- Last Updated on 08:08 AM 07/04/12
- BY Doug Ford
I grew up in a time where thunderstorms were just that — thunderstorms with no accompanying notation of severity, but the garden variety type of thunderstorms we had back in the day seem to be gone forever.
“I hope the wind doesn’t blow a cloud up,” my mother would say, and if a thunderstorm did creep across the horizon, it was time to batten down the hatches.
“Stay still and be quiet, it’s the Lord’s work,” mama would tell me, an admonishment I remember to this very day.
Thank technology and media such as the Weather Channel for better understanding of weather systems and more accurate weather information, but sometimes you have to wonder.
When was the last time a weatherman — or weather woman as the case may be — predicted a thunderstorm, without the possibility of a severe thunderstorm with hail, damaging winds and dangerous lightning?
Does every storm have to be severe or is it a way to make sure everyone takes notice and takes the necessary precautions?
I surely understand what with the natural disasters of the past decade the need to go beyond the pale in warning the general public about severe storms, hurricanes and such.
I recall my days in Richmond, a city where the slightest hint of even a dusting of snow sent residents scrambling to grocery stores to buy bread, milk and eggs.
Just wondering if that’s all people can eat while hunkering down during a one-inch snowfall, and I could only shake my head in amazement at people who managed to make it through unplowed roads during a big snow to rent a movie but couldn’t make it to work.
Back then cell phones were in their infancy, and people responded to their pagers and called the boss to tell him they were on the job rather than browsing through the “action-adventure” section of their favorite video store.
Not being cynical, but I witnessed that several times.
At any rate, the Derecho that slammed into Halifax County and Southern Virginia on Friday was no laughing matter, and I had a front row seat while covering the Dixie Youth Baseball Minor League District Tournament in Scottsburg.
I sat and watched with astonishment as sponsor signs aligning the outfield fence were torn from their moorings and sent sailing through the air, one flying right over my car before settling along side the elementary school building.
Fans, players and umpires alike retreated to the Scottsburg Elementary School building to avoid the mayhem created by the storm, some busy with cell phones, I-pods and other devices trying to keep track of weather reports regarding the derecho.
To make a long story short, I was one of the lucky ones with no damage to my home or car or me, personally, so there always are things to be grateful for.
There are many who weren’t so lucky, and my heart goes out to them in this pressure cooker of a heat wave we’re dealing with.
Try and stay cool, everyone.