OT: Our own little “Black Sky,” last night

You may or may not know that northeastern Wisconsin experienced a severe weather event last night. Servetus and family and friends are all safe.

No one saw the storm because it happened in the middle of the night. We were told this morning that we’d been hit by straight line winds traveling at 80-90 mph, but in the interval, the National Weather Service people who viewed the damage have said it was an EF2 tornado (minimum speed 111 mph).

It devastated a church in the town of our high school football rivals, which has declared a state of emergency; flattened most of the century-old and younger trees in the town I went to school in, which has declared a state of emergency; moved a line down the highway to my hometown, where it destroyed a number of hay and horse barns and blocked the roads with trees and debris; and then continued onward into town, hitting the ground about three blocks from where mom is in rehab at about 86 mph. The area where mom is in rehab has also declared a state of emergency.

It’s really absolutely amazing that the storm itself injured no one and I can only assume this is because most people were inside when it happened (this being a relatively sedate part of the world). Unfortunately, however, one person has died due to being hit by a car while clearing debris from the roads. There have been some injuries. This morning 60,000 people remained without power. By noon it was about 42,000. The streets of affected areas are full of completely uprooted trees and other debris — a disturbing sight.

I wasn’t staying at home, and I was completely unaffected where I was, but this morning it took dad forty-five minutes to make the ten minute drive to rehab; power is still off at rehab. They anticipate the restoration of power by the end of the week.

As a consequence of this, mom’s PT at home was canceled. The therapist, who called to cancel, said, “We could do it without electricity, and I’d do it, but part of my husband’s dairy herd got out in the storm last night and we’re out looking for the cows.” Only in central Wisconsin. We rescheduled for Friday.

Tornadoes are nothing to joke about. We’re all thanking G-d for G-d’s blessings today.

~ by Servetus on August 8, 2013.

43 Responses to “OT: Our own little “Black Sky,” last night”

  1. Absolutely not funny, tornadoes. I have been in the midst of one once and seen the devastation left behind by several others. My sister lost a co-work er who died of injuries sustained when a twister hit her apartment complex in Huntsville. SO glad you and your family are OK and that there were no more casualties . . . often it seems the deaths and injuries occur after the storms when people are trying to clean up the mess. *hugs*

    Down here in Alabama we can relate to both tornadoes and needing to get your cows in. 😀

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    • it’s amazing, given how it looks outside, that no one was hurt. Nothing short of amazing.

      If they find all the cows, they will all have PTSD. Dairy cows are valuable things, I hope their milk production comes back up to norm soon …

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      • The power and sheer destructive force of those things is amazing—and what they can do in a very short span of time. When I was in Talladega, one came right down the street I both lived and worked on. This was during a school day. Thankfully we were able to get everyone into the main building into the central hall. I remember the roar of this winds and seeing things flying by but with no idea what the objects were. Huge old trees were uprooted right and left, buckling the sidewalks, crashing into homes, blocking streets and downing power lines. I think I was without power for three or four days. A lot of damage was done and I was so thrilled when I drove home and found my the old house I lived in (an upstairs apt.) was still intact! And as I recall, no one was hurt in that one, either. Hope they have good luck with those cows, too. The recession’s been rough enough on us all without this.

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  2. My heart goes out to the family and friends of the person hit by the tree; however, it is a blessing indeed that more deaths did not occur. I hope they get the power restored quickly as that could become dangerous for some.

    I’m so sorry your appointment has been postponed – these things put life in perspective but, all the same, you have been working hard towards this date and it would be normal to feel frustrated. Let’s hope the OT finds her cows quickly!

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    • The rehab without power (operating on emergency generator) is a really eerie place. I’m more worried about the hospital, but supposedly an additional backup generator is on its way from Chicago.

      We were all really lucky.

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  3. What a blessing that there wasn’t more loss of life. Very scary. I saw the results of a tornado in Massachusetts many years ago and was greatly affected by it. Unbelievable. Glad you are safe, although plans changed.

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  4. I am glad to hear that you and your family are fine after last nights storm. I am not sure what we got last night was the same storm or different. It starting raining about 7:00 pm and then about 7:15 pm with lighting and thunder. Mr. 70 called while on duty to tell to get everything off as he had never seem such weird lighting and that it was striking very close. We didn’t lose power (only tonight for one hour in the sun ???) but sat around waiting for it to die down. We got to a point where it was not so bad and it was done around 11:00 pm. I don’t like those types of storms, but when Mr. 70 is at work I really don’t. Son3 had to put in his ducks in the middle of the pounding rain, thunder and lighting as they would not go on the duck house, just sat outside not happy, but not trying to get out of either.

    Two years ago when we had gone to Mr. 70’s family reunion over in the north-east part of Wisconsin there was a tornado that trap his cousin, (our host) wife, daughters, and families in his cabin for a few hours. The power lines came down to where they could not leave the cabin. They had to wait till help came to get them out. The grandchildren where young, ages 11- 2.

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    • It might have been the same group of storms — the local paper today said the NWS in Mpls looked at it and didn’t think it would get that serious … so obviously it was visible from your neck of the woods already.

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      • I think it also moved pretty fast. We where to have rain, thunder and lighting till 2:00 am that night. About three years ago we had a storm come though with no warning, got black real fast and then the winds picked up. That one they said was not a tornado. Left most the town with out power till late at night. Took down lots of trees north of town and bits of stuff off houses. No one got hurt, son2 BF grandparents got lucky and came inside in time.

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  5. Oh wow! Glad to hear that you and your family are safe and sound. Hope they get power restored faster than expected.

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  6. Good to hear that you and yours are safe!!!

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  7. Gosh Servetus, you really have enough on your plate without a tornado… So glad you are all safe.

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  8. Goodness…so glad to hear you’re all ok x

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  9. I’m glad to hear you are okay, and I count it a miracle that more people and animals weren’t hurt.. I would never imagine joking about a tornado, not when I know the damage they can do. I’m glad of the backup generators, but I know it’s rough getting through this, even without a tornado.

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    • We didn’t hear about livestock deaths; cost of damages for the whole event now estimated at $20M — which seems like not that much to me ???

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  10. Unusual weather patterns are being experienced all over the country. In my neck of the woods we went through something similar back in June. It started around 6:00pm when many people are still getting home from work. I was standing in my kitchen watching it out of the window. I was amazed. I had never witnessed anything like it before, so I was glued to watching it. It was a nice very sunny day. All of a sudden it became dark as night, and then the fury of rain and wind came. If I was out in it I would have been scared as heck. The next day it was the talk of the town. Luckily there were no fatalities.

    I am so glad that you and your family are safe.

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  11. Glad to hear you are all safe, hope you get power back soon, how scary xxxx

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  12. God, what a nightmare–I’m so glad you are all safe and there were’t more injuries from the storm.

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  13. Happy to hear you and family are okay. Explains hellish day of flying travel for me to Chicago. Take care of yourself and mama. Here’s hoping the cows come home. Xoxox

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  14. By this post the more I appreciate the fact that tornadoes in my country do not happen very often.

    I’m glad that you and your family are safe.

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  15. I’m so happy you and your family are safe. Having grown up in tornado alley in Kansas, I’ve spent many hours stuck in basements and crawl spaces, and my father’s horse farm was totally destroyed by a tornado about 15 years ago. They had trees through the house, completely destroyed barn, and about 20 of the black walnut trees were uprooted. Again, relatively few human injuries due to a pretty effective tornado warning system.

    I always hope, when tornadoes hit in places where they don’t happen often, that good systems are in place to protect people, animals and property. It looks like such was the case for you guys, I’m very happy to say.

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    • There are tornadoes here reasonably regularly — the last one that got this close to my parents’ house was in the spring of 1987 (the nextdoor neighbor lost his barn) but we all have storm cellars and I would say every other year there’s a touchdown and something gets destroyed. It’s not tornado alley, for sure, but we spend a fair amount of time in basements. This was more like the tornados I’ve experienced in TX — it gets on a tear and follows a highway, for instance. What was odd (was talkinga bout this with obscura) was that there was absolutely NO warning. No sirens, and none of us heard anything on tv or radio.

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  16. oh dear lord! seriously. I am also glad that you are safe and sound.

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  17. Glad you’re okay! I can totally relate having grown up in Gurnee, ll. Right there near Kenosha and the Il./Wisc. border and about chasing down the livestock- sounds like that was a real whopper of a twister- now In North Carolina I have to deal with hurricanes but at least they give you advanced warning.

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    • That is the “good” aspect of hurricanes—you do get a considerable amount of advance warning, whereas with tornadoes it can happen oh, so quickly. (We didn’t used to have to worry about hurricanes here where I live, a couple of hours inland from the Gulf Coast, but that ended with Hurricane Opal. Three or four good-sized hurricanes, many toppled trees, damaged homes and businesses and extensive power outages later, we now know to plan ahead and batten down the hatches here, too.)

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  18. Oh! it was close (((Servetus)))

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  19. Thanks for all the good wishes, everyone. I’m really grateful!

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  20. Whoa, and there is a post to bring me back down to Earth. Glad to hear that you are all ok – the force of nature is certainly not funny at all. I am mildly surprised that the hospital/rehab facility is not doubly equipped with emergency generators? Are tornadoes very scarce in Wisconsin?

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    • I personally was very surprised at how underequipped the rehab was — one flashlight per wing of the facility. I think there is going to be a lot of rethinking going on.

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  21. […] was supposed to be the home visit, but a tornado struck. (The rehab only got power back this […]

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  22. Can’t imagine how you could sleep through a tornado. We have tornado watches/warnings practially all year round now days and I can never go to bed when that happens. Have to stay up all night making sure I survive. But that probably comes from experiencing 2 hurricanes. The last one, I was alone and said I will NEVER do that again. My brothers get a kick out of making fun of me because they just go to bed as if nothing’s happening. But I used to have nightmares about tornadoes and that’s before the hurricane experiences. Glad you made it through.

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    • Because there were no warnings.

      My bro is a volunteer fireman — he said they had warnings for severe thunderstorms and that was it. Nothing on the news when we went to bed — nothing on tv while it was happening — no sirens. By the time the local folks realized what was happening it was overhead.

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  23. Been having them in Ontario, too. But nowhere in the province, as destructive as in the U.S. N.A. has been under a weather attack this year. (So has Europe). But very relieved to know that this episode was not as dire for you just now.

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  24. With everything else on your plate…a tornado, too….
    Take care, friend. Of yourself, so far as you can just now. Keep as healthy as you can.

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  25. Thanks to everyone for all the good wishes and prayers of thanks!

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  26. […] (today we were both remembering the horror on our parents’ faces, afterwards). And there were the twisters by us last summer, one that missed our house narrowly. We’ve been lucky. If you’re in the path of this […]

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  27. […] going to enjoy this film, I think — but I’m also going to have last summer on my mind, when an F2 tornado just missed our house and kept mom’s rehab center in the dark for four days. On Sunday I went to see Obscura‘s son in his latest theatrical venture (which she’ll […]

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  28. […] had a disaster here last summer — just as mom was getting ready to try to come home, an F2 tornado hit. No one was hurt in the storm; one person died during the clean-up. It happened at night, which was […]

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