Stormin' Bob Swanson

Blogging Bob

Nine years ago — Tupelo tornado

I’m surprised I’ve not blogged about this before, but today is the 9th anniversary of the EF-3 tornado that rolled through our neighborhood when my family was living in Tupelo, MS.

April 28, 2014 Tupelo tornado hits the Sharon Hills neighborhood.

My family was lucky that day. We rode the storm out in the basement garage of a neighbor (the Rhea family) along with several other families. My wife and two older boys were in the basement bathroom along with everybody else. Since the bathroom was too crowded, I held my youngest (just over 2 years old at the time) and huddled under a sturdy workbench.

I really never heard the winds (some liken tornado-force winds to a train) because the garage doors were rattling so much. However, I did feel my ears pop as the low pressure at the center of the storm moved through the neighborhood. When we opened the garage doors, a tree had fallen and crushed my neighbors’ free-standing carport and the two cars parked underneath. The smell of pine was pungent, and it was clear that the neighborhood would never be the same.

There’s no getting around it, tornadoes are scary. I empathize with my Mississippi friends and neighbors (Amory, Pontotoc, Rolling Fork, etc.) who have been so impacted by storms this Spring. The storm takes only a second to do its damage, but the aftermath results in days, weeks and months of cleaning up and rebuilding.

Speaking of which, the Amory Library took some damage, but according to Library Director, Ruby Holman, aims to be back in business and ready for the upcoming Summer Reading Program. I’ll be kicking off the SRP on June 1 and have asked Ms. Holman to direct my performance fee funds to library storm recovery. I hope to see a lot of my Amory friends there.

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