So, this was my Sunday.
....at roughly 2pm out the back door at work.
We are to the right of Party City.
It was a marvelous time, let me tell you.
I think what left the greatest impression on me was how quickly and quietly it all happened. I've always heard that an approaching tornado sounds like a charging freight train, but that was not the case with our buddy. Our store faces south, and the sky was mostly bright and scattered with clouds at the time. If a customer walking in hadn't mentioned the funnel, or if a coworker's husband hadn't called at the same moment to warn us, we would have known nothing of it until the baseball-sized hail started crashing into our roof and our breakaway front doors blew in. I suddenly felt like we were huddling in a shack with a tin roof.
Fortunately, the damage to the mall was relatively minimal- it seems that the tornado hopped around, did intensely focused damage in a handful of spots from northwest to southeast, and mostly left people alone.
It didn't leave Katie's window alone.
Window screen from apartments a quarter of a mile away.
Each store has a cinder block wall that hides its dumpster. Dress Barn's wall got stomped on. And its dumpster has a new life as a twisted tin can in a nearby field.
Oddly enough, we stuck around for three more hours because of conflicting orders from policemen, firemen, excel men, and mall management. I think they finally kicked us out because of all the charming "looky loos" flocking to the news vans.
Next time on As The World Market Turns: thoughts on people who insist on shopping 10 minutes after a tornado has left shrapnel and gas leaks in its wake.