Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Tornado Tuesday: Dallas TX

This week’s winner of the Venture Out Award goes to my sister, Lisa, who attended a trade show in Dallas last Tuesday. She went there to beat the bushes for new business for Beehive, a marketing agency she runs with her husband, Greg. To say that a typical business trip ballooned into something else is an understatement. As it turns out, this was not just another day walking the show floor. I knew that when Lisa gave me a mid-day ring at work. The conversation went like this:

Laurie: “What’s up?”

Lisa: “I’m on the bottom floor of the Dallas Convention Center with about 40,000 people. They made us come down here. We’re surrounded by tornadoes”.

Laurie: “Uh… whoa… what?”

Lisa: “Oh, wait – they’re giving us instructions …they’re telling us to get away from the windows. I gotta go.”


Trying my best to suppress visions of Hurricane Katrina and the Superdome, I logged onto weather.com and, indeed, the Dallas/Ft. Worth area was blanketed with little red dots. Each one represented a storm cell, and all together they looked like an angry army of red ants marching towards Dallas. The map was accompanied by a "DANGEROUS WEATHER WARNING" that said “LIFE THREATENING SITUATION, SEEK SHELTER IMMEDIATELY”.

Uh …OK.

Later, once I knew everything turned out all right, I shot her an email. Being her bratty younger sister, I couldn’t help but ask if she saw Dorothy or Toto. (And, by the way, where the hell was Glenda the Good Witch of the North when you needed her?)

Here’s her email reply, an eyewitness report from the depths of the Dallas Convention Center:
It’s very interesting to see 40,000 people herded down escalators. They were WAY serious about having us get away from the front windows and into the bowels of the hallways where the private meeting rooms are.

I didn’t see Toto - but I did see everyone watching the weather channel on their phones, and the convention center was a dot in the middle of the screen. And there was one storm cell right to the East maybe a couple of miles, and also to the West, which is where the storms come from as they move Northeast. There was – no lie – about a hundred miles of red storm cells… and at that point I knew we were pretty much on the path of something.

And then they had the weather channel on a big screen TV, where it showed 18 wheelers being tossed around and I thought "no big deal" ...UNTIL they showed a long shot of one of the twisters, from probably 2 miles away… and it was friggin' HUGE........not one of those half mile wide jobs, but the next step down.

Anyway… I think i'll facebook this. : D

Dallas Convention Center