Wednesday, July 14, 2010
here give you an idea of what the residents in the path of the storm saw as they emerged from their homes in its aftermath. The weather system that spawned the storm brought with it golf ball sized hail and 60 mph winds that uprooted trees, snapped power poles and two tornadoes. The final tally of the damage? $350 million dollars. Coupled with a storm in June, 2009, the total damage to the Mile High City and suburbs was a staggering one-half billion dollars. Seeing bad weather creeping over the Rockies in the distance is a unique experience. Probably similar to seeing an approaching dust storm in West Texas. Once, I was fishing about 30 miles north of Denver when I saw a storm coming over the mountains to the west. Menacing dark gray and black clouds in the distance rolling over and down the hills, soon to swallow them up like a cheap hamburger were headed my way. I fished for a few more minutes with my eyes glued to the approaching rain, when I felt the hair on my arms stand up. I dropped my graphite fishing rod like a bad habit. Lightning and graphite! I was a human lightning rod! Adios fish! About ten minutes later, it came a frog strangler. My advice to you is : if you see dark clouds pouring over the Rockies...leave the graphite at home.
April 2,1957. I was six and a half months old that day living in Fort Worth doing whatever six and month old kids do. A mere 32 miles away, Mothers all over Dallas were seeking shelter and safety for their own children as an F3 tornado bore down on the Big D. Soon ten people would be dead, 200 others injured and $4 million (1957 dollars) property damage was done. In the photo above, if you look at the top right-hand corner, you can see the Pegasus, which means to me that you are looking west as the twister approaches downtown Dallas. As a little boy I remember my parents and other grown ups talking about this event. Texas is certainly no stranger to tornadoes, but they normally strike in the far reaches of the state, not Dallas or, as in 2003 in downtown Fort Worth. However, as is often the case in tragic stories like this, something good comes the despair. My friend and fellow Class of '75, Nimitz High graduate, Kim Skeene Henning was born the day the tornado hit Dallas. Kim writes this interesting observation : "I always think of Mark Twain being born w/ Haley's comet and then dying when he saw it again... not saying I want to die in a tornado, but being born in such a great natural event makes me think of that." Nicely said, Kim. Nicely said.