Honestly, at one point today, I thought I was going to die.
I'd been keeping an eye on the weather all morning. There was a high risk of severe weather, and our NOR:RAD rating (the probability of a tornado at any moment within a 50 mile radius) was 9 out of 10. Most of the schools in the surrounding area dismissed at noon, anticipating severe weather. It was not a question of "if" a storm was coming, but "when."
I hurried to work after lunch, and kept the radar up on my computer while I proofread. My boss came through insisting that we leave by at least 4. Seeing that we were going to be under a tornado warning a lot sooner, I left as soon as I could. Of course, I got stuck in traffic. (It's Nashville. There's always traffic. Always.) I glanced at my twitter feed and saw that the funnel cloud was supposed to be near my college by 3:55. It was 3:35 and I was still in traffic. The sky to the west was an ugly shade of blue, tinged with yellow.
Traffic finally started moving and I made my way to I-440. Westbound traffic was moving, though at a reduced pace. Eastbound traffic was at a standstill. My dad had left my school not long before, and I wasn't sure if he was stuck in the parking lot on 440. I called him, repeatedly. No answer.
It was in those moments that I seriously began to consider my life. I wasn't back at school, I couldn't get a hold of my dad, the sky was angry. The strangest sense of peace came over me. Normally, I would have been panicked. But I wasn't. I knew that even if I was stuck on the highway, in the middle of a tornado, somehow things would be okay. Even if I died. That may seem fatalistic and slightly melodramatic, but I felt peace.
Long story short, I made it back to school and to the safety of our cafeteria in the basement of my dorm. The funnel cloud dissipated before reaching us. (And strangely, reformed after leaving the metro area.) All we got was some crazy hail, wind, and rain.
I'm so thankful that God placed his hand of protection over Nashville today, and I'm praying for those that didn't make it through the storm. Spring weather can be dangerous in the South and Midwest, and I pray that we don't see any more outbreaks like this.
Here's a video my dad took of the hail. Crazy, isn't it? It looks like snow on the ground!
Like I said, please pray for those in Alabama, Tennessee, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana and the other states that have been impacted by severe weather lately. There have been fatalities.