Monday, April 18, 2011

tornado?! in raleigh!?!

on saturday afternoon our area was hit with severe weather. we knew it was supposed to be a bad storm, but we never could have imagined that we would be hit by a tornado. the news said that there hasn't been a storm like this in north carolina since the mid 80's, so this was a very rare freak occurrence. 62 tornados ripped through nc, and there were multiple areas where twisters touched down right here in raleigh. one spot that was badly damaged, less than two miles from our house, was on yonkers rd where danny's screen printing shop is located. 

i left work at 3 pm and when i got in my car to head home, the radio was blaring emergency info about seeking shelter immediately. the short drive home was crazy, lots of downed tree limbs, heavy rain, out traffic signals, and flashing police lights. danny had been dropping alanna off at a friend's birthday party, so he and malcolm were also on their way home. malcolm and i were safe inside when the really serious weather hit. the storm brought heavy rain, and made the power flicker on and off. danny had left to meet a friend to see a movie, but chose to turn around in fear that his windshield would be shattered by hail. on his way back to our house he saw a car sitting in water up to the bottoms of it's windows. then just as quickly as it had arrived, the storm was gone. blue skies and birds chirping. we are so lucky that our house and yard did not suffer any damage. we did have a tree branch puncture the roof of our tuff shed and knock it off of it's foundation, but danny and i were able to move it back into place, and he bent the metal roof back the best he could. 

alanna's friends house lost power for about 30 minutes, but the girls were all safe and busy having fun while the storm passed. driving out to pick her up was so strange. large stretches of what is normally a very busy road had lost all power, so it was like driving through a black out. pretty eerie. at 11 o'clock i wanted to watch the local news to see what the extent of the damage was in our area. that's when i heard them say that yonkers rd had been hit hard, i told danny and he left to check it out. the power was out there too, but when he got home he said it was like driving through a scene from independence day. we drove over sunday morning to check it out in the daylight. here are the photos i took while in the car on the drive to his shop.

this used to be a highway entrance sign, and a large billboard

the destroyed front entrance to a self storage complex

the sun washed this photo out, but this building was completely leveled :(

wrecked stretch of businesses. this complex is most likely a complete loss.

box truck on it's side.

there were tons of people out collecting large chunks of metal to sell as scrap. one guy even had his entire mini van filled, and was attempting to tie a street lamp to the roof! craziness!

large pieces of metal that landed in the shop parking lot. 

and an uprooted tree. this was the extent of the damage to the business park where danny has his warehouse space. compared to the destruction on either side of it, we are very, very lucky that it did not sustain any major damage. very lucky. 

the roof of the shop was damaged a little, we could see cracks of light near the brick wall, but hopefully that should be a quick fix. they had men up there today working on it already. we are so very thankful that the building is intact. it is hard to imagine what we would do if his shop had been wrecked like his neighbor's were. pretty unsettling to even think about. 

the plumbing supply company next door was very badly damaged. it's hard to see the actual mess in these photos.

that twisted mess up top is part of the inside of their structure. this photo was taken from the dock door of danny's shop. that is how close it came to it. 

and this business is on the other side of the shop. both corners of their brick building looked like they had exploded. it's insane that virtually every building on the street was damaged (some destroyed), except for the building that danny's shop is in! did i mention already how lucky and thankful we are for that!? because we are.

debris from the buildings that had been blown up against the fence that runs along the highway. what a mess.

danny went to work today to get some things done that could be accomplished without electricity. he and a friend walked around the area and took more photos of the destruction with his phone, so i will post a few more later. the cleanup is gonna be a doozy.


  1. OH MY GOD IM SOOO HAPPY YOU GUYS ARE ALL SAFE! How Lucky and how sad all at the same time

  2. that is terrible, but i am glad that the four of you are okay! <3

  3. oh my gosh, i'm SO SORRY! how scary, i'm so glad you guys are okay. i didn't know you live in raleigh?!? that's super close to us, i think.