It was about 3 p.m., and I was in someone's office, getting something signed off, getting things ready for the Big Audit, and I noticed the sky was nearly black to the west. My first thought was actually "fucking Daylight Savings," as it makes absolutely no sense for us to be on New York time when Chicago is RIGHT. THERE. but probably about five minutes later, I heard the sirens going off outside, and then one of the "sheriff"-type people got on the PA and demanded we go down to the tornado-safe hallways. He also said that a tornado has been spotted in the area, which I later learned wasn't true.
My co-workers and I spent the next hour in the lab hallways, waiting out the tornado warning. It became reeeeeeally warm in this hallway, and after a while I felt like I was going nuts. We were all but locked in these hallways by our security/emergency team, and I didn't want to get in trouble, but... I wanted to see the storm, for one thing, and I couldn't sit in all that body heat anymore. So I crept around a turn in the hallway and saw 3-4 people checking out the storm from a side door. Relief!
By the time the storm was over, we'd had one funnel cloud near the mall (five minutes from my house), one about ten minutes northwest of my work building, and an unofficial (i.e., the National Weather Service hasn't confirmed it on its little "funnel cloud/tornado interactive map" thingie) one near an intersection no more than two minutes from my work building.
I got to this side door at a good time to see some action.
|Shortly after I took this picture, the hail started, and the sideways rain was so dense I couldn't see the trees (also pictured) on the other side of the parking lot.|
|Driving home after work, I saw a lot of minor damage like this.|
|And minor flooding like this. If I were still driving my low-to-the-ground coupe, this might have been a little more serious, though.|
EDIT: For anyone who came here looking for a better post, check out one of my kittens playing with string: