Yesterday, we moved north to Athens, AL to visit with family. We are in a campground along I-65 that is designed for overnighters. It is in an open field and has no facilities except WI-FI. It still meets our needs, as we are not planning on spending any amount of time here.
After setting up we enjoyed some quite time and explored the area with Halley. It was a very pleasant evening and we spent the last hours of daylight sitting outside with some star gazing. Just before calling it a day, we turned on the TV and found most channels talking about the approaching severe weather?? After checking outside and still finding a nice evening, back to the TV. Indeed, it appeared that an intense front was coming fast and was already wreaking havoc to the west. To quote General Anthony Clement -NUTS!
Did I mention no facilities? First severe thunderstorm warnings were posted and then tornado warnings, with Athens being mentioned prominently. There was no building that even an optimist would consider useful. Checking the web, we found that there were no public shelters within the whole county. NUTS, again. Why did we leave the great Florida weather??
Then just when my long ago weather forecasting training suggested that the storm was weakening and we could finally turn in around 0100, the TV aces reported that a tornado was on the ground due west of Athens and was headed due east at a high rate of speed. I used several words, none of them was nuts. Trapped like rats.
Then the thing in life I always look forward to the most, dumb luck, kicked in and the front slowed and lost power only a mile or so from us and the tornado dropped a couple of miles south and hit another area. Luckily no injuries were reported.