Funnel, Debris, Tornado

Today I went to McDonald’s and had my 5th Annual Tornado Commemorative Filet-O-Fish sandwich a couple of days early. I Instagrammed it and shared it with Facebook and this brought several folks out of the closet who liked one of those things every so often.

I promised I’d share the reason behind this strange ritual of mine and here it is.

Simple, really. April 27, 2011 was the day of the most violent, sustained tornado outbreak I had ever experienced. It took hundreds of lives throughout the Southeast. I lived in Huntsville, Alabama, a frequent target of tornadoes anyway.  The morning started with sirens and did not stop until the evening. Of course, the ham radio folks were on the case.

Not a drill, that’s for sure. The warnings kept coming, the storms kept racing through, and by the end of the day north Alabama had been struck by multiple tornadoes. Hundreds died in the the surrounding area, hundreds more lost homes, and the city had plunged into darkness. Utility crews said that the power had been cut by the storms as expertly as if a military force were to lay siege. to the city.

It would be over a week before power would be restored.  The day after the storms everybody was looking for gas, food, lodging. I drove around, filled up the tank at a station south of the city and ended up outside of nearby Decatur.  Near the Priceville interstate 65 exit there stood a curiously functioning McDonald’s. While most of Decatur was without power this fast food joint was on a line coming from a grid coming from Birmingham, 90 miles away.  With no deliveries expected for days, all they had was a dwindling supply of food, and by the time I arrived all they had were fries and their Filet-O-Fish sandwich. So I had one. Never tasted better.  And I’ve had one every year at this time.  That’s all.

Meanwhile on Facebook, some of my former WEGL radio colleagues are confessing their liking for them that is both kinds of funny, if you know what I mean. 🙂

Watch the skies, everyone, and stay safe.