Myakka River State Park, Sarasota, Florida
It began to rain last evening around 9:30pm. It has rained a lot while we have been in Florida this winter thanks to El Nino. The rain continued all night.
The rain was extremely heavy, the thunder loud, waking us up periodically. Around 3:15am or so our iPhones were screeching, lighting up our bedroom. We knew right away that a weather alert was sent to the phone. It stated: “Severe Thunderstorms in the area until 4:00am.” Okay, we could deal with that, we certainly knew we were right in the middle of a severe thunderstorm.
The next screech alerted us a few minutes later, “Tornado Warning until 4:15am, Seek Shelter Immediately.” Okay, this isn’t good.” What to do?
The next alert came within minutes, “Tornado Warning until 4:30am, Seek Shelter Immediately.” Still the question, “what to do”. Its very dark here in the park, it is raining hard, the wind is gusting and we are in a RV!
It continued to rain heavily, the lightning and thunder were frequent, and the wind was gusting at times, rocking the coach. It was reported this morning, that in some areas the wind gusts were 125mph.
We began to watch the radar on the iPhone, watching the little blue dot that was us, wishing this storm would pass over quickly. Eventually it passed and we fell back to sleep. Needless to say, it was scary. Our winter home on wheels is no completion against a tornado.
This morning, watching the Weather Channel, we learned that there were two tornadoes near us, houses and businesses were damaged, two people were killed and many others injured.
We have never experienced anything this severe while traveling in our coach. Yes, we have been in thunderstorms and high winds, but we haven’t been in the vicinity of two tornadoes before.
We were fortunate, we had our iPhones and received these alerts, at least we knew what was going on. I have to wonder, what should/could we have done, if anything?
Our heart goes out to those who were in harms way.