Thursday, April 14, 2011

A Fun Drive Home

On Monday, April 11th, around 5:15, I was just getting ready to wrap up a small project when I realized it was REALLY windy outside.  About the same time I was thinking that thought, my boss walked up and said, "We're under a tornado warning.  Wanna go downstairs?"  Yes, I did want to go downstairs.  So we walked down 3 flights of stairs and into the interior area of the building and waited the storm out.   After about 10 minutes, we went back upstairs and I finished up my little project and packed up to leave.  It was about 6pm and still raining, but there were no tornado warnings at this time.
I got into my wonderful car and began the journey north to Ridgetop.  About 4 miles from work, I looked up and in the distance, I saw a "tenrdil" from a cloud spinning...well, duh, it was a tornado.  Now, it was WAY up high and I watched it for a few seconds (between peeks at the road so I wouldn't wreck).  It was pretty interesting, especially because it posed no real danger to anyone at that time. 

Not the real tornado I saw, but similar
After about 7 seconds, it swirled back into the cloud that spawned it and was gone.  I thought that was a pretty neat sight and was actually relieved it was gone. 
As I passed under that same cloud a few minutes later, the highway message sign read:
So I tuned to local media on the radio and all I heard was music.  I switched stations 30 times and still just heard music.  So I just kept driving.  It was just raining and the wind was blowing and I really just wanted to get home.  I lucked out and found a semi driving at a decent speed to follow for awhile.  I was really sad when he decided to veer off on I-24 north of town.
So as I am trying not to get killed by driving at a safe speed, my wonderful car hydroplaned!  At 45 MPH!  I really was quite stunned.  I have owned a VW Passat since 2001 and driven in really crappy weather and never hydroplaned, especially going 45MPH.  There was just SO much water on the road that the tires decided to ski!
Shortly after this little situation was corrected, a semi passed me and either the wind blew him too hard or HE hydroplaned, but he started over into my lane and it took a good bit for him to recover.
Luckily, the lane to my right was clear during both of these incidents and I made it home safe and sound. 
Stay tuned - we're supposed to get some more storms on Friday!  I just might have some more exciting tales to tell!  :)


  1. Scary! I would have stayed in the basement!

  2. WOW!!! Just read this. I don't like hydroplaining ANYTIME at any speed. DId that once going around Atlanta. Not fun.