Grounds for Inaction

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I said I would tell you a tornado story today. It isn’t a story of destruction in my case but a spectacular near miss. It was April 27, 2011, the day of the historic outbreak of tornadoes in the southeast, the day Tuscaloosa, Alabama, was so hard hit. The unique thing about the multiple storms that raked central Alabama and Georgia that day was their strength; there were many EF4 tornadoes, bordering at times on EF5, as bad as it gets. The last storm of the day was one of the strongest, perhaps the strongest, an EF5 in final reports. It was on the ground after dark and heading straight for my house. While the tornado still was miles away, the power went out in the rising wind, so there was no television or internet, and I haven’t owned a transistor radio since 1972. I was home alone, but a friend called via cell phone to tell me the storm was headed my way. I figured the best thing to do would be to sit on my front porch, which faced southwest, toward the tornado. I figured I could get an idea of what was coming, and if the situation deteriorated enough, I’d scurry inside to my safe place—which would be very safe in a normal storm. The wind was frisky; I’ve already told you it had knocked out the electricity. However, it was not raining. I sat and watched and reflected on the day. That afternoon, I’d watched live on television as a mounted weather camera followed a tornado ripping apart much of Tuscaloosa. I’d never seen anything like that. Then, I saw the approaching storm. I’m out of time today! I’ll finish this yarn tomorrow.