It’s rainy season in Honduras. The rains come every day, typically in the afternoon and through the night. Our Jeep home is built well for rain, so it isn’t much bother. But we were caught off guard just a few days ago, when a tornado formed near our camp without warning. The result was disastrous:
This was the first time we’ve ever been through something like this and tried to film at the same time. Since we were in genuine danger from the live power lines and standing water in our field, we decided we couldn’t waste valuable minutes setting up a camera. I wish we had footage of the damage and our drive across the field with the tent open, but hopefully you can use your imagination.
If you prefer to read our Honduras tornado story, then here it is.
It was a hot day and we’d made camp near Pulhapanazak Falls. We’d been watching the weather, so we knew it was going to rain around 4 p.m. For the daily rains, we keep our awning out to provide cover if we need to putter around camp and put most of our things inside the Jeep in case the ground gets wet (as it often does). Because I’d been so hot and we were camped away from the other guests at the falls, I decided to put out our Alu-Cab Shower Cube and take a shower in the rain.
My rain shower was a lot of fun and I was taking my time. At first there wasn’t enough rain to get wet or rinse, but eventually it was coming down like I expected it would.
Just a few minutes after Eric handed me a towel and went inside the Jeep, things got crazy. The wind picked up. Even though I was standing outside the door of our habitat, squarely under the awning, the rain was whipping against my legs. Caspian shouted the inside of the Jeep was getting wet, as the wind sent the rain inside the open door. So I jumped inside.
I couldn’t shut the door because the wind was forcing it to stay open. At that moment, a giant gust of wind came through and our awning went up in the air like a sail. Eric said he had to get back outside to secure it and I hopped back out to help him.
There was nothing we could do. It looked like a giant had taken the main arm of the awning and bent it up 90 degrees against the tent. For anyone who has an Alu-Cab Shadow Awning, you know how well-built they are. We’ve had ours out in sustained winds with no issues. It was a freak gust of wind that did this, and the damage was done.
We turned our attention to our surroundings. Large tree branches had come down, one mere feet from the Jeep. Since we were parked under power wires, I was worried another branch would bring the wires down onto the Jeep. “We’re in danger,” I told Eric. “We have to move.”
With the tent open and Caspian sitting in the bed of the Jeep, Eric moved us away from the wires. But as we reevaluated the situation, we realized we were now standing in water above our ankles. In fact, the whole field had become a pond of standing water. Across the field, a tree had fallen onto the power wires there. But the light was still on.
“The wires are live,” I pointed out. Time to get out of the field.
Tent deployed, awning jacked up against it, little Caspian bravely situated in the back with all the doors closed, Eric moved us to a gravel area. I walked alongside to watch the tent/awning and make sure we were clear.
And then we were safe. We found out the next morning the “freak gust” of wind had been a tornado in the area. We share footage of it in our YouTube video above. Overall, we are so grateful our family is safe. And even though our awning is not reparable right now, our home is intact. It could’ve been so much worse.
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