June 1, 2011. Wednesday I knew we were supposed to get a thunderstorm. I had an awesome swim in the morning, and was hoping my outdoor bootcamp wouldn't be cancelled. Around 3:30, I was finished treating my patients, and we heard on the radio that there was a tornado warning for the northampton area (north of us). We shrugged it off, and about an hour later I was on my way out the door. A couple of my coworkers thought I was crazy for driving home, but it was only a thunderstorm with hail, I didn't think it was a big deal.
I talked to Kevin just as the hail was finishing, little did I know I was driving straight toward the tornado. A few minutes after getting off the phone with Kevin, he got to his mom's house where the tornado proceeded to fly by. It started in Westfield, MA, continued through West Springfield, through downtown springfield, East Forest Park, 16 Acres, then in to Wilbraham.
As I was driving toward home, I suddenly couldn't get through. There were trees down blocking the main road. I still didn't know there had been a tornado, I just thought it was a bad thunderstorm. I tried 5 other side streets to get home, every single one was blocked with trees and a long line of traffic behind them. My cell phone was not consistantly working. At this point I was panicking trying to call my mom and Kevin, and my friend Maureen at work to see what was going on. When I finally got a hold of her, she told me to just come back to work.
Once I got there, I couldn't believe what I saw on TV.
Soon, there was another tornado forming on the mass mike and heading toward us in Ludlow. We headed to the subground level. They had moved the patients to the hallway away from the windows. This tornado luckily skipped over us, but headed toward Monson & Brimfield.
The whole time, we didn't know how serious it was. Finally around 9:30pm, we heard word that the highway was clear to drive on, and I was able to re-route through Longmeadow to get home. Luckily, even though the tornado passed right by my house (.5-1 mile away), the only damage was loss of power until thursday night. I know many lucky people who had houses around their's cave in, but their's was still standing.
The damage was devastating
|on of the dorms at my Alma Matter, Springfield College|
|My friend Jackie's car (she was on the front page of the Boston Globe|
|house on island pond road, literally less than 2 min from my house|
I'm trying to input some video Kevin took, but for some reason blogger is being a pain. Here's some you tube stuff....
There are way too many pictures to show, many don't do the damage justice. Google the Springfield tornado and you'll find many many more.
I got power back on thursday afternoon, and friday morning was able to drive my regular route to work. A section of my drive is marked by flattened houses, and sliced trees. The crews are working around the clock to work on the clean up. It feels weird to go about my regular routine, knowing what is going on not too far away. Its crazy to think that my neighborhood is fine, but ones not too far away are destroyed. I am so thankful that all my friends and family are safe. I got my first patient at the hospital that is a victim of the tornado. All her windows were blown out, and her house has a lot of damage to it. She lives very close to me.
Needless to say, my workouts came to a halt. My gym is still without power, and I've been trying to catch up on lost sleep from the night it happened. I do have a race tomorrow morning (Susan G Komen 5K), and am planning on my long run for sunday. I have a busy weekend with a wedding tomorrow night, and baby showers on sunday.
Thanks for all of your sell wishes and concerns!