Counting Ourselves Lucky…

It is a hot mess in our area today.  I have heard from folks from different areas of Fargo, West Fargo and Moorhead and everyone has downed trees and fences; damaged exteriors and roofs; stuff blown all over their yards; and, debris in the streets.  I have to say that I am feeling fortunate where I am at in West Fargo…at least where I can see from outside my window.  My cul-de-sac, to look at it, seems relatively unscathed. 

I was thinking there was only isolated damage in West Fargo until I drove off the cul-de-sac and started to see the debris in the roadways and the damage last night’s storm visited upon the area.  What more is there to say, but “WOW!”?  In my short trip to take Cheyenne to school I saw damage at every turn.  Beautiful old trees snapped like twigs or in some cases uprooted – heartbreaking to see and a tremendous amount of work to clean up.  The streets are littered with tree branches and leaves and city work trucks and utility workers trying to address the most immediate issues.  As I said – it is a hot mess.

My daughter’s home on 5th Street sustained damage as did her neighbors.  I imagine the insurance agents in town are jumping today as they attempt to assist all their clients’ needs.  I saw in InForum today that Bill from ServPro (my water remediation company for sump pump failure round two) has been busier than a one-armed paper hanger (uh yeah – that is my term, not the InForum term used).  Apparently, with the power outage sump pumps are not operating and basements are taking on water.  I understand that pain all too well.  Given the fact that some folks are looking at going without power until Wednesday the situation is quite dire. 

It seems like we just can’t get a break in North Dakota this year.  We are still battling major flood issues and we keep getting more water and now we have the damage from the thunderstorm to address.  I don’t know which one of you gave Mother Nature the finger, but now would be the perfect time to apologize (chocolate and flowers may be a good idea as well).

However, having said all of the above, I think we should be counting ourselves lucky today.  I don’t know about you, but given the conditions last night and the recent tornadic activity that we have seen in other states I was damn nervous last night that this was our last stand with Mother Nature.  And let’s face it folks – it could have been.  We are not immune from being hit by a tornado.  What we got last night, as damaging and frightening as it was, was nothing compared to the damage a tornado could have done. 

We were lucky last night and it should serve as a reminder to all of us that severe thunderstorms are potentially deadly events.  You may believe a tornado won’t happen here and it won’t happen to you…and you would be right…until it happens. 

If you do not know what to do to prepare for and protect yourself from a tornado check out the Are You Ready? citizen preparedness guide created by Cass Fargo Emergency Management.    Also buy a weather radio for your home (with an alert feature), sign up for your area’s free CodeRED system (see the city or county web page for more information) and sign up for InForum’s text message weather alerts.  Don’t wait for the sirens to go off to start moving – hedge your bets by ensuring that you get information from as many different avenues as possible. 

This has already been a deadly tornado season and it is far from over.  Don’t be a potential casualty – be ready.

Day six hundred and ninety-four of the new forty – obla di obla da

Ms. C