Yesterday late afternoon we went from a calm gray day to severe weather. We're fine but due west of us the town of Ottawa got hit hard and Naplatte, Illinois, a community of 550 people, had 50 homes damaged or destroyed. There was one fatality and multiple injuries on top of property damage and they are going to be assessing damage today.
In some ways we're used to these things but when I saw the advisory shift from watch to warning, I went outside to make sure everything in the barn was secure. I could hear in the distance the sound of tornado sirens getting closer. I give NWS credit for this advance warning system. It saves lives.
When our local sirens went off, we went down in the cellar and it's a bit ominous when weather radio warns of a "large and extremely dangerous tornado" that will cause "widespread destruction of property" and "loss of life" adding emphatically that "mobile homes will be destroyed." The cell went north of us and lost rotation by the time it reached our latitude, but our thoughts are with those communities that were hit.