Hey, It's Jade!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

10 Years Ago Today?!?! No way...

(Sorry if this post contains major typos, run-on sentences, etc.; I'm typing as fast as I can before Callen wakes up...)
Ten years ago, on this date.... this happened in Downtown Fort Worth:
The monster!
Or as we called it "Twister 2000"!

I remember it pretty vividly.  It had been a strange day, everyone in my part of the office was in a crazy mood - like hyper crazy.  We had just gotten a shipment in of office supplies that was just for us (we were always having to borrow from other places) and since we finally had our own "office" apart from everyone else, we were really excited that things were coming together.  And along with the office supplies we had also got a big tub of peppermints... for some reason we were really happy about that.  At one point someone looked outside and was like "Dude, it's really green out there" and we all took notice, but thought nothing of it.  It wasn't raining or stormy looking or anything.  Then, just a little while later there were shouts and the sound of stamped or something right outside our door (which was closed)... what the heck?  Andy opened the door and looked out and saw everyone in the other office running for the exit (without notifying us, thanks guys), and he looked out the window and saw the tornado coming at the building.  He yelled something about us needing to get out of there.  I grabbed my bag and ran for the stairwell along with everyone else.  Just as we closed the stairwell door behind us, the building began to shake - it hit!  Because everyone in the other office had already started down the stairs, we were stuck behind this one guy who was... uh, rather large and had a bum leg... so, going down the stairs was rather slow.  As we were headed down the stairs, a huge crack ran up the wall, it was crazy to see.  The whole time I think I was in shock, 'cause I wasn't really scared or hysterical (like most of the other girls running down the stairs)... I couldn't believe it was happening.  As we were running down the stairs, my wise-cracking co-worker remarked "Aww, man, we shoulda saved the peppermints!!!" and we all busted out laughing.  We got to the bottom of floor, the basement, and by that time the tornado was passed... a pipe had burst and the floor started filling with water so we had to go back up to the first floor.  I remember when we came out of the stairwell having no idea where I was, even though I took those stairs all the time and knew where they came out.  But I could see outside 'cause the windows were broken out and part of the building was missing.  It wasn't until we were exiting out the MAIN doors that I realized they WERE the main doors and the lobby.  The first thing I saw when I walked outside was a car thrown up against a tree, then I looked over at the church ( Calvary Cathedral) across the street and the walls of their prayer tower were completely missing but their steeple was still standing strong.  I saw the Bank One building deeper in the city looking all jagged and messed up.  We went to look for our cars which were no longer exactly were we parked them, but the rain started coming down and it was this nasty, stinging rain.  I remember someone saying we should walk towards the city, but seeing the buildings all in shambles ahead of us, some of us convinced the rest it was a bad idea 'cause of the falling glass.  We ended up going across the street to the church, 'cause some people were just outside their door and said their hallway was safe.  So, we went over there to get out of the rain and figure out what to do (our cell phones weren't working - and hardly any of our cars were in working order either).  After what seemed like just a few minutes to me, I suddenly heard my mom calling my name down the hallway... she had seen where the tornado hit on the news and knew it was our building (my mom worked at the same place I did, only she had gone home earlier in the day)... her and my dad had got in the truck and drove through the city before the tornado was even done.  My mom was hysterical of course (I am her only daughter), so I had to calm her down - which was funny 'cause I was the one who had just gone through all that.  We loaded up my co-workers in the truck and took everyone home.  One of the guys lived in Arlington, and there had been tornadoes reported in his neighborhood too, we were all crackin' jokes about how it was his fault - mother nature went after his job and his house, luckily his neighborhood was fine.  The next day we went to check the damage of my car and see the building in the daylight, this is what we saw...
 The red circle is the office I worked in.
 
I'm pretty sure that last photo is where I usually parked, but that day all the spaces were full and I had to park in the main lot... so my car fared slightly better than that, but was still totaled just the same.
When we went back the next morning the FBI was out in full force.  They had an office in that building and a lot of their paperwork had gotten blown away... there was tons of papers floating in the river (right behind our building) and stuff had gotten blown into our cars... so they wouldn't allow us take anything till they completed their clean up and whatnot.  There was a large chunk of marble from the building in my car... I kept it as a souvenir... heh.
Funny story:  One of my college History books had been in my car and it was water-logged and had shards of glass in it.  I took it to the buy back with all my other books at the end of the year, and 'cause they were going so fast, they didn't look it over that well - totally bought it back!  Next semester I went to sell some books back and there was a huge sign that said "If your book looks like it's been through a tornado we will not accept it!" (or something like that)... I like to think that was all 'cause of me.  HAHA!

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