Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Lucky I say because a tornado went right through our neighborhood today in Minneapolis and the only damage we suffered was the big old maple we had in our front yard was ripped in two and the pieces were tossed into the middle of our street.
It could have been much what many of our neighbors sustained as damage. We live in an old neighborhood where most of the homes date back to the 1920's, so most of the trees are old, very large, and beautiful. After today's tornado, many streets had every single tree either ripped from the ground by the roots, or they were simply split right in half--unfortunately, many of those uprooted trees ended up going through roofs, smashing cars, and flattening garages.

You can view a video of the tornado at a distance here as it was approaching downtown Minneapolis (we live just beyond downtown) here: Tornado Touching Down in Minneapolis
(all the gratuitous "debris" commentary is taking place because the people shooting the video are meteorologists who were at home when they saw it, so they are assessing the tornado as they shoot the video with their i-Phone--and calling the report into Minnesota Public Radio)

I took a few photos as we walked through the neighborhood this evening:
Holly's Tornado Photos
You can also see some photo sets of damage here:
The weirdest thing is that I was in a meeting at work-in fact, a very intense and critical meeting that I was co-leading, and my cell phone rang and normally, I would have simply turned it off immediately, and though I did not even recognize the phone number of who was calling--I actually picked up my phone, and excused myself from the meeting to take the call--and even as I was walking out of the conference room I was asking myself, why did I just do that? And then I answered the phone and it was my brother calling from work to tell me had just heard news reports that a tornado had touched down at 35th Street and Portland Ave--which are the exact cross-streets of where I live. The drive home was painful not knowing how bad it would be when we got there--all the news stations on the radio were reporting wide-spread damage, and that the streets had been closed off due to all the debris. Needless to say, I was prepared for something much worse (especially considering the 4 story tall old pine that stands in our backyard--I only had visions of that thing laying across our house).
(photo from Felipe_Mpls)
(photo from Tom K)
(photo from Tony Webster)
If there is an upside to a tornado landing completely unannounced (civil defense sirens did not even have change to sound until minutes AFTER the tornado had already touched down) at 2pm on a Wednesday afternoon in the middle of metropolitan area, it is that no one was injured. Incredible and lucky.


Meg said...

Holy moley!

kay emm said...

Wow! Those are some very impressive pictures! So grateful that you, your family and your house all escaped unscathed!

Anonymous said...

Holy cow! Thank heavens you and your family are well. It takes a while to fully process something like that--I hope your neighborhood recovers quickly and comes back better than ever. I'm sure it will!

Holly said...

Holy moley, indeed! Thank you all for your supportive comments. It is still hard for me to fathom that a tornado actually touched down in the city--because it always seems like everyone assumes that somehow tornados never hit cities--yet, here we are. Still could have been much worse for the entire neighborhood considering eye witness accounts have the tornado actually traveling right down the street--which people only saw because the sirens did not sound and when people who were here at the time heard trees being snapped in half and ripped from the ground a block up--they actually went outside to check to see what was happening--and then saw the tornado coming right at them. Scary.

l o v e l y d e s i g n said...

oh my goodness! my mouth was literally hanging right open reading and looking at those photos. Crazy! and wonderful that you are all ok. xo sharilyn