Driving on the Wild Side
Storm chasers, spotters, crazy--call us any of these names. We are certified in all 3 after yesterday.
Yesterday we were driving back from Fargo, and at the border of Nebraska/Iowa, hit a huge mass of severe thunderstorm cells. We had the radio tuned into the weather reports, which started to freak us out after a while. Then the driving got really bad. There was so much lightning, and rain, and then the wind picked up. We decided to pull off the road, so we drove into a McDonalds in Rock Port, Missouri (the middle of nowhere). Just as we parked, we heard the sirens go off, and ran into McDonalds as fast as we could because of the rain. We came in soaked. There were about 50 other people there who had the same idea as us. The staff was giving out free coffee, hot chocolate, and juice for the little kids and had the weather radio on. They were asking for flashlights (we happened to have one in our car--Steve ran back out in the pouring rain for it) and had everyone crowd in the bathrooms. About five minutes we hear on the radio that a tornado touched down in Fairfax, Mo--less than 20 miles south of us. It was crazy, everyone was on their cell phones, people with laptops were trying to get the weather radar up, water was pouring into McDonalds. Fun stuff.
When we thought it was safe to drive again, we didn't get much farther. We heard the warnings again on the radio (this time it was pitch black dark so you can't see anything). We stopped at a gas station just north outside of St. Joseph, Mo, and once again it was filled with people. Then on the radio, we heard that a tornado had touched down at Country Club road--4 miles west of us. Yikes!
Well, driving on pins and needles, we finally made it back to Lawrence safe and sound. I usually love big storms, but this time I just kept praying we'd make it home alive!
For more on the story click here. That semi turned over--we saw it and two others between Fairfax and St. Joseph.