This week, we had a feature detailing the 10 year anniversary of the April 2011 tornadoes.
I don’t know about you, but I remember that day well.
I was awoken by my mother at around 3 a.m. and we had to get to the storm shelter because the first tornado was going through Montpelier, which is just a few miles down the road from my house, and if it were to turn, we could be in the path.
So I sleepily drug myself out of the bed and we proceeded out there.
After the storm had passed, we went back inside, but we were out of power, as we have 4-County, and the storm went between us and the substation.
We awoke to light the next morning and my mom explained that they had kept us home from school since we had only gotten about two hours worth of sleep and the weather was not over yet anyway, and my grandmother, who was a school teacher and had stayed home that day as well, and my father had gone to check on relatives who were in the path and get breakfast.
We later ventured to town to grab some lunch and a few necessities, when the sirens began sounding. Keep in mind at this time there were no mobile radars on our phones or anything, we just had the radio.
So we hightailed it home.
As soon as we pulled in the driveway and cut the car off, our dad came rushing out of the house and said they just called out over the scanner that there was a tornado in Atlanta, which is also a few miles from our house.
We rushed to the storm shelter in our front yard, and the sight of me running through the yard with a Dr. Pepper in one hand and a chicken leg in the other would probably have been comical had anyone else been around to see it, but even though potential death was bearing down upon us, By God I was not going to sacrifice my chicken leg.
Being a younger child of about 13, I was not allowed to stand in the yard with the adults and watch the storm pass north of us, but from their accounts, you could see the tornado and debris over the tree tops.
Little did we know, it was demolishing the houses that sat in Wilson’s Curve.
I remember that day vividly and it did nothing in the way of easing my dislike of storms.
I have always been afraid of tornadoes, and that day, if anything, solidified that fear and I received first hand knowledge of just how destructive they can be.
Seeing the damage following a storm on TV is one thing, but when you see it first hand, it is an entirely new ballgame.
We ventured out the following day to see some of the damage and I remember being aghast at the sheer destruction of what was once a quiet, tranquil scene.
I was saddened to learn that people had perished in the storm and I remember praying for their families.
When I did go back to school on Friday, it was a somber scene, and our classes took time to talk about what had happened. It just felt different.
To this day, everything just feels a little different. I know some of that can be attributed to growing older, however, I still believe that day left its mark on this county and many of its residents, myself included.