Zips Drive-In on Francis felt like the epicenter of Friday’s storm in Spokane. The thunder rumbled and the lightning seemed to strike directly in front of my car. Each blinding blast of light looked closer than the last. 

All I wanted was a three-piece chicken with fries and a root-beer float, but I wasn’t sure I would live to enjoy the meal. I was certain I was about to experience what my Sonicare toothbrush feels when I plug it in at night; a charge of electricity. Bzzt! Bzzt!

You must think I sound like a jumpy fraidy cat, but I want to assure you that… I am. At least I was during this light show.

Eventually, I got my food and hit the road to salvation. Or so I thought. Turns out, the rain was coming so hard and so fast, that Francis Avenue was flooding. There was no avoiding it, so like everyone else, I slowly motor-boated through the newly formed lake. The potholes felt like sinkholes about to swallow the car.

When I pulled into the driveway of my sanctuary, it was with my rear bumper lodged under the front of the car, damaged, somehow, by the floodwater, and explaining why the last quarter mile of my trip sounded like the inside of a uterus; a loud wall of swirling sound, with me a crying baby inside.

Photo: Dan Roberts
Photo: Dan Roberts

Weird night. And it gets weirder.

Tornadoes, as rare as a road with no potholes in Spokane, had touched down in the area. Two of them. Twin terrors. One in Airway Heights, and one in the Spokane Valley

Trailers were tossed (tornadoes hate trailers), trees toppled and homes were damaged.

Perhaps worst of all, the Spokane Indians game was suspended, because, well... Look!

Tornadoes, flooding, and tiny hail pebbles. This is Spokane? In May?!

It’s a storm folks will be talking about for some time. At least until the next celebrity scandal, or cute puppy video. And by some miracle, there were no reported injuries.

But if you think that storm was something, you should’ve tasted my root-beer float. It was extra good that night. Maybe because, after surviving the chaos and destructive power of mother nature, I had earned it.

Photo by Lance Anderson on Unsplash
Photo by Lance Anderson on Unsplash

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