Thursday, May 14, 2009

Stormy weather

David Foster Wallace, writing of life in East-Central Illinois:

Most days from late March to June there are Tornado Watches somewhere in our TV stations' viewing area (the stations put a little graphic at the screen's upper right, like a pair of binoculars for a Watch and the Tarot deck's Tower card for a Warning, or something). Watches mean conditions are right and so on and so forth, which, big deal. It's only the rarer Tornado Warnings, which require a confirmed sighting by somebody with reliable sobriety, that make the Civil Defense sirens go.

David Foster Wallace, "Derivative Sport in Tornado Alley," in A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again (New York: Back Bay Books, 1997), 15.
Our siren — I mean my town's siren — went this morning, at around 1:00. Elaine and I went downstairs, turned on the television, and watched the one station with a weatherman (not a crawl) until the storm passed about a half-hour later. No signs of damage in the daylight, only water, water everywhere, and more rain expected today or tomorrow.

comments: 5

JuliaR said...

Scary stuff! I don't think we even have sirens up here. Our weather can kill you but it's kind of slow motion.

Jason said...

We had this happen late Wednesday night. Lots of rain, tornado warnings, but it all wrapped up around 1:00 a.m. Looks like more rain today.

Michael Leddy said...

Julia, that's a good way to describe the cold.

Jason, it just started raining here (again), maybe where you are too.

Geo-B said...

Being from the East, when i moved to Normal IL, I was literally scared of so much sky. I irrationally thought the clouds were going to fall on me.
Once I was at a dinner party of a stained glass artist in Normal when the tornado siren went off, so we all went to the basement to the host's studio to hang out. I saw hundreds of tiny shelves and cubbies. When I asked what they were,he said they were where he filed his pieces of cut colored glass. I said, thanks, I'll take my chances on the porch.

Michael Leddy said...

George, I've been living here for almost twenty-four years, and the sky still amazes me. Seeing the weather for miles all around is something I think I'll always find unusual.