"Attention! Attention! Attention! A severe weather storm has been reported. All occupants walk to the nearest recommended severe storm refuge area. Do not use the elevator. Walk to the recommended severe storm refuge area."This was the soundtrack to McCurtain, Cate Center yesterday afternoon. And probably echoing around campus. However, this message didn't really apply to us because Cate Center is way too ghetto to house elevators. The emergency message was clearly directed toward those that pay more to live here. I am comforted by the fact that the top 6 floors of the highly prized towers are designed to fly off in inclement weather like what we were experiencing and what is expected to continue throughout the weekend. Cate Center has been standing relatively steady since approximately the 1930s. I'm fairly certain it can withstand a few more gusts of wind. We also don't have refuge areas. We just piled into the hallway. It sucked. It was smelly. It was 8000 degrees. And some one's shoes were digging into my elbow. I really wished I was outside.
I love storms. I could absolutely be a storm chaser of some sort. Thunder and lightning exhilarate, rather than terrify, me. I hated to be stuck in that stuffy hallway when something so exciting was happening outside. I want to be a part of it! A year ago I experienced my first intense Oklahoma tornado. I was being a dedicated smoothie maker at Jamba and our manager called us to recommend that we close the store and get in the back. We didn't argue. We always thought we were supposed to pile into the freezer/refrigerator (they are practically made of steel, NOTHING can get through those), but he quickly corrected us, suggesting the office as a hideout since we could potentially suffocate if something fell on the iceberg closets. Lindsey went so far as to climb under the desk. But being in such close quarters was really boring really fast. So we decided to wander outside and watch the racing clouds.
As soon as the tornado sirens ceased, the roommate and I went exploring. We'd had enough of that cramped hallway, thank you very much. We waded through knee high puddles, trudged into sucking mud, and carefully avoided rabid geese, ducks, and swans. We were hoping to catch a glimpse of some serious destruction as the tornadoes apparently hit around Lindsey Street (one of the main campus streets). Unfortunately (I'm an unashamed gawker), we only saw some stray nature shrapnel and one failed stoplight. Upside? I would have taken first prize in a wet tshirt contest.
There are supposed to be several more storm systems ravaging the state this weekend. I'm glued to weather.com. I'm not missing my next chance to catch a glimpse of such a powerful creature. Cross your fingers for yours truly, A Very Lucky Girl.