Friday, June 25, 2010

Scary Weather! Are you prepared?

On Wednesday, we traveled to Milford, IN, to drop off Eldy's car. On the way there, we heard of really nasty storms coming in off Lake Michigan and heading east. They were talking tornado type weather and rotational cloud patterns with severe winds. It was rapidly approaching South Bend, IN which was about a half hour from us. We thought, well, we can make it back home to the Elkhart Campground if we hurry....not a good we got within about 15 min. of the campground, the skies turned pitch black and we were barely ahead of the storm. The winds picked up rapidly to hurricane force winds according to the radio. The car was being buffeted by the wind. We searched for shelter and didn't have any where to go except for a lone structure in the distance, the RV museum...we headed straight for the back of the building under a portico..there was an RV under the roof of the portico, having sought shelter from the storm as well. We faced our car into the wind, alongside the RV, somewhat protected by the overhang and the building itself. There was a fountain in a small pond off to our left. The fountain was being blown straight sideways, horizontally. The radio reported winds gusting 70-90 miles per hour. As we sat and waited for the storm to pass through, we heard on the radio that there were several tornadoes in the area, the news later confirmed that there were four tornadoes in Elkhart County. One of the tornadoes touched down in Four Corners, a little hamlet outside of Elkhart just minutes after we had passed through it on the county road headed towards our campground. Finally, after what seemed an eternity, (about 15 min.) the storm had moved on and we headed for the campground. We dodged quite a few large branches on the road and saw a few power lines down. The motor home was fine, having lost power briefly (here comes a plug for surge protectors--if you don't have one, get one!) and there was very little wind damage around our campground itself. I guess the most important thing we learned from all of this is plan, plan, plan where to go in case of really bad weather. We always think we can avoid bad weather in the car, but we barely made it ahead of the severe wind shears and tornado that was behind us. We were too confident about the ability of the motor home to sustain severe winds,. Luckily, we didn't have to worry about that, but we didn't plan ahead to where we should get out of the motor home if the tornado came straight to the campground. We will always check for emergency locations in the future. Today, we saw first hand the many trees that were uprooted and many that just barely missed houses...there are thousands of people without power again this week, having just had power restored fromm last Friday's storm...good luck to those people and hope they get back to normal soon! We count our blessings that we are safe and sound...

No comments:

Post a Comment