Thread: Heckuva breeze!

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    Heckuva breeze!

    June seems to be a bad month for my little burg, especially the few days between the 15th and the 20th. Every year for the past 16 years, we've had a bad wind storm on one of those dates, and tonight was no exception. It wasn't as bad as it could have been, though, at least from what I could see in the dark.

    The National Weather Service office in Wichita called me around 9:30 pm to check on a storm that was moving in from the west. They said it was over in the next county, about 15-20 miles away, pushing 60 mph winds with it. I'm used to calling them for that type of stuff, but usually when they call me first it's never good. So, I stepped out on the front porch and it was dead calm, just an occasional flash of lightning. But, above the thunder, I could hear an ominous roar...I've heard that roar before, and it's not something you'll soon forget when you've heard it once. Next thing I know, the wind hit me like someone swinging a big baseball bat. There was no gentle build up, just a quick slam and I was on my knees. I almost managed to stand back up, blinded by blowing dirt and sand and twigs and leaves, when Sunshine's hanging fern at the end of the porch took flight and slammed me square in the chest from 15 feet away. I hit the floor again, this time on my knees and elbows. Sunshine was standing in the door, her foot caught between the door and the frame unable to move because the wind was pushing so hard against the door. I reached up with the fern in my hand for her to take it, and the wind pushed me backwards on my hands and knees 10 feet over the edge of the porch. Then the phone started ringing in my pocket....well, I think it was ringing, I could feel it vibrating. Couldn't exactly answer it at the moment, so I managed to crawl back up on the porch, fighting what I estimated to be 100 mph winds, blinded by stinging particles of the world around me. I could hear tree limbs snapping and hitting the ground with a thud over the roar of the wind, and prayed one wouldn't find it's way into my body before I got inside. I made it to the door, but couldn't get it open. Sunshine saw me and helped push it open while I pulled, then I realized I was still clutching the fern in one hand. I managed to shove it through the door to her, and apparently she thought that's what I was trying to do, rather than desperately trying to save my hide! She took it and let the door slam shut...on my fingers. She must have thought I was a real sweetheart to save her precious fern from the raging winds. Since my fingers were firmly anchored in the now-closed door, I figured I wasn't going to be blown away again, so I pulled my still-ringing phone out of my pocket and answered. Over the roar of the wind, I could hear Joe with the NWS asking me what I found out about the storm. Joe always did have good (bad) timing. I had to yell for him to hear me, and told him about the little breeze that had kicked up here, told him I was estimating wind speeds of 95-100 mph, and that there were limbs coming down all around, but I couldn't see them to tell how big they were. He said something, I don't know what, and the line went dead. The wind started to subside, so I slowly got to my feet and tried to see any damage...there were a few large limbs in the yard in front of the house, but that was all I could see. Inside, I could hear my weather radio going off....Joe had already issued a warning for Sedgwick County based on my report. (That's the main reason they rely on me, because I'm only two miles from the west county line, and generally the first to get anything serious. Almost all of the severe weather alerts issued are because of the reports I call in to the NWS.) Then the wind kicked up again, and as I forced my way through the door, another large limb came blowing over from the other side of the detached garage, hitting me in the back and bouncing out into the yard. By this time I had become aware of a severe pain in my neck and remembered that I had had an epidural injection this morning and wasn't supposed to do anything strenuous. Oops. I got into the living room, and Sunshine was standing there pointing at the grandfather clock...I figured it must have gotten damaged somehow. I looked, and was shocked to see a little house finch sitting up on top of it! It had built a nest in the hanging fern, and had managed to cling to it during the whole ordeal as it became a projectile with Sparky's name on it, the subsequent wrestling match off the side of the porch and back, and finally flew out once Sunshine got it inside. After the storm had passed, we managed to get it to land on a broom and I carried it outside. It's still sitting on the top of the window trim just outside my office.

    I drove around town a bit, but didn't see much damage, mostly a lot of limbs 4-5" in diameter downed, and a couple of arcing power lines. Of course it was still pretty dark and raining pretty hard, and I didn't have any doors or windows in the Jeep, so that didn't help. I'll get up early tomorrow and get some pics before we start the cleanup. My weather station on the roof clocked a max wind speed of 92 mph, so I wasn't too far off on my estimate. I've got bruises and bumps on both knees, and both elbows are skinned up from my slide into the abyss, but nothing too bad. My neck is killing me, though.

    As for me, I'm going to take a double dose of oxycontin and lortab and try to get rid of this terrible pain in my neck from the epidural and fall I took. More later.....

  2. #2
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    GreenReaper93 is offline Senior Member
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    Re: Heckuva breeze!

    Good God, man! I'm glad you made it out ok though. ..... And that's normal?!?!?!

  3. #3
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    Re: Heckuva breeze!

    Well, I've been hurtin' so bad all weekend, I really never got out to take a look at the damage from the storm. Didn't really hear of much, just several limbs, a few trees, and some shingles here and there. Here's the finch that took refuge in Sunshine's fern that was hanging on the front porch:



    This is the limb that speared me in the back....got a bit of a bruise and scrape from that one!



    We never found the flowers that were in the two planters there in the lower left corner of that pic....the wind sucked'em right out and took them far, far away......
    Last edited by Sparky-Watts; 06-18-2006 at 09:40 PM.

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