Saturday, May 6

Dark and stormy night

We had one of those freak Texan thunderstorms last night (that seem to be less freak and more norm at the moment). I had been watching the lightning off in the distance and it was lovely, pink and orange and blue fork lightning that sometimes went up instead of down. At that point it was still really hot, a little windy but no rain.

Luckily I was watching TV at about 10.30-11pm and heard the storm warning beeps so I had time to get the chairs off the deck (well, I got drenched just doing that). My little rosemary bush was not so lucky. The wind was wild at that point and it was bucketing down. The lightning was constant and all around me. I pulled up the doppler on the net and there were two separate storms closing in on my side of San Antonio, and there were purple patches on the doppler meaning hail! At that point the power went off (luckily I already had a candle on) which meant no more tv or net updates, and then the storm really hit!

There was so much wind and water, it started coming in under the windows. The rain was horizontal and blowing straight at my living room and bedroom windows. The lightning was really green and hung in the air for a few seconds. Then the hail started and it sounded like someone was pelting large pieces of gravel at my windows! Just a few bits but it was so loud and sounded like they would break each time. And when I'd just got brave and thought I could cope with that it went from a few pieces at a time to absolutely pelting chunks of ice everywhere. I could see the windows bending with impact. It was so loud it hurt even with my ears covered! I was too scared to go near the windows because kept visualising them just shattering! I took my candle and hid behind the alcove wall in the sitting room with my fingers in my ears. Scary.

When I got kinda used to it, and trusted the blessed windows a little more (they're tough!) I got the camera out and filmed some of it. Still couldn't hear myself speak though. I remembered I'd got a free jogging radio with my hair product so I hooked that up in case there were warning updates (they had been speculating tornados earlier) but it was pretty hard to hear much with the static from the constant lighting. Seems like out area was dumped on pretty hard and the power was out all over the place but they couldn't say much more than that. Anyhow, it calmed down after midnight and I eventually crawled into bed (near the window but the hail was less wild then) and hoped it was passing. I pulled the covers over me and slept!

In the morning there were bits of tree stuck all over everything and huge pools of water (it flash floods really easily because the ground is so dry). I had to pick half a tree worth of twigs out of my car but no damage. A fair bit of water came in under the windows but I think that was just the angle and force of the rain. Everything looks so clean now, all that yellow dust is gone, except that everything is covered in bits of tree and leaf chopped up by the hail.

It was kind of fun in a terrifying way. Think I'll be braver next time.

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