when my sister-in-law called to make sure we were alright that I found out a tornado had touched down IN MIDDLETOWN! My heart started to race. How could I have been so careless? My nemesis was in my area and I did nothing. I had shrugged it off. I spent the next hour or so combing the internet and flipping local news channels to find out how closely I had escaped death. Somewhat to my relief, I found out that the tornado that landed in the area was brief and weak. Only a few rooftops and trees were effected.
I still am beside myself knowing I let my guard down. Sure, all of the weathermen are flabbergasted by the suddenness of the tornadic development. Sure, it wasn't a huge or deadly twister. Sure it briefly touched down nearly 5 miles north west of our home. All the same, I missed it. I did not protect my family. It bothers me to know that I dismissed the threat, that I was duped by the fiendish funnel. I will sleep very lightly tonight, punishing myself with hyper vigilance.