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. ❖
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So two weeks ago the president told us that the greatest threat to the United States is systemic racism. Last week he told the Europeans that the greatest threat to the U.S. is climate change.