We missed the bad storm last evening, but the flooded fields are already attracting flocks of what appear to be pelicans. How do the birds find these places so quickly? Amazing.
Looking at the footage of the devastation in Iowa, really brought back the tornado for me. I don't spend a lot of time thinking about it except perhaps when I find stray pieces of the old car in the garden-but I do remember feeling utterly overwhelmed by the scale of the mess. "How the hell will I ever get this all put back?" I remember wondering. You do, of course except when you find part of the Volvo in your flower bed. You get it put back, or torn down, or replaced. Neighbours you never met show up with chainsaws, and start clearing the debris. The Red Cross hands out super-heavy-duty plastic bin bags that you are still re-using years later to tarp things in your garage. People tell you, "It is only stuff", and while you're thankful to be alive, you were still kind of attached to your, 'stuff." Eventually, you recognise you can't salvage some sentimental items, so you take photographs, and then cart your possessions off in those super-heavy-duty bin bags from the Red Cross. They give you a free tetanus shot-just in case.
When the warnings were issued ahead of yesterday's storms, it seemed a bit overblown. While I doubt anyone at the Storm Prediction Center is pleased to be able to claim, "We told you so", it does drive home the point that warnings ought to be taken seriously. The low number of fatalities reflect the amount of time people had to prepare ahead of the storms.
I know I say this every spring, and I will keep saying it-purchase a weather radio you can programme to your location-it will be the best thirty dollars you ever spent on a piece of technology.