Saturday, March 15, 2008


It’s unusual for a tornado to strike at the heart of a big city, but it does happen. I remember incidents when tornadoes hit downtown Miami and Fort Worth. And let’s not forget Oklahoma City, where tornadoes strike with “Dog Bites Man” frequency. But last night, it was Atlanta’s turn:
The storm hit the most prominent section of downtown Atlanta, which includes major attractions such as CNN, the Georgia Dome, the Georgia World Congress Center, the Georgia Aquarium and the new World of Coca-Cola that are clustered around Centennial Olympic Park, which was built for the 1996 Summer Olympics.
I normally don’t spend a lot of time downtown, but just two nights prior, I had been at Philips Arena with a handful of friends, watching the Houston Rockets extend their winning streak to 20 by thrashing the Atlanta Hawks.

(Thrashing may be too strong a word. The Hawks actually acquitted themselves well, but after taking an early lead and being up a point at the half, they melted down in the last three minutes. Ah, well.)

Now the whole area where we traipsed around getting from parking lot to dinner to the Arena is trashed. Demolished. It looks like a war zone. Gaaaah.

The St. Patrick’s Day Parade was to have been today, its observance moved up a couple of days to avoid celebrating it during Holy Week. But now? Fuhgeddaboudit.

Mississippi State and the University of Alabama were playing over at the Georgia Dome, but the game was halted after the storm blew part of the roof in. Oy.

But as much as I feel like I dodged a bullet, how about Gilad, the Mistress’s friend, who was enroute from Savannah to Nashville with a planned stop at our place? He cruised through downtown Atlanta just moments before the storm hit. He’s in our guest room even now, sleeping the happy sleep of someone who doesn’t know that he just had a Close Call.

Timing is everything, I tell ya.

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