Decision on whether or not to get in the closet, actually. Listen folks, in our neck of the woods 70 degree weather in early February is not, I repeat, NOT, a good thing.
Oh, there's also an election to talk about. More on that later, if we can survive round two and three between now and 11 pm CST. By the grace of God we've survived round one, which included choosing which animals to take into the shelter with us (the others weren't told). So many decisions today.
This is going to be bad for Memphis, it looks like. They showed some local pictures on local TV with some pretty serious wall clouds and one large tornado in the city proper, one of which is shown above. You might want to check out TV3's storm blog.
According to local news a major mall has been destroyed, with no power in that entire area. And, being true to Memphis, gunshots are now being heard (possible looting). There are more individual cells with tornadoes over eastern Arkansas moving this way..and behind it the main squall line, which produced 67 mph winds in Little Rock around 7 pm. Not over yet.
Storm reports from the NWS Storm Prediction Center.
The Commercial Appeal is asking for tornado stories. My sincerest hope is to not be able to oblige them before this night is over.
Additional--the major news media is missing this story entirely as they focus on super Tuesday results. No surprise or offense there, but at 910 pm CST Drudge still only had a headline of a tornado in Clinton, AR, ignoring the one that hit a major metropolitan area. Oh well, same coverage the storm called "hurricane Elvis" got back in 2003 when power was out in my neighborhood for 5 days and parts of the city looked like a war zone due to 100 mph straight line winds. Some of my relatives would have never known had we not called them on cell phone.
TAKE COVER 2/5/08
The line is approaching, and it has some wiggles on it. The storms are moving around 70 mph, impressive while at the same time disconcerting. I don't ever recall hearing the tornado sirens on as long as they've been today. If you've not heard them, they're quite surreal, some containing computer voices advising people to take shelter. Such a voice coming out of the sky, one almost expects them to say, "this is God, I'm very mad at all of you...". If I'm back later, we survived the last round..
Thousands are without power in southeast Memphis as a result of the tornado touchdown. There's no question it was a twister, they got video. Further proof today comes from the area called Shelby Farms in northeast Memphis, where today I happened to stumble upon debris thrown out of the storm, in this case some kind of insulation. It may very well be a piece of the Mall:
To understand how far this piece of debris traveled I've provided a handy map, thanks to Mapquest: