It was 10 p.m. as I was on my way to Wal-Mart, picking out movies from Redbox to watch with my boyfriend. The sky was dark, and I noticed some light sprinkles of rain. This was nothing new, since we had recurring thunderstorms all week; we even had a flash flood warning earlier in the day. Nothing seemed peculiar.
As I approached the parking lot, my radio station was interrupted by an emergency broadcast. A tornado had touched down in Wood County. Since I reside in Wood County in Bowling Green, Ohio, I paid attention to the full broadcast. Bowling Green is a sure-fire place for a tornado to hit, with its flat land and lack of hills, but, in all of my four years living here, I’ve never had to experience one, so I continued about my evening as normal.
At around 2:30 a.m., I was awakened by the Bowling Green city alarm. I laid there perplexed as to what the sound was. It took me 5 whole minutes before I realized the familiar sound. I quickly thought back to the radio broadcast. In it, they informed us what to do. They said to get in a ditch if outside or a basement if inside. Be sure to put your hands over your head to keep debris from falling on you. I kept these words in mind. Panicked, I began with my plan for survival.
I woke up my boyfriend and had him follow me to the basement. We grabbed water bottles and blankets to be comfy. I checked a window before heading downstairs and things did not look good. The sky was even darker than before and lightening seemed to strike every few minutes. I was frightened, but I kept my face at ease. I heard the wind blowing furiously as if it wanted into the house.
I remembered what we used to do during tornado drills back when I was in elementary school. We used to kneel at a brick wall with our arms over our heads. In my panicked state, I suggested this to my drowsy boyfriend. Needless to say, the idea did not appeal to him, so we laid by the wall with our blankets hoping for the siren to go off or the wind to stop howling.
I remember waking in a confused state as to how I ended up on the basement floor. After my initial bewilderment, I recollected the prior night. I wondered what time it was and how bad the damage was to my home. I made my way upstairs to notice a perfectly beautiful day. The storm had passed.
My porch chairs were disheveled and flipped over but, other than that, no damage done. It was truly a miracle. I checked the news for any updates on the storm. When I heard that the tornado had killed seven people, I felt so grateful to be alive another day. The tornado had spared us, and I hoped the best for those families who weren’t as lucky.