WPC: A Rare Sight–Two Tornadoes

Suddenly, as rare things will, it vanished.~Elizabeth Barrett Browning

On Saturday afternoon several tornadoes touched down in our area–a very rare and fearful sight–arriving just in time for this week’s photo challenge.   The warning sirens outside and inside our apartment building drove us down into the basement.  (Sorry to disappoint you if you were expecting shots of a tornado,  but I’m not a daring and intrepid photographer who chases them in my car or goes out on the roof as the vortex nears!)  Neighbors joined us in the basement, as well as a dozens of visitors from the hotel on the first few floors of our building, including a very nervous bride and groom and their wedding party.  They were already dressed in sequined gowns and black tuxedos and were waiting for the storm to pass so they could finish taking their wedding photos before the ceremony.

Fierce winds and torrential rain lashed the city for a good half hour.  Then, just as suddenly, the rain stopped and the sky cleared.  We took a walk outside checking for damage.  Fortunately, two tornadoes had passed over us a few miles to the north and south.  The sky was still turbulent, but patches of blue poked through.

Sky Over Grand Rapids. Shot with a Canon 70D.

Sky Over Grand Rapids. Shot with a Canon 70D.

A few wedding parties dashed outside to take pictures on the iconic Blue Bridge–a local landmark.  We saw three wedding couples and their entourage on the bridge within the next half hour.

The Wedding After the Storm. Shot with a Canon 70D.

The Wedding After the Storm. Shot with a Canon 70D.

One of the bridesmaids couldn’t resist a friendly pat on the flank of an agreeable horse pulling a buggy.

Couldn't Resist. Shot with a Canon 70D.

Couldn’t Resist. Shot with a Canon 70D.

In front of the Gerald Ford Museum, I took a shot of a statue of an astronaut.  In the helmet, you can see a reflection of  a “mini me” and the storm clouds starting to gather again.

A Selfie at the Gerald Ford Museum. Shot with a Canon 70D.

A Selfie at the Gerald Ford Museum. Shot with a Canon 70D.

Determined musicians were playing jazz in Rosa Parks Circle when the rain started to fall again, scattering the crowd.

Grand Jazz. After the Tornado. Shot with a Canon 70D

Grand Jazz. After the Tornado. Shot with a Canon 70D

We were fortunate, but areas just to the north and south weren’t.   A few homes were destroyed and thousands are without power, but thankfully, no lives were lost.

Wishing you all lots of sunshine and clear skies this week!

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22 replies »

  1. I have family in mid-Michigan, so when my boyfriend woke up to tell me the news of the tornados, I was pretty worried! I remember a tornado actually touched down on our farm once and blew down one of our older barns, and I somehow managed to sleep through the whole thing! That first shot of the sky over Grand Rapids is absolutely incredible, and the other pictures are really great, too. Such wonderful colors! Glad to know that so many people stayed safe!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Karen. Yes, I was thinking the same thing! We met the father of the bride in the elevator right after the “all clear” sounded. He looked a bit drained and stressed. He said they would certainly never forget this day. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. We both lived to tell the tale. It’s funny the compulsion I felt to share what I went through, though I too was not really in danger. But you don’t know it until it’s over. It’s a horrible feeling to wait to find out if it’s going to hit or not.

    Liked by 1 person

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