Ashley Mozingo

Hi everyone! My name is Ashley, and I am a stay at home mom to two girls, Paislee, 3 and Keely, 1. My husband is in the Coast Guard, and is currently stationed at a Coast Guard unit on Camp Lejune. We have been married for five years now and have spent two of those years in Alaska, where Paislee was born, and two in Maine, where we had Keely. We were lucky to get stationed here in 2012, and call North Carolina "home". We were both born and raised in different cities in eastern North Carolina, and we are super excited to get to spend some time here with our girls and introduce them to some of our favorite places that we had as children. Before I met my husband, I attended East Carolina University, where I earned my Bachelors Degree in Communications. I have a love for writing, and a huge passion for being a mom, so I am thrilled to have the opportunity to write about my experiences and exciting moments of this rocky ride that we all call 'Motherhood'.

kelly-mulder

Tornado in Jacksonville, NC

Me and the girls the night of the tornado

My favorite club, Stroller Warriors, had a girl’s night out this past Saturday. We knew bad weather was expected but after listening to the news we decided it was probably going to be just a bunch of rain so we held our girls night anyway. I had offered to be the designated driver for anyone on base. I picked everyone up and we headed off base to the home of, Beth, a fellow Stroller Warrior who was hosting a night of fondue and games.

It wasn’t raining when I picked everyone up but minutes later as we were leaving base it started to rain hard. When we hit the bypass the rain was so thick I could only see about two car lengths in front of me. I slowed but continued on through the rain, thankful that my former car was a former car and not my current car. Mustang GTs are not the best in rain, snow and ice and have a tendency to kick the back end out. Years of practice with my mustang however made me a little more confident behind the wheel of my husband’s Chevy Silverado. My friends, however, were not so confident and I could feel the nervous energy in the car. We decided to turn the radio on and listen to the weather but the pouring rain hitting the car made it almost impossible to hear. I turned the radio up as high as it would go just in time to hear that a tractor trailer had been picked up off of the road and turned over. Definitely NOT what you want to hear when you’re in the car driving!

It’s interesting in a time of stress how different people have different reactions. After hearing about the tractor trailer my urge was to keep pushing (another 8-10 minutes) to Beth’s house. My friend’s urge was to pull over under a bridge and wait it out. We saw a bridge with one car under it but it was at the curve in a road and it didn’t feel safe to me so I kept driving despite the screams to pull over.

As we approached New River Air Station we saw a ‘Gentleman’s club’ looming before us. For the first time ever a car full of mothers actually thought about going inside and seeking shelter. Someone commented that with the lack of windows and entire building made out concrete it might be one of the best places to hide from the storm.

Instead we turned into the New River Air Station and Mia called her husband to see where the fall out shelter was. Thankfully the rain let up a little bit while we were waiting and we decided to continue on to Beth’s house. We all arrived safely and had a fun night of playing games and looking at photo albums.

On our way home we saw the damage done to the laundry mat, barber shop, and blockbuster across from Terawa Terrace. Later we learned about the tornado that touched down, the injuries –including a child exactly Nora’s age (23 months), the houses damaged, and the families displaced. Click here to read more about the damage.

While I’m thankful we’re all okay I’m thinking next time I will hunker down with my husband and Nora and leave storm chasing to the professionals.

What’s the worst storm you’ve driven in?

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5 Comments on “Tornado in Jacksonville, NC”

  • Carrie April 18th, 2011 1:15 pm

    Oh wow…did you storm chasers get video? That sounds super-scary…glad everyone’s okay!

  • Kelly Mulder Kelly Mulder April 18th, 2011 2:13 pm

    Hey Carrie,

    I wish we had thought of that! Then you all could get an idea of exactly how scary it was. I was too busy focusing on the road and I think everyone else was praying, lol.

    :) Kelly

  • Sarah Moore April 19th, 2011 8:10 pm

    Hi Kelly,
    Goodness that was much more than I expected, as we usually get nothing but heavy rain when everywhere else gets the big stuff! Glad you guys are ok and you drove your friends to safety, although I would love to have read a blog about the stroller warriors taking over the gentleman’s club (:

  • Brooke Brooke April 19th, 2011 8:27 pm

    Kelly, I am so amused that you guys contemplated going to the gentlemen’s club to seek shelter. I could say so much more, but I will save it!
    I’m amazed that we only got some wind and rain after seeing the destruction in Jacksonville! To be fair, it was more weather than we got with the last “hurricane,” but compared to Piney Green and hwy 24, we got nothing!

  • Kelly Mulder Kelly April 20th, 2011 3:21 pm

    Sarah,

    I know! I certainly wasn’t expecting that either. A friend of mine did the math and we called a friend from New River Air Station at 8:06pm (saying we were about to leave), and a tornado hit New River at 8:08pm. My story could have been a lot worse than it was!

    Brooke,

    I can’t believe we thought about going to the gentleman’s club either! lol. But structually none of those buildings received any damage… I’m really glad you guys got nothing! Garrett/our house didn’t get damaged either. We lost power but that was about it. We are all definitely very lucky!!

    Kelly

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