On the right is a funnel cloud, two more in the distance, others forming in clusters above
If asked I can tell you what was going on in the west in 1874, but when I recall something in my recent past I can’t remember if it took place last year or the one before. This caveat because of a memory I’m recalling for my blog today. And on thinking about it I can’t recall if it happened last year or the one before. The time doesn’t really matter to the tale. I only know we were in the breathtaking conference building hanging on the side of Winslow Mountain at Sky Vue. We being a gathering of authors, editors, a publisher, and various other members of Oghma Creative Media. It was our annual retreat.
I’m telling this because last night our area experienced a similar weather phenome like we did that day at Sky Vue. Where we’re located we seldom are hit by a full blown tornado. What happens on these Boston Mountains is those threatening tornado clouds love to play tag overhead. This causes some of their playful antics to whirl tree tops viciously, break a few limbs, flatten gardens and rip off a few shingles. It isn’t often one actually plows up the ground, but they do. These are usually wet storms while in Kansas and Oklahoma, they often occur during a dry storm.
Want to talk about wet. Yesterday we recorded 12 inches of rain in less than 12 hours with one more on the way the evening of my tale. And during those vicious storms continuous lightning struck trees on top of the mountains all around us vibrating our eardrums and shaking the ground underfoot.
Now I was brought up in Wichita, which was occasionally actually hit by ground sucking tornadoes that dragged debris around redepositing it elsewhere. Debris such as houses, trailers, trees, etc. So I know a bit about the difference in a storm that demands one take shelter underground and one that allows one to watch out the windows.
I’m getting back to the storm on Winslow Mountain that sky-blue day when everything suddenly turned dark. You know the one. It was a dark and stormy night. So when someone hollered ‘oh look,’ I looked. Having heard nothing, like the roaring of a train I didn’t panic when the small elephant-like clouds swung down out of the wall cloud following the valley below. They‘d play tag a while then move on. So I remained calm while those around me came apart. Like we are often advised to do. All but the local folks, who played it cool.
“Where’s the storm cellar?” Someone ran in circles hollering.
This set off the usual crowd response.
“It’s okay.” I grabbed my phone and took some pictures as the clouds rushed along outside the wall of windows while behind me mayhem grew.
“Downstairs. We need to go downstairs.” And away they went to miss this show of their lifetime.
Those of us accustomed to these silent storms remained and more than one snapped some great pictures before the wall moved over and away. Mentioning pictures means I have to look for them. Wish me luck. It will take a while. I saw them just the other day. Found them. Just another exciting day in the life of a writer. Like they say, it’s what we do. Experience and write about it.
Now to last night, which reminded me of the earlier experience. This one much wilder than that one last year, or was it year before last? Someone will remind me.
These little buggars decided to drop down for a visit in the midst of one of the hardest rains we’ve experienced in ages. I sat in my living room watching, cheated of a good look at the funnel-producing cloud, because it was a gloomy evening, not like the bright afternoon up on the mountain. But lightning flashed so continuously that the upper limbs of large trees surrounding the front of my house begin a whirling dance, twisting round and round, bowing to the ground. I knew those little trunk like clouds were playing overhead. Not real close cause there was no roaring except from our creek that had grown massive due to the heavy rains.
Twice more the storms raced by, breaking a few limbs in my yard, taking down a tree in my daughter’s yard. Lightning struck so close it made our eardrums vibrate. And finally, as always, the power flickered and went out. A fine finish to an exciting evening. The generator ran till four a.m. I heard it click off and when I climbed out of bed this morning the electricity had been restored.
A power pole was knocked down with the electric wires running through the creek. I give those guys credit for the repair so fast. Our park where ball games are played is destroyed and all is underwater there. My road was washed out a mile or so from here. Big kudos to the guys in the volunteer fire department for being out and about during all this helping those in need for one reason or another. Some were spotted covered in mud moving gravel to clear a drive so a man could get out and go to work this morning. They are fantastic, or as the kids say awesome. Winslow is a terrific small town.