May 29, 2019: Tornado Day

Wednesday. Today I am working in Tyler, Texas, which is two hours away from the house. So I have a bit of driving to do today. I had considered getting up super early to do the drive before rush hour, but I wanted to sleep so opted not to do that. It is a good day for me to be working in Tyler because the girls have a birthday party in Addison for much of the day and I would not get to see them anyway.

I got up and showered, dressed, and was on the road a little after nine. I stopped at Taco Bell for breakfast to eat on the road, and stopped to fuel up the car before leaving town as well. So it was really more like ten before I was really underway.

It has been a while since I have driven out to Tyler and this is my first time visiting the facility there. The drive was fine, nothing notable. It took about two hours. I noticed that there was a Carl’s Jr at the Love’s Travel Plaza on the way there. I am definitely stopping there on the way home. I had literally searched both Google and Carl’s Jr’s websites to see if there was a shop along this path and neither had said that there was, and yet there it is! Carl’s Jr really needs to step up their game because they have been closing in Dallas and of course they are if their customers cannot find them.

I got to the facility at noon and had a busy, but very good, day. Did a lot of work and was there till probably almost five (they mostly close at four.) I got the things installed that I was there to install, and I got a lot more done as well. Tons of clean up, tons of time working with the managers there, really good use of my day. And a nice change of pace, I really enjoy working on site with clients like this one.

Dominica said that they were under tornado warning much of the day back home. The girls were in the bathroom, shoes on and all ready in case something happened. They could hear the sirens going off. There was a rotation over Lewisville, but it did not develop. The storm moved off to the east.

It was clear (ish) when I left Tyler to drive back west to Dallas along Interstate 20. I wasn’t concerned with the weather, things were looking pretty clear when I got on the road. I made a beeline for the Carl’s Jr as I had been looking forward to getting their Beyond burger all day, and was going to get one to take home to Dominica, as well. It was just starting to sprinkle when I pulled into the Love’s Travel Center. There were a lot of people standing around outside looking at the sky, and no one inside, which I thought was pretty weird, but I really didn’t think anything of it.

The kid at the counter of Carl’s Jr told me that they were closed because of the storm. This seemed pretty odd given that I was just outside and there was definitely no storm. So frustrating as I had waiting all day to get this! And this is the second time that this happened to me in a week! My phone alert for an “imminent tornado” went off as I was getting in the car, but living in Texas these alerts never end, you really don’t think much of them.

So I called and Paul said that I was clear to head west as long as I got moving. The storm shouldn’t get me. So I got back on the road and drove to Canton, where I stopped to hit the Taco Casa there as there were emergency vehicles on the road now, and the rain was getting heavy, and I was afraid of delays on the road. I had had very little caffeine all day, so wanted something to drink in the car. It was a good time to stop.

As I got out of the car I got the “take shelter now” text message from NOAA. But, still it didn’t seem too bad, so I went inside and found the place completely packed with people all watcher the Weather Channel on the televisions there. It turned out that Canton was hit by the tornado as I drove through it and I had missed it by seconds. I looked at pictures on my phone and they looked exactly like the clouds where the tornado crossed the highway. So I had been right next to it and not noticed. Canton was hit pretty heavily, a lot of damage there.

I got a bean burrito while I was there, and a diet Coke and got back on the road. The tornado had already passed through, so no sense in hanging around.

The rest of the drive there was a lot of rain until I got pretty close to Carrollton. So it was a slower drive, almost impossible to see part of the time. It made for a slow trip. It was after seven thirty when I got back. No one was home because they were out picking up the kids from their party. But they got home shortly after I did.

So that made for a little bit of excitement for the day.