By Guy Chapman – Navarro County Gazette

Yes We Can

Throughout my experience, I’ve been subjected to wildfires, earthquakes, blizzards, sandstorms, and tropical storms with ambitions of becoming hurricanes. Last Thursday was my first tornado. Not a watch or a warning, but experiencing the rush of 95 mph winds.

Not a fan.

There was no warning. No sirens, nothing. I was sitting at home writing, when I hear a louder than usual rumble and an alarm from the Missus. I knew this was different, so I scrambled to grab dogs, blankets, and a flashlight. Just as I was going for the blankets, everything stopped.

I wouldn’t have known anything had happened, save for my garbage can having flown over the fence into the backyard. Also, my fence gate was back there as well, along with broken garage windows, light fixtures and numerous tree branches.

I live on the north side of town. Standing in my front yard, numerous trees along the street had been damaged. In the backyard, numerous neighbor fences and trees were ripped apart. A broken telephone wire swung lazily by my driveway. A storage shed had been moved across someone’s yard. It didn’t take long for emergency services to arrive. The photographer in me went to see what I could find as I walked the neighborhood. Lightning still filled the sky. It was hard to say if there was going to be more extreme weather. I swept glass and rebuilt the fence as best I could to prevent dogs from escaping the yard, and called it a night.

My weekend as spend sweeping even more glass and breaking down large tree branches into firewood. That worked perfectly for this weekend’s cold front. The damage to the house, all things considered, was relatively easy to repair. There are still a variety of “broken” things around the neighborhood. Between the blizzard two years ago, and storms like this, there’s not going to be much left of the trees in the neighborhood at this rate.

The tornado winds lasted less than five minutes, but it tightened the stomach muscles during that short time. With tornado season just kicking off, I hope we get a warning for the next experience. Surprises like Thursday night’s storm is definitely not something I’d care to experience again.

But I can check it off my “Disaster List.”

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