Tornados hit Charleston

We have managed to experience some violent weather while dockside in Charleston. Let’s start with the tornado on Saturday, 3/15. Just prior, tornadoes had done some hefty damage further inland to Atlanta GA — but Atlanta seemed so far away from us. It just wasn’t on my radar. Born-n-raised in upstate NY — we don’t have tornadoes. So, I have to admit I was a bit naive when it came to “Tornado Watch” and “Tornado Warning” weather alerts. When Pat and I heard that we should find a large building and hide in the basement….we kind of just looked at each other and said “huh”??? Living on a boat docked in the potential path of a tornado….might not be the kind of shelter the weather weasels were referring to – but that’s where we were.

First, we watched the barometer fall….basically DROP to a REALLY low number (995). Not a good sign. Ok, next observation. Most of the other folks living on their boats at the marina — were nowhere to be found. And lastly, the weather pics I was able to see online JUST before weather arrived — had bright red blotches heading our way. Time to turn off the computer (after I snap these images of course!).

So, Pat and I readied ourselves. We got out our foul weather gear (jackets) from the closet, and put a flashlight in the pocket of each jacket (in case Pat & I got separated). Not really sure what the point of that preparation was….but it seemed like we were “doing something” — so I didn’t ask too many questions. By 8:30PM, the sky was filled with lightning, thunder….and finally hail. Sheets of rain came down in horizontal blasts….and then….the winds came. It was incredible. I couldn’t have escaped along the dock – even if I wanted to. Would have been blown right into the Charleston harbor.

Our wind readings went from 15knots to 55 knots in about 3 seconds. It felt like the boat was lifting up – and all of a sudden I became VERY concerned. We put our jackets on.

And within the course of no more than 3 minutes….the weather was over. The winds stopped. The hail & rain stopped. And the thunder and lightening continued on by us. We had missed a direct hit by the tornado. Tornadoes did touchdown on James Island — less than 2 miles from our boat. I can assure you — that a boat would NOT be a safe place in a tornado. We took our jackets off now.

One final note….Soxy, our cat, didn’t seem to be too concerned thru any of this. Soxy – takes a snooze thru the tornado warning

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