Tag Archives: tornado

That was some storm!

We have lived in Texas long enough to know the value of being proactive in our preparation for storms when they erupt. Our proactivity paid off tonight.

How do I know that? Because my bride and I are convinced that when we are prepared for the worst, the worst quite often doesn’t arrive.

The weather forecasters were pretty excited tonight as they issued tornado and severe thunderstorm warnings. There were plenty of watches, to be sure. However, we don’t get overly concerned when they issue watch alerts; the excitement arrives when the “watches” turn to “warnings.”

Although we are relatively new to North Texas weather advisories, we did live for 23 years in the Texas Panhandle and nearly 11 years along the Gulf Coast, regions where the spring season brings plenty of explosive weather.

My wife made sure we were ready to hunker down in the bathroom, in the interior of our Collin County home. We had a mattress that we would pull over us.

Ahh, yes. The worst of it all has passed. We were ready for the worst. It didn’t visit us.

We are grateful beyond measure.


Poor Rand Paul; he’s getting criticized for seeking help

(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

I won’t shed a single tear for Sen. Rand Paul, who’s getting an earful from critics over his request for federal help for his Kentucky constituents.

Don’t get me wrong. Kentuckians need help. The tornadoes that tore through the state killed scores of people. They destroyed whole towns. They brought untold misery to many thousands of people.

Paul, the junior Republican senator from Kentucky, is asking for federal assistance. His request has drawn predictable criticism from those who remind him of how he has opposed other senators’ requests for federal aid to help their constituents. Why has he dug in? Because the nimrod has said the government must cut spending in other areas to “pay” for the aid it would give to citizens in dire need.

Now, as they say, the ol’ shoe is on the other foot.

Rand Paul’s constituents need help. They deserve to get it. Sen. Paul, though, needs to suck it up and face the criticism that is being directed at him.


Doesn’t matter which disaster strikes … they’re all terrible

I did not snap this picture. Someone else did. It reveals a tornado that ripped through Dallas in the dark of night Sunday.

No one died in this event. The twister did do a considerable amount of damage as it tore through the northern and eastern parts of the city. My wife and I were hunkered down in our house in Princeton, about 30 or so miles north of where this horror unfolded; our son and his family were a bit closer to the storm in Allen, where the sirens blared during the peak of the storm.

When these events occur fairly close, I am inclined to think occasionally: Which natural disaster is worse?

Earthquake? Hurricane? Volcanic eruption? Tidal wave? Flood? Fire? What about tornado?

Hey, they’re all terrible! They all kill you just as dead!

The tornado certainly did frighten me as it swept across major thoroughfares in Dallas. It damaged vehicles along U.S. 75, a major north-south highway that cuts through the center of Dallas; it hit also along Interstate 635, aka the LBJ Freeway, which runs east-west just north of Dallas.

I am going to assume that it is something of a miracle that no one died in this event. The storm certainly has been reported to have been strong enough, and large enough, to have inflicted that kind of pain. To our great relief, it didn’t.

As you can see here, though, the damage brought by this twister did create plenty of misery and heartbreak. My heart goes out to those who have to pick up the pieces and cobble their lives together.

I am sure I can speak for our neighbors and our family in declaring that these kinds of storms can stay away for a very long time … or for as long as Mother Nature will allow.

Prayers, please, for tornado victims

The tornado that tore through southern Alabama the other day tells us once again about nature’s unspeakable strength and wrath.

At last count, 23 people have died as a result of the massive twister that leveled the area near Opelika, Ala. Ten of them came from the same extended family. How does one cope with such loss? You do so through faith and, of course, with help from your government and your neighbors.

The first couple went to the region late this past week to see first hand what nature had brought to the region. The president hugged some folks and pledged the government’s full support as they start to rebuild after the tragedy.

I don’t quite know what to say with this blog post except to offer emotional support. We chide public officials for offering “love and prayers” after gun violence. We demand more than just platitudes.

Mother Nature’s violence, though, leaves us feeling helpless. There really is little we can do to fight back against the unspeakable power of forces such as, oh, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes or lightning-ignited wildfire.

Thus, we are left just to offer “love and prayers” for the souls we have lost and for those who survive and who must struggle to rebuild their shattered lives.

I am doing so here. Right now. May we all keep our fellow Americans in our hearts as they fight back.

Things you wish you could have seen …

tornadic beauty

Take a look at this picture. This event occurred about 50 or so miles east of Amarillo on Monday.

I couldn’t see it. Man, I wish I could have laid eyes on this sight.

It’s a tornado that tore through parts of Gray and Roberts counties. It brought a good bit of destruction.

What it didn’t bring was nothing short of miraculous! It didn’t result in human death or injury.

Weather forecasters that afternoon and early evening did a marvelous job of warning residents of the area of what was coming their way. They battened down their homes the best they could. I presume some of them got the heck out of Dodge. Some of them came home to find, well, no home.

But this is one of the enduring images of that frightful evening.

I join my Texas Panhandle neighbors in expressing gratitude that no one was hurt and in thanking the weather forecasters for keeping them informed.

I wish, though, I could have seen that spectacular sight in real time.


If you hate the weather now, just wait …


Take a look at this tree. Pretty, isn’t it?

It sits in front of our house in Amarillo.

Check out the sky. It’s pretty, too — and blue, yes? I took this picture two days ago.

As I write this brief post, we are being pummeled by extremely cold wind from the northwest. Snow is falling in our neighborhood.

This comes not quite 24 hours after a mile-wide tornado — one of several that touched down northeast of us — tore across the flat land near Pampa. I heard from one of the local TV meteorologists this morning that damage was extensive. He’d stayed up until 3 a.m. today.

We got hail, a good bit of rain, a lot of wind — and upset stomachs — as we watched the news unfold outdoors.

The tornado and hail were more like what we get in the spring and early summer around here. However, as the weather guys told us last night, anything can happen at any time around here.

Boy howdy, y’all.

There’s a common quip in the Texas Panhandle that goes: If you don’t like the weather, just wait 10 minutes …

Well, it wasn’t exactly a 10-minute turnaround from the blue sky and pretty fall colors on the tree in our front yard.

It just seems like it.