Nothing gentle about the breeze, shifting crosswinds building towards gale, then worse with the rain blowing sideways and trees groaning as they bent. Freight train sound, they say, but this was so much louder, so much larger, a howling, screaming stream of destruction.
Cajoled into the subterranean chamber,
the children clutched at pets, hoping parents could intervene,
intercede. We were powerless long before the power failed us.
Nails loosened, failed. Wood twisted, splintered, gave, became flying weapons. All we could do was hope to survive.
Hours later, we emerged, glad to be whole. Down the road, they weren’t so lucky.
Note: I live not far from Washington, Illinois. And Pekin. And East Peoria. All of them suffered from tornado damage on November 16, Washington being the worst (and therefore more often mentioned in the news). Needless to say, it was a very tense day on the prairie.