As a resident of Mississippi for thirty years, I learned that living in the tornado alley close to Tupelo meant that downpours, high winds, and spun-seemingly-out-of-nowhere tornadoes were a weekly occurrence during hurricane season.
The first tornado I experienced took down part of the only mall in Tupelo and caused severe damage in its vicinity. The hit sometimes looked like a surgical strike and other times it downed an entire patch of forest on Natchez Trace, skipping and jumping to other locations for miles. We had straight line winds that often caused more damage than some tornadoes did.
Tenure - University - Trees - Beautiful - Magnolia
During my tenure at the local university, most of the old trees, including a beautiful and venerable magnolia were uprooted. Several buildings, including dorms, were so severely damaged that they had to be torn down and rebuilt. Students were missed in their beds by mere inches by flying lamp poles or huge tree branches, and cars were smashed by falling trees.
I will never forget looking out of the window at the menacing clouds in the distance, watching my neighbor’s son get out of his car and, before he entered his parents’ house, one of the very old trees lining the street fell with a loud grown on top of his car, flattening it into a pancake.
Tornado - Alarms - Week - People - Shelter
Spotted tornado alarms would go off every week and people had to seek shelter in the bathtub or, as in our case, in the tornado shelter built inside the garage. The former owner, a doctor, thought that it was a good idea to place the water heater in it as well. I know he planned it because I found the architect’s drawings in the hall closet.
Living in the country for a while, I witnessed tornadoes do a lot of damage to trees, and at times unlucky cows were struck...
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