A TORNADO CAME TO VISIT MY TINY TOWN IN THE MIDDLE OF CALIFORNIA. MY EXPERIENCE:

Twister is one of my favorite movies and I've always wanted to experience a tornado. I missed it by 10 minutes.
  1. I was driving home and noticed the dark sky to the east
  2. A lot of cars were parked on the side of the road
  3. People were actually outside of their houses
  4. When I actually got into my town the (lone) stoplight wasn't working.
  5. A lot of people were walking down the street. Including some in PJs and barefoot.
  6. I got to my house and the power was out. Thermostat said 63 so tried to put on my heater. No dice.
  7. Suddenly so many sirens started happening.
  8. I immediately went to Facebook to see if there was any info from anyone. Posted and asked if I missed something.
  9. My friend called to tell me there had been a tornado.
  10. It had actually passed over their house. Loud wind, debris, the whole thing.
    She sent me this picture that she took after it had passed their house. There were apparently 2-4 funnel clouds (different sources in a small town so who knows which was correct)
  11. They had lost probably 50-100 almond trees from their orchard.
  12. Since I have always wanted to be Helen Hunt in Twister, I had to go investigate.
  13. Plus, I needed to charge my phone and, since I had no power, the car was the answer.
  14. I was just gonna drive around.
  15. Then thought, "I gotta see what's happening" and crossed the tracks to the side of town with all the sirens
  16. I parked next to the post office
  17. And got out and stated walking down the street. Again, everyone was outside, WAY more than normal.
  18. And the tree in the "park" was down
  19. And then I walked to the end of the street and saw my old pastor who lives behind my old church
  20. Their fence was a goner. And one tree was bent over but not broken, his wife put it back in place and it stayed.
  21. The church itself lost 4 trees. And the dumpster moved 150 feet across the parking lot.
    Luckily church had let out and most everyone was gone.
  22. But the old church building across the street took the brunt of the damage.
  23. Major tree damage to the roof of the fellowship hall.
    And a new church had just moved in about a week ago.
  24. The response was quick and helpful.
  25. People were going to their trucks to get chainsaws to chip in and help out
  26. And TID got right to work trying to get the power fixed
  27. Luckily, no one was injured. And most of the debris missed houses and cars.
    One house got hit pretty hard, along with one barn and a shed and the church. But miraculously not much else.
  28. I ran into a number of friends who also came down to see the damage/see how they could help.
  29. My buddy is (jokingly?) convinced we are now in the end times because along with all the bad things happening around the world there was a tornado in Denair, CA.
  30. He might not be wrong.
  31. I went to check in on my friends with the almond orchard. On my way, I passed all the major news vans heading into town
  32. Everyone was good but their folks were out of town. We hung out and told our tales from the day and then the power came back on!
  33. And we posted our pics and videos to Insta.
  34. And watched the news and heard them say there would be a press conference at 5:30.
  35. We OBVIOUSLY had to go. How often is there a presser in town?
    Answer: NEVER
  36. We walked past the tape like we belonged.
  37. And giggled that they found the one building in town that says Denair
  38. And giggled more at some of the questions they asked the sheriff.
  39. But we learned what was going on.
    East side of town was still without power and probably would be until morning. Every Lineman had been called into work. It was the first time ever the entire town had lost power. All 1700 residences.
  40. We made it home to try and catch it on the news.
  41. And discovered that we were trending on twitter!!!!
  42. It's the most excitement our town has had since the train derailed a couple years ago.
  43. But mostly, it was great to see the community come together.
  44. And now we'll all have stories to tell our grand kids.
  45. P.S. this is obviously how I have to end my night.