Because Susan and the girls are out of town, they missed all the excitement of a terrible night in Dickinson! I knew that rain was expected, so I wasn't surprised when I started to hear it and the accompanying wind. I was surprised, however, to hear the city's weather warning sirens go off; so I headed to the family room and turned on the TV to see what the local news station had to say. Not good! They showed live video images of the large sheet of black clouds that was headed toward our city, and they warned us to seek shelter immediately.
They also warned of poor weather where my dad lives, so I phoned him but had to cut the call short when my telephone started making an unbearably loud static-y noise. Soon after I lost phone service altogether. Then the electricity went out. Then the hail started. Then the winds picked up even more, and the sirens went off again. And again. I turned on the radio to find out what area stations were reporting, but I could get only one station to come in! And it happened to be the public radio station, which was broadcasting its regular classical music program, not local news (perhaps someone at the station had just pressed "auto pilot" and then headed for the basement?!).
Telephone service was out only briefly, and I talked on the phone a couple times to my father-in-law, who lives on the north end of town. A little later my dad phoned to see if I had heard that part of the city was being evacuated due to a gas leak. No, I hadn't heard that! With no radio station reception and no electricity for television weather reports, I had no news; and Dad knew nothing further. I figured that, if it were our neighborhood being evacuated, someone in a police car would have been out on the street with a megaphone making an announcement. I lit enough candles to allow me to read a book for a while, and then I headed for bed.
This morning I found the electricity back on, so I checked the local newspaper online only to find this sad report: "Tornado[e]s Hit Dickinson." Read the readers' comments that accompany the article for a better picture of the extent of the damage to the south side of the city (not our area of the city; and I don't see any damage to our home, praise the Lord).