Tornado……#117 (the 60’s)

Tornado beginning to form

Tornado beginning to form

The weather forecast was for severe thunderstorms,  but that was hastily updated to a tornado watch.   Most Oklahoma City residents were unconcerned about the forecast,  as was Gary until another television weather interruption.   A cloud rotation and possible tornado was reported southwest of the Oklahoma City International Airport by radar,  and observers reported it was tracking Northeast,  and about to enter Oklahoma City.

Apparently Gary wasn’t the only person ascertaining  the announcement,  venturing outdoors, discovering several neighbors standing in their yards,  all attentively looking towards the southwest,   the presence of  the greenish bellowing  thunderheads,  the lightning and audible rumble providing an indelible warning,  announcing their approach,  and below the upward ordained profusion,  the omnibus horizontal layer indicating  a wall cloud.

Gary wasn’t alone, his three-year old son Scott standing by his side,  bucking the gusting wind, a sense of trepidation was beginning to evolve with the enveloping rush of the oncoming storm.   Vigilance prevailing,  the two on  continuance watch  for  a sign of a funnel,  but to no avail.   Gary and young Scott eyes fixed westward towards May Ave, then a sudden gesture,  the wind gust changing the elements, scattering the air with debris,  the sudden crackling, popping sound of electrical discharge,  the whirling wind spreading  rubble,  gathering  momentum.  Gary turning to access his neighbors who have earlier joined him to watch the display,  discovering they had vanished, returning to the security of indoors.

For an instant, the turbulence paused,  the boy and his Dad standing alone,  a brief  hesitant  silence arresting the scene, underscoring an aura of their solitude.   Taking Scott’s hand,  abandoning the  outdoor environment for the structured sanctuary of the house.  The aftermath of the brief storm was negligible,  the tornado fleetingly touching the ground on its traverse across Oklahoma City,  the nearest damage assessment,  the sudden removal of a Dairy Bar structure at 38th and South May Avenue,  a distance of  eight blocks.  A more compelling and damaging storm was the one prevailing within the band,   Gary having recognized the clouds on the horizon and understood the catechetical consequence to the untouchables.

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