Alex Pappas, Waffle House Cup Gift Survive Christmas Tornado

Fretting a natural disaster isn’t the ideal way to celebrate a large part of Christmas day, but it’s how The Daily Caller‘s Alex Pappas celebrated his.

Yesterday evening a tornado warning was issued for parts of Mobile, Ala., Pappas’ hometown and where he spent the holiday. About 40 minutes after retweeting the warning at 5:20 p.m., Pappas tweeted, “We can see tornado in midtown Mobile.”

He told FishbowlDC, “It was probably four or five blocks away when we saw it.” Pappas had just returned from a day at the beach.

Pictured above is the tornado taken by one of Pappas’ neighbors.

After the tornado had passed, Pappas tweeted that he and his family (15 people total) were fine but the power was out. He saw some people exit their homes holding martini glasses.

Pappas and other neighbors then went next door to a home powered by a generator. “In Mobile, we’re used to hurricanes,” Pappas said. “Not until this Christmas had we ever experienced a tornado. Thankful everyone is OK and my Waffle House coffee cup Santa brought me survived.”

Last we heard, Pappas was on a flight back to Washington.

After the disaster, he posted a full account of what happened to his Facebook…The post:

“We’re all safe, but the Pappas family’s Christmas evening in Mobile will stand out among the others:

“At about 4:30 this afternoon, we came home to midtown after spending Christmas day at the beach. We knew the area was under a tornado watch, and that the Weather Channel’s Jim Cantore was in Mobile. That’s never a good sign. Nor was the fact that I could hear sirens when we got home.

“The rest happened rather quickly. I can’t really remember all the details exactly — it’s all a blur — but at about 5 o’clock, Breck and I heard tornado-like sounds outside. The lights then flickered. The power went out. Breck and I — doing exactly what you’re not supposed to do in this situation — ran outside to our front porch. The sky was dark, and it was clear: A very large tornado was in front of us and appeared to be going through midtown Mobile, just blocks away from our house on Reed Avenue.

“We ran inside, screaming the news to the rest of the family. After briefly debating where we should go for shelter — this is the first time we’ve experienced a tornado here — the family gathered inside the bathroom. Moments later, the skies lightened up and the sounds of the storm were gone. The whole family ran outside. Neighbors were in their yards too, pointing towards the north and speculating that it was heading towards Mobile Infirmary. Some were shaken up — one neighbor sped off in his truck in search of family members who driving near the apparent path at the time of the storm. (That neighbor now says everyone is OK). Other neighbors, whose happy hour was clearly interrupted by the storm, lightened the mood by coming outside to survey the damage with martinis in hand.

“Emergency crews said the worst of the storm was in midtown, around the Loop and Trinity Church. That’s about 3 or 4 blocks or so away from our house.

“Power is still out, but our next door neighbor has a generator running and invited a bunch of us to come over. Everyone is gathered around the TV, trying to glean any information we can. Murphy High School, a few blocks away, apparently was hit hard. Lots of rumors — such as the false one that Trinity was destroyed — are circulating. Mark Kent, a former Mobile Press-Register reporter who lives across the street, also came by and told us he walked by the church. It’s damaged, he said, but not destroyed.

“Everyone is still on edge: the sirens were roaring again after the weather service reported another tornado in Mobile County. Luckily, it doesn’t appear to be near us.

“Here’s to hoping everyone in midtown is OK, we get out power back and can resume some sort of Christmas day normalcy…”