Rip tide in the sky

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 For those of you in tornado alley or in areas that get these storms you will recognize the shape and colors in these photos.  My first ever, we have had a tornado "watch" here before, but not WARNINGS. We are in another one right now.  But I was able to get these first images as the clouds came pummeling in...

 

 

 

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I've often wondered how our guests would react to 'having to go down the the 'cellar' during a tornado warning! Fortunately we have never had guests here when we have had the warnings. I guess they'd just be glad for a safe place to be.

Has anyone else ever had to "shelter" guests from a tornado??

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Innkeep's picture
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Sunshine wrote:

I've often wondered how our guests would react to 'having to go down the the 'cellar' during a tornado warning! Fortunately we have never had guests here when we have had the warnings. I guess they'd just be glad for a safe place to be.

Has anyone else ever had to "shelter" guests from a tornado??

I live in tornado alley. I have had guests a couple of times with tornado warnings. One night at about 1am the tornado siren went off. Fortunately the guests were fellow Hoosiers so they knew the drill. We all sat in the living room tuned into the local tv station. The weather radar is so good now that you can see the rotation of the clouds and wind speeds at various levels so we could watch the bad weather march across the state. Although we talked about going to the basement between looking out the window and watching the weather radar we made it fine.

Needless to say, the local news crews are amazingly responsive. Bad weather always interrupts regularly scheduled programs or gets the weatherman out of bed.

Last month a couple checked in during a tornado warning that was pretty much state-wide and resulted in several very destructive tornados in the southern part of the state. So my tour of the inn included how to get to the basement as well as where to meet up after the storm. Neither time did the storms materialize, but knowing how destructive they can be, we do take time to make sure guests know how to be as safe as possible.

Our state B&B association requires having the location of the fire extinguishers posted in each room, so I've used the same notice to explain about tornados and how to get to the basement. My notice says something like "in case of a tornado warning the best place to be is in another state." Then I give the instructions about the difference between a watch and a warning, and checking weather radar on tv and how to get to the basement. From a statistical standpoint weather for us is as risky as fire...

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Innkeep wrote:

 My notice says something like "in case of a tornado warning the best place to be is in another state."

 

I'm on the fringe of tornado alley- - and I think your comment is awesome!

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05/22/2008

My guests last night came through there with a horse trailer yesterday. They apologized for arriving so late (9 PM at the Interstate for escort to the stable) but the hail slowed them down.

My lady from last year with the blown tires on her horse trailer told them about was - said they MUST stay here. This morning gave Mom & daughter a to-go breakfast in a shopping bag, the smallest bag I had. It had 2 bottles of water, a zip bag of canteloupe, blackberries, blueberries, and kiwi, some baby carrots, a baggie of blueberry muffins, sausage, and 2 rectangles (each) of sour cream & chives with 3 cheese egg bake on English muffin bread. I included foam plates & bowls, plastic cutlery, napkins, and a .5 oz bottle of hand cleaner. All the food not in zip bags was wrapped in wax paper so they could nuke it to warm it up if they wanted. They had their juice here and fixed their coffee (Maui this morning) and tea to go. The daughter competes in this event every year - I may have picked up another regular (I hope).

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 I saw alot of this when living in the flatlands of Ohio. Scary watching them and hoping they don't form and come down. I remember on day I was driving to OSU on Rt. 23 and the hooks were everywhere!! I kept eyeing the ditches on the side of the road thinking I would have to do something if they actually came on the ground. So scary!

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 Catlady, I experienced the same thing living in Iowa for 4 years. Scary!!   I remember one storm that did not touch down but spawned hail the size of golf balls, which decimated the local greenhouses and dented all the cars!  If Climate Change predictors are correct we should expect higher energy storms of all types in the future.   Makes a storm basement sound pretty appealing! 

Here in the NE we get plenty of lead time for a hurricane and have discouraged guests from staying during the storm. Last year we actually refunded one night to all guests to get them to leave before the storm.  It was an expensive refund but totally worth it not to worry about their safety and comfort.  In fact they all left 2 days early so we split the difference of the refund.  We ended up without power for 5 days from that storm, but with no guests (We were closed that week due to family obligations.) we only had our own comfort to worry about.

 

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Madeleine's picture
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09/29/2011

We have done that, too. But, last year had guests who thought it was all over at 5 AM when the winds really blew. No, it hit just as one of them was in the shower (past checkout time!) and I was quite happy the power went out so they had to get their butts out the door.

My end of town usually loses power in wind storms of any intensity so I send guests 2 blocks away where they are on a different grid that doesn't lose power ever (that we've noticed).

It's very stressful having guests in the house when the weather is bad. We lost power from the snow storm in Oct and ended up paying everyone to go out for breakfast. One couple demanded a full refund because the power was out. Because guests can be such jerks about things we have no control over I would rather they were elsewhere.

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Silverspoon's picture
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I totally agree, Madeleine.  It sounds like we have a lot in common, both with our general environment and type of guests.  There are some zip codes that make me cautious because many of our PITAs seem to come from there.  On the other hand you just can't tell...After last summers hurricane we got fabulous reviews from two sets of guests who got one-night refunds although they left 2 nights early due to the storm.  Our policy clearly states that we do not refund for early departures so they were all pleasantly surprised to receive at least half of a refund!  

Like you, we lose our water when the power goes out...I am chuckling about the broad who was late checking out and got stuck in the shower.  Sometimes there is justice!!  

 

Madeleine's picture
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No real justice. The water is gravity fed so it keeps running. There was plenty of hot water. And, because it was 11 AM she didn't even notcie the lights went out. I was trying to explain it to her husband who was standing around chatting about how that wasn't such a bad hurricane. He wasn't getting it either. What's the big deal when it's daytime and the power is out? They all have cell phones for internet and email and news and weather, no big deal.

What we lose is heat and eventually hot water. And coffee. There is no coffee without electricity. We do have a generator but we only run the furnace with it. We don't want the house to freeze. But it's not connected, so it requires getting it out of the shed and dragging it over to the house, wiring the furnace into it and then listening to it for hours.

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 Yes, I know what you mean...the sound of those generators is enough to drive you nuts!  We also have a portable generator but the last time DH fired it up was for Hurricane Bob in August of 1991.  It kept the food from spoiling but we didn't take a chance to hook it up to the well.  We haven't had a really bad Nor'easter, with power loss for more than a few hours in the winter but if we do, we could be in trouble since the generator has been just sitting there for 20 years!  

Makes me believe in the power of prayer.  

gillumhouse's picture
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05/22/2008

Wow. Amazing how something as terrible could have such beauty to it. Fortunarely all the "warnings" I went through in Illinois did not hit us. Caught the tail winds of one in Okla once - it jack-knifed our car & camper. While in high school in Ohio, a twister took out a huge tree in front of a house a block away, then lifted as it came up the street we lived on (I guess because it touched nothing there) and when it got to the last trailer on the street, it lifted the trailer off its blocks and then gently put it down about 3 feet off the blocks before going down the Ohio River. Weird. 

I am glad you are OK. there is no rhyme or reason to the way they react.

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