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Weathering the storms

Tales of gale-force winds, tornadoes and pea-to softball-sized hail have been at the top of the news for the last few weeks.

In fact, my husband and I were in Cheyenne, Wyo., at our daughter and son-in-law's house on Sunday before the big Monday hailstorm hit there. We were there to get our RV and bring it back to Greeley. Whew, dodged a bullet there.

The hail broke the sun roof and the windshield of their Tahoe, dented their gutters, dented the ground and put holes in my daughter's outside patio rug. I don't even want to think about what it would have done to our RV.

The scariest storm I was in happened in Grand Forks, N.D. It was in July and I was driving home from work.

The sky was so black that I had to use my headlights and it was only about 5 p.m. In the summer in North Dakota it doesn't get dark until 10 or 11 p.m.

Then it started to pour and the wind picked up and I had to park by what I thought was the side of the road because I couldn't see anything. The wind was causing the truck to shake and there were tree branches blowing around. I could have sworn there was a tornado, but I found out later it was just gale-force winds.

Being the good reporter I was, I took out my phone and made a video. But then some bigger tree branches were starting to blow down and I decided to pull farther ahead and out from under the trees.

I parked again and waited for the storm to subside. Suddenly, there was a loud crack and it felt like something had hit the side of my truck. I was shaking in my shoes by the time that storm was over.

I discovered that a huge water tank — like the kind you can put in the back of your truck and bring out to the field — had knocked down a mailbox, hit the rear passenger side of my truck, leaving huge dent, flew over the roof of the truck and was stopped by the door of a house across the street.

I got my phone out and took a photo of the water tank because I knew my husband would never believe my story, which he didn't until I showed him the photo.

After that adventure, I always watch the weather before I go anywhere. ❖