Most of you know I’m afraid of thunderstorms. When I lived in Georgia, where storms routinely turn into tornadoes, this approached a full-blown phobia; since I’ve moved to New York, this has been downgraded somewhat to Very Nervous. So when I was startled semi-awake by a storm a few hours ago, I just put on a sleepy mask (lightning scares me) and tried to go back to sleep. The storm persisted for some time; I lay there cursing it for keeping me awake, but tried to keep a positive view by thinking, At least here, I don’t have to worry about an early-morning tornado. The exact moment that thought formed, the rain got crazy heavy and there was a terrible whooshing, and then it sounded like someone dropped a car on the roof. I ran into the closet in the middle of the house with the cats, and then there was another big whoosh and bump, and then it got quiet. I went out to the front stoop and this is what I saw:

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Please note that this was 6:45 and should have been full daylight. So I went back in and checked the weather website on my computer, which said ‘TORNADO SIGHTED 6:40 AM IN FLATBUSH. SEEK SHELTER IMMEDIATELY.” Flatbush is, of course, my neighborhood. I don’t think it touched down anywhere, but it did enough damage as it was. I’m just glad I don’t have a car.

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