Kevin sat in the office of the head meteorologist, rubbing his eyes. The press conference did not go as bad as he would have thought. However the real work began. Already reports were showing that the storm intensified as soon as it entered the Basin, which was rather unheard of. Then again, storms of this magnitude in L.A were also unheard of. He parted his fingers to watch the TV, currently turned to Fox News.
"Greetings, I'm Sharon Stefani. Los Angeles is still reeling from yesterdays devastating tornado outbreak. Already FEMA is planning a response, but is held up with an almost complete isolation of the city, as the majority of the routes into the city and surrounding county are currently blocked up. With a death toll climbing into the hundred thousands at least, this has already been paired up to 2005's Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. Unfortunately the dead also include the Mayor, the Councilmen, the Fire Chief, and various other athletes and actors. The city of Hollywood is reporting a total loss of its industry, striking a major blow to the entertainment industry of the nation. The acting Mayor and the Governor have requested this place to be declared a national disaster area. Stay tuned for more coverage of the LA disaster here on Fox news. Right now what you are looking at is a live picture of what's left of downtown Los Angeles…."
Kevin got up and clicked the TV off. He heard enough, especially since he was severely hounded at the press conference. The Press that there were could not be satisfied with the answers he gave, and continued trying to pry. It was a horrid ordeal. Shaking his head, he walked back into the dubbed 'Control Center' and took a seat at the professor's desk. A young graduate student walked up to him with weather maps.
"Sir? I think you take a look at these."
Kevin pulled the report to him and read. This was not looking good at all. According to the reports, the ocean temperature had been steadying increasing. That is what enlarged the storm.
"Wait a second, why wasn't this noticed? This is a rather large change in temp."
"I, uh, don't know. I guess they didn't deem it important enough."
It was already 6 pm when he finally called it a day, and headed home, via a squad car. It was eerily darker tonight, as the lights of the city were gone, especially downtown. As he looked up, he could see quite clearly the stars in the sky, as if he was at one of the observatories. Slowly the car drove down the freeway, and Kevin was able to observe crew working to clear debris and look for survivors. He then took the time to see the collapse Capitol Records Building, and where the Hollywood sign used to be. It seemed all the landmarks that made Los Angeles had been destroyed.
When he finally reached his home, he looked up to see Allison, standing in the doorway. He slowly walked the steps. It seemed like a long time ago that they were just kids, really, at least young adults. Now here they were; both survivors, and both now mentally beyond their years. When he finally raised his head to her, she spoke equally as softly as they felt.
"Tom Gomez is on your computer. He wants to speak with you. Vid chat."
"Gomez? The Head of NOAA? What does he want to do with… oh, right. Lead the way." Kevin said, following her to the cellar. On the way, he foot stopped on a fallen picture, which used to line his wall. It was the tornado pic. Smiling, he picked it up and took it with him.
The cellar was actually quite large; with an entire apartment like setting, and a wine rack on the farthest wall towards the door. With a bed, a couch, a computer, a chair, and a TV, the only thing that saved him was the generator that was working. He pointed to the "kitchen area" and gestured her to get something to eat. He then proceeded to sit down, and turned on a projector so he could see the face of the Head.
"Sorry about the delay, just got back from our temporary headquarters. We are currently staying at UCLA's Atmospheric Science Building." Kevin said.
"Not a problem, we tried to get hold of someone earlier, but there is nothing at the former office."
"No, sir. NOAA has nearly lost everything. The building came down about 4:30 Pacific Time today."
"Very well, we here in Washington are preparing to have a meeting tomorrow, but I wanted to get info on what happened over there. The tornadoes were national news, in case you didn't know. Tell me what happened."
"From what we gathered, Noelani technically was upgraded to tropical storm yesterday, as it passed the Basin. Our oceans sensor registered an increase of temperature leading up to the event, which due to the warm period we were in, we dismissed. However, it was the heat, plus the warm water, that shot unprecedented strength into the storm, thus creating a cyclonic system never before seen since the tornado years of the late nineties."
"How many twisters?"
"Reports put an estimate of around 300 spotted funnels, with a report of at least 200 of them actually touching the ground. All in an area spanning from Santa Barbara to Encinitas, and as far east as Palmdale, and Palm Springs."
"So how is Los Angeles holding up?"
"It's not. There is no government, and the only thing keeping the peace and order is the Police Chief, and the state of shock the city is in. Damage wise, it will probably be most costly then Hawaii. Downtown itself is officially close off to everyone. There are now only three freeways that are accessible out of the city; one north, and the other two south. Heaviest loss of life is in the San Fernando Valley, but so far Santa Clarita and Simi Valley are reported to be wiped out. Movie industry is gone, as well as nearly all landmarks, and amusement parks. LAX is shut down, and the port of Los Angeles is gone, as well as the Santa Monica Pier. There we had the first waterspout registering as an F4 there. To say that LA lost half it's population is a big understatement. I mean, no one ever expected this. The climate of Los Angeles and Southern California has changed, and we don't know why."
Gomez was silent for a long time. This was a shock to him. "Wow, so tell me, how is the ocean temperature now?"
"We have been monitoring it a lot more. The temperature has dropped. It's now below average."
"Alright, thank you. I wish you luck with everything. I will talk to you again after the conference."
"Yessir, can I ask you something?" Kevin said.
"We aren't able to track the storm, where is it now?"
"It dissipated outside of Phoenix, but not before giving that city a little Mid-
West feel. It wasn't as bad, most of the damage seems to be in LA and the Mojave. But there were reports of at least 10 tornados touching down, with a toll of around 3,000, a good portion of which was in a crowded hotel."
"Thank you, I'll talk to you later."
Kevin disconnected the web chat, and then dropped his head into his hands. It was a very tough time for him, as well as the rest of the city. Sighing, he lifted his head, taking a sniff of the aroma of food. He had directed Allison to get a bit to eat, and instead she made a dinner. Smiling, he got up and walked over to her. She looked up at him, defiantly trying to show the cheerfulness that used to come so easily for her. "I made dinner."
"Thanks, Ally. I'm sorry for all of this."
"Not your fault. Don't worry about it."
"It's just… you're right never mind. Thanks for making dinner."
"It's your food."
"You cooked it."
"Oh great, without me, you would starve, wouldn't you."
"Oh shut up."
"And you have an underground bunker as your storm shelter, why is that?"
With that, they sat down, with the first laugh they had in a while. With everything that occurred in the last 48 hours, the idea that they were having a meal, sharing laughs… it was but a sign of hope. Maybe things would turnout alright.