Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Excitement at School

OK this is what's left of the metal housing for an 8 ton air conditioning unit. This was the biggest of the bits that got blown off the school roof.

The picture below shows the swiftly descending news crews. There was a channel 2 crew there almost instantly, and after the kids were bussed home, the channel 5 truck arrived.

Behind the news truck, is the stadium. It's a good thing that football season is over, because the scoreboard got creamed by the tornado (yes, it's been verified by the National Weather Service). A couple trees fell, crushing a fence and damaging the "away" team stands. A ceiling in one of the girl's bathroom got blown IN, and one window was shattered. The big deal was that when the air conditioning stuff got blown off the roof, it severed a gas connection causing gas to leak into the school. And it was the gas leak that caused all the kerfuffle.

I thought the kids were pretty gracious and well mannered through a genuine crisis. A few girls cried when we had them line up in the hall on the floor as a precaution when another line of storms came through.

About a third of the kids seemed to have a parent that came to get them, and then the buses came back and picked them up and took them back home. We teachers were all called to a mandatory meeting in the media center, where I figured we'd be told we were contractually obligated to stay until 3. However, we were told we done good and that we could leave at noon. OK so it was a little hectic this morning; I loved getting an unexpected afternoon off. It was only a little tornado, really. Just a little one.

Met up with Jenn and Jewel and we had a fun time doing a little shopping, and then we got the call that Betty was being discharged, so I went and picked her up. She was so glad to be discharged that she got dressed, unhooked the IV connection, put on her shoes and went down to the lobby (god knows how she found her way there) to wait for me. The nurses DID notice that their patient was lost and so a search ensued. They found her and persuaded her to come take a breathing treatment and get the IV out of her arm before being picked up.

She has to see her general practitioner and her pulmonologist in the next few days, and god bless her caregiver, she's willing to take her. I showed Betty the cutie little outfits that she got Jewel, and she said I needed to go back and get some more for her Christmas presents.

She was very chatty the whole trip home, insisting we stop to get her some fried chicken, and gobbling up a hefty portion of it when she did get home. She's wearing her home oxygen and swears she'll keep using it. She tends to be pretty good about taking it off while smoking, but as a family we've made our peace with the fact that she might accidentally blow herself to kingdom come. I hope not, but I think she'll manage ok. She was home long enough to run to the restroom, and as soon as she popped out, she fairly ran for her cigarettes and lighter. THAT is the reason I can't stay with her overnight. I can't handle the smoke given the fact that I'm having trouble breathing.

So, it's been an exciting day. Herding excited teens through a real tornado and gas leak, was a little more excitement than I had planned for the day, but NO ONE WAS HURT. Not a bruise, scratch, nor a hangnail. A couple vehicles were damaged slightly, but no one was hurt. Gosh I hope they get that air conditioner fixed by spring. It gets hot early in the season here.

Next fun thing to consider: A wintery weather mix is anticipated for Friday. Sigh. Too much stress at the end of the semester.


Susan said...

A little too much excitement! Glad you are all okay.

Calypso said...

whoah, I didn't know we actually HAD a tornado touch down.
I knew we were under a warning/watch for a while...I am glad you all came through it, wow.
Today is gonna be another rocky one according to the forecast, and maybe even SNOW up our way.
Take care of yourself, y'hear!!!

Watercolor said...

Glad all are safe. Egad!

Glad Betty got her fried chicken, lol. That was a great image!