26 August 2008

Playing Chicken with a Tornado

We've had a crazy weather day here in the Upstate and I don't know that it's going to get any better soon. Thanks to Kay coming on land and getting a bit stuck we've had rain rain rain and more rain today with a few thunderstorms and a tornado thrown in for good measure. Apparently there was a bad tornado that left some damage in Clemson...but Tiger Fans NEVER FEAR, it hit NEAR Death Valley, not IN Death Valley. I apparently caused a resident at the hospital tonight a momentary fright when I said that it had hit "at" the stadium.

Not that I don't totally get that...you tell me or anyone in my immediate family (except for my brother in law who suffers from a raging case of "I'm a University of Alabama Fan") that a tornado has hit Between the Hedges and watch the hysterics ensue. But I digress...

I left the hospital early today because I was very concerned that said storms would produce tornados in Greenville while my dogs were safely locked in their crates on the SECOND STORY of my house. I got home and sat through the outer edges of a nasty nasty storm, and finally was ready to feed the dogs and get on with making my dinner. Suddenly my phones were all going off with text messages and voice mails. Seems the hospital was trying to find me because there was ANOTHER deaf patient there and they needed an interpreter.

Did I mention that the hospital is about 45 minutes from my house on a sunny day with no traffic?

I fed the dogs and hopped in the car to head south to the hospital. I was listening to the radio, as you do, and the weather alerts just kept coming and coming. As I got off the interstate onto the road that leads to the hospital (but is still a good 20 minute drive), a new weather alert came on talking about a BAD storm that could produce a tornado that was heading RIGHT for the hospital where I was going. In fact, it was supposed to be at a town about 10 miles from the hospital at 7:30. I was supposed to be at the hospital at 7:30.

Enter the game of chicken. I was determined to get there first. I didn't. What I did, however, is get to the hospital while it was under a weather warning...which means that you can't leave until it is lifted or expires. Thankfully it was changed to a watch rather than a warning shortly after I'd gotten there so I could leave but under a warning from public safety that it wasn't a good idea. I considered that after I'd interpreted the intake and was ready to go until I asked when the watch was set to expire.

PSO: 2am, ma'am.
Me: Yeah, NO. I'll take my chances.

On the way home I came up on a wreck. I couldn't really tell what had happened because I was kind of blinded by all the flashing lights from the emergency vehicles that responded. However, it did give me pause because I had come that same way only hours before. What is that saying, there but by the grace of God?

So yeah, I raced a bad storm and didn't really lose, I think it was a draw. And now I'm back home, tired, full of bad take away food and ready for bed.

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