My daughter-in-law arrived at my home this morning during a heavy rain storm, accompanied by her daughter and her two young grandchildren, who are visiting here from San Antonio. They didn't leave home in the rain, but it was coming down buckets by the time they arrived. After a lot of kissing and cootchy-cooing (on my part), getting the baby out of the car seat, helping them shake out umbrellas and finding a spot for their damp shoes, we settled down to look at photos of my granddaughter's new home in SA.
In the midst of our conversation, my granddaughter's cell phone buzzed; it was her husband, calling from a tornado shelter at Jefferson, AR, approximately 50 miles south of where I live. He is working for a few weeks at The National Center for Toxicological Research which is located there. In Arkansas, where they are installed, tornado warning sirens will (and should) get your attention! He and others from the NCTR had been evacuated into a place of relative safety; he was calling to alert his wife to the possible impending danger to our area and to assure her that he was safe.
I don't watch TV during the day, and didn't have a radio on, either. Rain, especially lately, even when accompanied by a few thunder claps, is simply "rain." However, as soon as I heard her say "tornado," the TV was turned on to the channel which has the best weather reporting. We were relieved to see that where we live (NE of Little Rock) was not in the tornado warning area, even though we were, by then, experiencing very, very heavy rainfall, and moderate-to-strong wind gusts.
However, sad, sad news for other parts of the state: six confirmed deaths, many injuries, and untold hundreds-of-thousands of dollars in damage to property. As far as I'm able to tell at this point, the nearest tornadic touch-downs were about 60 miles to the northwest and 60 miles to the north of here. TV remote crews were on-site in two of the hardest hit locations, and the video footage tells their tragic stories to those of us who are fortunate to sit in dry and unscathed homes.
My thoughts and prayers go out to those who suffered losses today.