Yesterday, the weather map was filled with red–
storms, floods, and tornadic activity, the meteorologists said,
as north and south of us, the warnings became real wind reels–
inspiring fear with their acrobatic turns–
and here, the sky darker, we watched the TV screen,
while the heavens grew angry, and the wind yelled at trees.
Our phone alerts went off, and so did theirs–
the women on the screen—who stood, no hair in disarray,
continuing to explain, so patient and with care–I assume–
because we turned them off and left the room.
I wondered then if the basement was a womb or tomb,
as we texted family, and the lights flickered, once, then twice–
but stayed on. That was close, I thought,
and confirmed, a tornado hit nearby, but not
us. Not this time. We returned upstairs
where I made tuna sandwiches for dinner. We watched a show,
and checked on people we know—all OK.
Today, the summer heat is gone, the sky is September blue,
eagles soar over the river, and geese scatter, honking in queues,
as the world turns, the sun burns bright over the rising water.
A quick explanation in hasty verse. Thank you for everyone who checked on me! From about 4 in the afternoon till about 7, we had tornado watches and warnings throughout the Philadelphia area. I don’t normally watch TV news or weather, but conditions were scary. There were tornado sightings north and west of Philadelphia, that moved east, and there were other bands coming from the south from Baltimore, through Delaware, and into New Jersey. Our tornado watch became a warning, but it still seemed kind of far, till it didn’t, and our alerts went off. They went off on the TV meteorologists’ phones, too. We went down to the basement with our devices for about half an hour. We did not have any damage at our house, or any I noticed in my town, except for some branches down. One tornado was close to one of the wineries we go to often. You can see a video here. It’s terrifying! I just looked it up, and we’re about 14 miles away.
There were other tornados near us, too. There has also been flooding. When I walked this morning, it looked like the Delaware had risen enough to leave debris on the sidewalk that the groundskeepers were sweeping up. However, the Schuylkill River crested this morning at 16.35 feet. It hasn’t been that high since 1869. If you don’t know Philadelphia, the Schuylkill River is the river the art museum looks out over, and it runs by 30th Street Station. The major Philadelphia highways are underwater today, and much of the city is flooded. Streams in the area have flooded, too.
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