Showing posts with label thunderstorm. Show all posts
Showing posts with label thunderstorm. Show all posts

Monday, February 16, 2015

Your 'Cantore loses his s***' post du jour

It's official.

Thundersnow . . .

(Jump to the 3:20 mark) 
is better . . .

than sex.  

And better than winning 
the Powerball jackpot, too.

Stupid me. I just think "Well, crap. 
I'm gonna have to shovel more than I thought."

Thursday, June 12, 2014

How high was the water, Mama?

A lot more than 5 feet high and rising.

In fact, it was about this high in Omaha's Little Papillion Creek last week after the big storm.

Let's just say that anyone who might have been tempted to do a little urban whitewater -- OK, muddy brown water -- rafting in the wake of the June 3 deluge would have been making a big mistake if they had succumbed to the urge. They likely would have . . . succumbed.

You don't want to get hit by a giant, fast-moving limb. Is what I'm getting at.

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Noah, call your office

We've had a little storm here in Omaha, by God, Nebraska.

Actually, we're still in the middle of a little storm -- or, more accurately, storms -- around these parts.

This is the typically Midwestern understated way of saying "WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE!!!" We've already smashed the record for rain in a day . . . which has fallen in about four hours.

So far. 

And in my part of town, we were lucky. There have been no rescuing people from houses in fire department boats, as there has been in northeast Omaha. There also have been no suspected tornadoes or baseball-size hail, as there have been north of town.

ABOUT 3 feet in the front of our garage got wet. So what -- it's a garage.

And nobody has had to rescue us with an airboat. That's something, at least.

I am, however, afraid to check out the basement.

Nighty night from windblown, hail-pocked, flooded Omaha. The College World Series starts at the end of next week -- let's hope there's something left for folks to visit.

UPDATE: Make that "smashed the record for rain in day for the month of in June." It was Omaha's fifth-highest all-time rain total for a single day.

Saturday, June 01, 2013

The hunter becomes the hunted

DOES THIS mean that God hates cable TV? Or was Mother Nature just saying "TORCON this!"

"Enquiring minds," etc., and so on. . . .

Monday, June 20, 2011

If it's June, and they're playing baseball. . . .

If it's June, and if a College World Series night game is under way, you pretty much can expect this to happen. Repeat as necessary.

Usually, a slightly above-average outbreak of thunderstorms doesn't merit the tornado sirens going off -- not without a tornado warning -- but this one did because . . . see above. You had a lot of folks inside TD Ameritrade Park at just after 8 p.m. Monday, and even more outside all over downtown Omaha.

With a gust front with winds up to 70-plus m.p.h. headed their way.

Smart move.

In fact, cops were getting people out of their cars on 10th Street and herding them into the Qwest Center Omaha.

NOW, I'm no Jim Cantore (and I don't play him on television), but this is what it looked like in west-central Omaha.

This was just after the gust front went through. I don't know what the wind speed was but -- being that I was outside standing in it like an idiot -- it was strong enough to make it hard to catch your breath.

Back to you, Jim.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

To the meager goes the spoiled

After the big storm Friday before last, our electricity was off for a full three days.

We managed to save the bulk of our perishables through a combination of dry ice, an ice-filled cooler and (finally) hauling everything to the fridge and freezer of friends who had power.

STILL, we took a hit in lost food. Not a big one, but a financial hit nevertheless.

But what if you're on food stamps and you lose everything in your refrigerator and freezer? The Omaha World-Herald
Cerita Gaines lost a mid-size freezer full of food when the June 27 storm hit the metro area. The turkeys she had just purchased at a bargain price, along with the rest of her food, were wasted.

"I lost everything," she said. The 49-year-old was among the hundreds of people today who got in line as early as 5:30 a.m. to receive the emergency ration of food stamps from the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.

As many as 20,000 to 30,000 Douglas, Sarpy and Saunders County households are expected to apply for the aid that could total $7 million to $10 million, but — for now — families have less than a week to sign up. Long lines also formed Monday, the first day that people could apply for assistance.

One month's worth of food stamps will be provided, which for a single person is valued at $162 and for a family of four, $542. The aid is available to those who lost power, meet income guidelines and have either lost income or have had to spend extra money to recover from the storm.

More than 126,000 households and businesses in the metropolitan area lost power to the storm.

For the second day in a row, the number of food stamp applicants overwhelmed Health and Human Services. At midmorning today, officials were asking those not already in line to wait another day.

"We have waiting lines of several blocks at each location," said spokeswoman Kathie Osterman.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

If you don't hear from me. . . .

Here we go again.

Yet another severe thunderstorm is bearing down on Omaha, apparently with quarter-size hail, strong wind, torrential rain. I guess I won't be hoeing and weeding the garden today after all.

Assuming I have a garden left after what's left of my garden gets hammered by this round of crappy weather. And this storm, which just blew up north of town, is drawing a bead on midtown Omaha . . . which is where I live.

This will not be good for limbs and trees that were weakened, but not dropped, by Friday's monster.

Once again, I stepped outside to get the afternoon paper and check the mail . . . only to look up, see a Not Good sky and hear the far-off thunder. Came in, turned on the TV . . . and Channel 7 already was on with wall-to-wall weather coverage.

Dammit. This flipping thing has developed a wall cloud. You can see it on the TV tower cam.

It's official. We're all going to die.

I think I'm joking. Maybe not.

UPDATE: The thing just missed our house . . . it's not a terribly wide storm, just a few miles. I don't think it had tremendous wind, but apparently downtown got the worst of the hail. Perhaps golf-ball size.

Needless to say, we're all a bit gun shy during this storm season that just won't end.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Gone with the wind . . . for a while

It must have been about four-something o'clock Friday afternoon when I went out to check the mailbox and fetch the afternoon newspaper. Yes, Omaha's that kind of place; we have an afternoon edition of the

I looked up at the sky, not expecting it was a severe-weather kind of day -- and, really, it didn't seem a classic "Oh, crap, somebody's gonna get it" windy, muggy, tornado-incubating afternoon -- and thought "This is not good." When you've lived on the Plains long enough, you know a Not Good sky when you see it.

This was Not Good.

Little did I know how Not Good it would get in a half-hour or so.

JUST A FEW MINUTES after I got back inside the house, the tornado sirens went off. Turned on the television. Not a tornado, but a severe thunderstorm with loads of hail and Category 1-hurricane wind. The sirens were on because this was the Mother of All Thunderstorms, and thousands were outdoors both at Memorial Park waiting for a free concert and downtown at the Summer Arts Festival.

Job 1: Get the dogs to the basement. Job 2: Bring in the hanging begonia. Job 3: Wait.

It started to rain about the same time the wind started to pick up. Then the wind started to really pick up. Quickly afterward, the lights went out. Somewhere in the neighborhood, a transformer blew. This was starting to look, and sound, like a hurricane.

I grew up in south Louisiana. I know hurricanes.

Then, when the hail started falling like rain -- and blowing horizontally into the house like sandblasting with marbles -- I thought it might be a good idea to join the dogs in the basement. You couldn't see out the windows, really, as the hail few out of an impenetrable white fury.

I'd seen that before, too. In 1971, when a F-2 tornado spun out of Hurricane Edith (which otherwise was an unremarkable storm) and wrecked parts of my Baton Rouge neighborhood -- taking out a shopping center, an apartment building, God knows how many trees and, a block away from us, a house's roof.

Have you ever seen a flooded street, driveway and yard become unflooded in about a minute's time? I have.

Ever seen leaves, fiberglass insulation and shingles fly out of a swirling white cloud, stick to your front window, then fly away into the mist? I have.

When the fit starts hitting the shan to that degree, pretty much like what was starting to happen at our Omaha house, you figure there might be a tornado in there somewhere . . . and that you don't mess with. Grab the flashlight, the radio and the little TV, then go subterranean.

What happens when TV goes all-digital? Just asking.

THE STORM eventually let up, and we emerged, the dogs and me, to a dead, dark house sitting in a disheveled, electricity-deprived neighborhood. A small limb was knocked out of the ash tree in the front yard -- we'd lose another bigger limb to wind gusts the next day -- and another one came off the hackberry in the back. The shingles on our roof were beat to hell.

One of our garbage cans rested against the next-door neighbor's house. Another lay in the driveway, its lid halfway to the street. Next to it was our upended recycling bin.

Limbs were all over the place -- up and down the street . . . and in the street. Every house, every window, every car, every thing was plastered with wet leaves. Water coursed down the drainage ditch like a Rocky Mountain stream.

Neighbors were beginning to emerge to see how they'd fared. A fallen tree blocked our street on one end. Down the other way, neighbors said, a tree limb had gone through someone's roof like an incoming missile.

I drifted down to the blocked end of the street, where a group of folks were trying to reopen the street. Some of us pulled a big limb out of the street as others went at the trunk with a chainsaw, and a front-end loader from the hospital down the street waited to push it all to the side of the road.

SLOWLY, the degree to which my city had been whacked began to emerge from the transistor radio in my pocket -- a triumph of technology, circa 1962. The Qwest Center arena downtown had lost part of its roof. A wastewater-treatment plant severely damaged and out of commission. The Summer Arts Festival ransacked.

The Memorial Park concert canceled.

The Memorial Park and Dundee neighborhoods reportedly looking like war zones.

Car windows shattered by hail and wind.

Some 126,000 Omaha Public Power District customers without electricity.

Heavy tree and property damage throughout the area. A boat on someone's roof in Valley.

A report just in . . . two dead in Council Bluffs, the smallish Iowa city just across the Missouri River from Omaha. Teen-agers in car. Crushed by falling tree.

Then some of us, having heard a big tree had been uprooted, went farther down the street to check things out. One had, but it -- luckily -- missed both street and structure.

And after a few minutes, I headed back up the hill and around the corner from where we live, following the sound of chainsaws. One fork of somebody's tree had split off and fallen on the place next door.

Need help? You bet.

So I spent the next couple of hours helping get the tree off that house. The elderly couple who lived there weren't home . . . yet.

When they did arrive, the wife looked shell-shocked. It could have been worse, though. Somehow, though the gutter was toast and the shingles, too -- probably -- that tree didn't punch through the decking. No holes.

If a big tree has to hit your house, that's the way to go.

AFTER A WHILE, Mrs. Favog drove up. Our next-door neighbor told her where she probably could find me. One of the gathered neighbors poured her some wine in a "go cup." After an afternoon of log wrestling, I looked like the "before" half of a Tide commerical -- only worse.

(Dear WDVX: Do you think you could see fit to send me another station T-shirt? An XXL would be nice and comfy, but an XL would do. Thanks.)

When the job was about licked and the ex-tree stacked, I sent Mrs. Favog to the store in search of dry ice (for our refrigerator), more candles and all the batteries she could scare up. And beer. If you have to sit in a dark, hot house, beer makes you not mind so much.

Me, I was headed home to shower while there was some daylight left. We would be dining out . . . wherever there was a restaurant with electricity. That ended up being Jazz, a Louisiana-style restaurant downtown.

Naturally, what usually is a 15-minute trip ended up being a half-hour slog through dark streets and across major intersections with no stop lights.

And then back again, to a dark house on a dark street in a darkened city. A battered city, one strong in all its broken places.

THERE, in a house with no TV, no Internet, no functioning computers . . . no lights . . . in that dim island in an inky sea, there we sat in the candlelight listening to the CBC on the transistor radio.

For a short while, life was as before there were 758 channels (and still nothing on). Before there was the overstimulation of the Internet. Before we caught the whole world in a wide web.

With one ill wind (one that turned out to be low Category 2 hurricane in some spots), our world -- my wife's and mine -- got off the steroids and returned to its right size. Once again, the world at large became . . . large.

The silence was deafening.

You know, it ain't bad . . . once you get used to it.