Monday, September 27, 2010

It's a Very Blustery Day, Pooh.

Hang on, Toto, we're back in Kansas!  This is the unusual cloud that loomed over the K-State/Central Florida game in Manhattan on Saturday.  As we awaited kickoff, marble-sized raindrops began to fall sporadically so I ran to the stadium store to get rain ponchos for all of us.  Darn that weatherman, anway!  Absolutely no mention of rain in the forecast I read so we were unprepared for a thunderstorm.  Two minutes into the game - while I was waiting in line with 27,000 other rain-gear-less fans - the powers-that-be called a 30-minute lightning delay.  "How sweet," I thought "They are protecting the players and staff by taking them into the locker rooms, and leaving 50,000 fans sitting on metal bleachers." 

But I grumbled in haste.  Shortly the announcer's voice requested that fans leave the stadium and seek shelter, and that the basketball collesium next door was available.  The stands emptied quickly as one herd headed for the basketball facility and another stampeded for their vehicles in the parking lot - and the leftover tailgating goodies/beer.  Since our car was parked in a friend's driveway about six blocks away that option wasn't practical for us. Besides, eyeing the rotation in the black sky, we chose to stay close to a building rather than sit in a hunk of potential debris.  Just "close" to a building, mind you, not actually in it unless it became frightfully necessary. (And, no, avoiding spending time crammed like sardines with nervous strangers doesn't mean I have claustrophobia issues.  Why do you ask?)  

 We donned our pretty purple ponchos (trash bags with hoods) and watched the storm approach.  That's Amanda in the center, Mitch hiding his embarrassing rainwear behind Amanda and friend, Madison, and Dave on the right. Soon the rotating cloud dissolved into a solid gray sky - alleving our tornado concerns - but the raindrops moved from sporadic to torrential downpour, so we took cover under the patio awning of the stadium store - wedging between racks of sale items with a couple dozen other holdouts and assorted idiots who failed to take shelter where chairs and bathrooms were available.

For nearly an hour we stood in a rapidly moving river of rainwater, chatting with our fellow idiots, strategically positioning ourselves to let the racks of clothes take the brunt of the rain rather than our legs.   (I suspect there will be some good bargains on water-spotted t-shirts.)  Thank heaven for sandals - my feet may have been cold while standing in the river, but at least they dried quickly, unlike the guys who spent the rest of the day in soggy shoes and socks.

Typical for a Kansas cloudburst, the rain stopped as abruptly as it began and when the all-clear was given the herds moseyed back to their now-drenched seats. One of our ponchos gave it's life to become a seat cover so we could avoid wet tushes.  Kudos to KSU for handling the situation so efficiently and getting everyone under cover - at least those with sense enough to come in out of the rain. By half-time the drizzle had stopped, the sun was shining, the rain gear was off and we cheered K-State on to a 17-13 victory.  Go Cats!


  1. Wow - I heard about the storm clouds! Unbelievable!! Once you see that rotation - it is something you won't soon forget - thankfully you were all kept safe!

  2. Those clouds look freaky!! I'd have been scared just by those in the pictures - rotating would have sent me straight into panic!! Glad everything worked out ok!

  3. You gotta be brave to live where such forces of nature gather. Those photos are absolutely awesome - and as close as I ever want to get to the real thing. Glad you were rewarded with a victory!

  4. I heard about that storm --- we had hardly anything here on Saturday.

    Your cloud pictures are stunning!

  5. Your pictures are amazing. I've never seen anything like that. I showed my husband the top picture and he was happy to see a bit of his old alma mater. Thanks.

  6. Just to be up front - I did not take any of these pictures. These all came from other fans who shared. But, I agree, they sure are amazing!