Reflections: Tornadoes in Texas part 2, a librarian’s point of view
Yesterday, I was at work when tornadoes started ripping through Dallas, Texas. I live and work in the Dallas area. The sirens went off and we had to get all of our patrons to shelter. There we stood in the designated hallway and stared at one another. Thankfully school wasn’t out yet and we were fairly slow. As the storms moved on we went back to business as usual to a degree, but still had the emergency radio on because there may have been more coming. I sat at my desk when they announced that a tornado had just touched down in my hometown and gave a highway location which was the exact exit I take to go home. In that moment I was no longer a librarian but a mom with tears streaming down her face and an anxious beat in her heart. I drive less
than 2 minutes down the road to my house, my 3rd grader was at school on that road. My husband was home with our 3 year old. The phone lines were all jammed or down. At one point a text message had gone through before the storm announcement and I knew that my house was already without power. I had no idea what was happening with my family or how to find out. I was so used to finding out what I needed to know right away and here when it mattered most, I couldn’t. All my technology failed me. As soon as it was clear I rushed home and into the storm.
As I drove down the freeway there were about 20 police cars with flashing lights on the road ahead of me. Traffic was almost at a stand still. The sky was black, it looked like 2 more funnel clouds were forming, and lightning periodically lit up the sky. I thought to myself for a brief moment that this must be what the beginning of the apocalypse would look like. I drove by where a business lay now in a pile of broken wood. I cried.
I was finally able to make it to my daughter at school at 5 pm (the tornado hit a little after 3). We rushed home and found my husband, my 3 year old, my house all fine. The girls cried. We sat in the dark. We turned off all our technology to help preserve the battery life. We would later learn that just 1.47 miles from where my daughter sat in school with her head covered, 20 houses were ravaged by the tornado. Just 2.2 miles from our home a whole subidivision was ripped to shreds. Our friends were in the dentists office when the tornado came through it, sucking all of the air out of the room. Everyone there is fine, though perhaps even more afriad to go to the dentist then the rest of us.
Read a teen’s point of view about the tornadoes here.
About Karen Jensen, MLS
Karen Jensen has been a Teen Services Librarian for almost 30 years. She created TLT in 2011 and is the co-editor of The Whole Library Handbook: Teen Services with Heather Booth (ALA Editions, 2014).
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