Sunday, April 3, 2016

April Fools'! It's a tornado.

If March came in like a lion, then April came in like she owned the place.

We'd been having problems getting our garage door to open for several weeks and we noticed last week that it was just getting harder and harder for the remotes to work.  They'd never really worked well since we bought the house and we changed batteries and bought new universal ones (which did not work with our system, by the way) and pretty much put up with it.  Well, Larry decided Thursday that he was done and he called somebody out here to just replace the whole thing.  The guy was coming out Friday morning.  So then, of course, Friday morning, we got up and the door wouldn't open at all.  April Fools'!  But pretty perfect timing on the hubby's part, I thought.  Larry was going to pick up his paycheck and come back and wait on the garage door guy and I went to work.  It was black as night, raining just a little and really, really windy.  I met my friend, Valerie, in the parking lot to pay her for some Avon I got from her and went on to my office.  I had just settled in at my desk and was checking my email, planning my morning, when one of the work leaders came and got me and told me we were going to our shelter-in-place, that there was a tornado warning for our area.  Just then I got the weather alert text on my phone.  Our shelter locations in that building are the bathrooms for the guys and the admin area for the girls.  We all huddled in the office, I counted 18 of us, and waited, updating Facebook and texting the whole time, asking for doughnuts and coffee, which we did not get.  We were in there almost 45 minutes.  I never heard anything other than the sirens and the rain.  No train sound, no strong wind, nothing.  Now granted our shelter-in-place areas are interior rooms surrounded by concrete and it's hard to even keep a signal for your phone in there, much less hear anything going on outside, unless it's an air ratchet tightening down a bolt on an F-15, of course. You can most definitely hear those.  When it was all over and they let us out, the whole right side of the hangar was full of water and there were sparks shooting from the main hangar door.  Our old roof (that's getting replaced this summer, wooo hooo!) was springing leaks all over.  We gathered together buckets and containers to catch the water and found orange cones and placed them all over the hangar.  Safety first!  We were not allowed to leave the building.

Word started trickling in from other areas on base and we started to hear how bad it really was.  Part of Building 81's roof came off, debris was all over the flight line, the tower clocked the wind at 92 mph, two F-15s and three of our wings were damaged.  No one actually saw a funnel cloud but this crazy guy who works out there actually used his phone to video what he was seeing, he says before the worst of it hit, and that video went viral in just under an hour.  120,000+ views and 5,000 shares on Facebook.  That was wild.  I think he got into a little trouble about it, too, since (1) he wasn't supposed to be using his cell phone to take pics or videos and he knows that and (2) he was not in his shelter at the time.  But since his video made The CBS Evening News Friday night and got Robins Air Force Base some national attention, I imagine all is forgiven.  :)

I had already decided I was going HOME at lunch, as did most folks, and walking out to my car, I got to see it all for myself.  It looked like a war zone!  Tree limbs, branches, debris everywhere.  I got to my car and it looked okay.  A few pine branches were on it and I pulled them off and tossed them to the ground with the thousands of others.  I walked around to the drivers side and that's when I saw a piece of my side mirror on the pavement, the mirror nowhere to be found.  I looked for it but I'm sure that thing is somewhere on the other side of 247.  I picked up the mirror back, which was still surprisingly in one piece and I left.  I called Larry and told him about my mirror and that I was leaving, going to run a few errands and then I'd be home.  The garage door guy had an emergency so he would be over to fix ours in the afternoon.  Perfect.  We'd both be home by then.

I called the damage in to our insurance company and went by a body shop and got an estimate.  $452!  For an 8-year-old car's mirror.  Crazy.  That's what you have insurance for, right?  And it could have been so much worse.  Some folks out at the base had their cars flooded and I heard one lady had her passenger window blown out.  That was some powerful wind, I tell you.  They finally called it a tornado this morning, I think.  They were just saying a severe thunderstorm with ferocious winds up until this point.  Yeah, right.  Nobody saw a funnel 'cause we were all locked down.  Well, all of us but Henry, I guess.  :)

Garage door guy came and installed our brand new garage door opener and spring and took $500 of our money for his trouble.  But it's soooooo nice to have remotes that WORK and a door that jumps to attention when when you say so.  I walked clear around the block and the remote worked from waaaaay over there.  Now ain't that cool??  

Here's our pretty new garage door opener.

 And here's the spring.  Just beautiful. ;)

I have weeds to pull and soil to prepare for seeds and baby plants.  Thanks for watching.  See ya next time!


  1. While most folks were worried about the damage, the financial recovery, MY baby was bothered that she had to walk out in all that wind after she had spent so much time getting her hair just right. Country girls will weather such storms with the grit of the early pioneers, but don't think for a minute they'll be thankful that they can't run a brush through their hair afterwards. LARRY

  2. Sorry to hear that the garage door did not open on that day of all days. It is indeed April fools. The garage door is a really neat one indeed. For $500, that is not a bad price at all. I know the feeling when all the remotes fail and you are stuck inside and cannot get out.

  3. I've been having so much trouble with my garage door opener. I’ve had a similar trouble: click and nothing, click click and nothing. Sometimes it takes 10 or more clicks (I'm not kidding) to get the thing to open. I think I'll have to do what you did and get it replaced; life's too short.

    Terence Warner @ Brunwin Roofing