Safe and Sound

There was some exciting weather in these parts Thursday night. I haven’t really gotten a full picture of what went on, but it included major winds and possible tornadoes that did a lot of damage in some residential areas, mainly in the Northwest part of Fayette County. I’ve seen reports of some houses being total losses. I just wanted to post a quick note here that I’m alive, well, and unharmed, in case any of my faithful readers have been alarmed by news reports or internet gossip about the storms.

All Tatertown got was a lot of rain (about 2 inches overnight, on top of 1.5 earlier in the week) and some really impressive lightning/thunder. On my way in to work Friday morning, I started seeing trees damaged by high wind as I got close to Kylie’s house, but didn’t have time to stop and see if she was okay.

From the reports I’ve seen, it looks like most of the damage was just a little bit southwest of me. I think I’ll take a slightly different route home that will take me a little closer to ground zero to see what I can see.

One Reply to “Safe and Sound”

  1. Close calls with extreme weather can be quite a reality check. Two weeks ago, when the outbreaks of severe weather began in the midwest, I and two friends were returning home from Wyoming, after attending a horse sale out there, with two horses on the trailer. While crossing I-80 around Lexington , NE, truckers on the CB started hollering about a tornado up ahead. We were aware that the entire NE-KS-IO region was under a severe thunderstorm watch for the afternoon and evening. It was only 1PM, but the sky was already black as night.

    The trucker advised turning the radio to AM 880 for local weather. When we did so, we heard announcements of several tornado warnings- at least 6 were on the ground somewhere in our vicinity. At our milepost, however, we were experiencing nothing- not even any wind or rain. But directly in front of us, the sky was ominously dark. Trucks in the right lane began exiting the highway , and we followed them off to a large truck stop. There were about 30 18 wheeelers already parked. As we hit the exit ramp, all hell broke loose, with golf ball sized hail, heavy rain, and incredible wind.

    Cars had pulled close to all the gas pumps, for the protection offered by the overhanging roof. Our 26- foot aluminum stock, pulled by my friends brand new F-350 Dually, was getting hammered by the ice balls.

    Fortunately, the mechanic in the shop ( who we later found out was originally from HAve De Grace, MD), opened the bay door and let us pull our entire rig inside the building.

    While the driver stayed back in the shop with the horses, I went up to the storefront. All the drivers and the employees were positioned around the windows on all 4 sides of the building. They were looking sky-ward as the warning sirens blared loudly, along with the police band radio’s siren. The cashier, who has lived in the area all of her life, was petrified. I took notice that the building was of cinderblock construction, and relaxed a bit, thinking that we couldnt have been in better shelter, unless underground.

    A westward-travelling trucker pulled in, and told us all that the tornado was about to cross I-80 only 1/2 mile east of the truck stop. He had seen cars scattered all over the road and the shoulder, bounced about like toys by the wind.

    Although we didnt need it, the mechanic’s bay in the garage ( a large pit about 6-7 feet deep) would have been our refuge, had the tornado come any closer.

    We listened to the police radio dispatcher’s shaking voice describe the path of the twister, and once she announced it was north of I-80, the truckers who have had experience with these storms advised us to get in our rig and put the pedal down hard – more tornadoes were imminent.

    For the next 90 minutes, we pushed eastward at 80 mph. The storm was moving NE at 40 mph. We could look to our left and see it as it pararelled the interstate. We finally outran it by about 3:30pm, only to run into another cell west of Omaha.

    We later learned that over 30 tornadoes touched ground that afternoon, in the area of southeast NE and northern KS (I-80 runs close to the Kansas border).

    You couldnt pay me to live in Nebraska – I dont care HOW great Joel says the coyote chasin’ is out there.

    “Give me the fox that holds his point though fools and fate combine,
    Give me the hound that follows him with nose upon the line..” Ogilvie

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