Thursday, May 7, 1998

our house got hit by a tornado!

You probably won't believe this, but my house was hit by a tornado three days ago. That's right - a tornado in California of all places!

This tornado was one of the two that struck the Bay Area; the other touched down in Sunnyvale, my old hometown. This was an incredibly rare occurrence, considering that twisters are almost non-existent in California. They were luckily nowhere as powerful as those in the Midwest, but at least I can now tell people that I've been in a tornado before!

It started out like a normal Tuesday afternoon. I had just finished a session with my English tutor, and Mom was walking her to the door when the wind picked up. We didn't think much of it at first because sudden gusts are not uncommon at this time of the year.

However, the wind soon become unusually strong, and we sensed something was not right. It wasn't long before we heard things crashing outside. That was certainly not a good sign. Just then, the wind subsided almost as suddenly as it had begun. Mom then went outside to investigate and realized our gas was leaking!

It turned out a section of our neighbor Gen's roof had struck our gas meter and ruptured it. Fearing an explosion, Mom and I rushed into another neighbor's garage for cover. I know we kind of went into somebody else's house without asking, but I'm pretty sure they wouldn't have minded given the circumstances. In any case, this was a very bad situation; had the gas ignited, our house and all of our possessions would likely be gone.

Much to our relief, a Good Samaritan managed to shut off the gas for us. Damn, that guy's brave. Mom ran back into the house to get him a box of chocolates as a token of gratitude, but he was nowhere to be seen. Strangely enough, none of our neighbors knew who he was either, only that he was some sort of construction worker. I'd say he was definitely a guardian angel.

The tornado had knocked out the power in the area, but it was restored for most homes by the following day. We were without electricity for a longer period of time because our power line had suffered extensive damage, hence why I couldn't post this earlier. But I guess the most important thing is that our house is still in one piece. :-)

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