Normally in Salem, Oregon, we get drizzle, but today it poured in sheets on and off. It reminded me of mid-west rain. I always liked a really good rainstorm…well from inside my house anyway.
As I was driving to get my son from his school today, I was seized with panic. My heart throbbing, I thought it was going to jump out of my chest. It was about halfway down in the sky and it looked like it would land within 100′ of the school. Pulling over to the curb, I leaped out of the car, and yelled at him to hurry and get into the car. My head was screaming at me, “there are no freakin basements in Oregon.” Only older homes have basements out here (other than daylight ones) and we were nowhere near a basement. I quickly weighed my options.
Confused by my panic, I swear my son walked slower on purpose…What caused me to go into such panic? A funnel cloud.
I grew up in Illinois and lived there until I moved out to Oregon 17 years ago. I remember having the yearly tornado drills at my school. We actually had different bells for the fire alarm vs. the tornado alarm. The worst was when a tornado warning was issued during one of my friend’s birthday parties. Her mother, an overly protective woman, shoved 10 8-year old girls into the bathroom tub and put a mattress over our heads. I begged to call my mom so that I could go home. At least I got to watch the storm from my living room…
I started to think about natural hazards that we have out here. Oregon ranks 47 out of 50 for getting the least amount of tornadoes. Since living here I can only remember hearing about one tornado actually touching down and causing damage and that was in 1996.
Oregon tornadoes are very weak (mostly F0) on the tornado scale, so even when they do occur, they don’t cause a lot of damage, not like in the mid-west anyway. I found an interesting link to the Oregon Climate Service, Oregon State University about our local reported tornadoes and the damage they caused.
The good news is that as my son was yelling back at me about why I was yelling at him, I turned around to see that the funnel had disappeared. I realized too late that my many years of “tornado training” in the mid-west made me miss out on a great opportunity to show my son a funnel cloud. He may not get to see another one out here in a long time.
Every state has its share of natural hazards. Thankfully for those of you looking to relocate out here, tornadoes are not one of them.
If you want more information about our local Salem Oregon Metro area real estate, I would be happy to talk with you about what you need. Please feel free to call or email me with any questions.