Wednesday, August 08, 2012

A 'Funny' Cloud Passes Over Uncle Cran's Ozark Farm

We've not heard from Uncle Cran for a while now, but a bit of wind at his farm brought forth a few emails reporting on him and Aunt Gay, an initial email after their electricity was restored:
Yesterday [August 2, 2012] we had a lot of wind, and some rain. About 5:30 p.m. the wind blew so hard we thought it sounded like a tornado. A lot of trees and barns [in the area] blew down. The ash tree behind the [storage] trailor . . . [had] two big limbs [blown] off and they knocked down the pole with the meter to our well, and the line was on the ground. It also blew one of the turbines off the roof. I went today to get wiring and conduit to run from our house. Tomorrow [Gay's cousin] Edmond [Fore] is bringing his Bobcat with a backhoe on it to dig the ditch [for the new line]. Bill and Audrey Young had a tree that fell on the house and tore part of the roof off, with lots of water damage. We did get .5 inches of rain during the storm, and another .3 during the night. That was our biggest rain since April.
Sounds scary, but Uncle Cran followed up that frightening initial report with an even more alarming, detailed report:
The wind last Wednesday (about 5:30 p.m.), sounded exactly like the tornado of 1982 that wiped us out except for the clothes we were wearing. There was a terrific roar, the house was shaking, we thought the house would go at any moment. Gay and I were both praying out loud. The power went off and stayed off until 6:00 a.m. on Thursday. There were several people who said they saw a funnel in the air below this same cloud. It demolished a boat dock on Bull Shoals Lake before it hit us. After things calmed down I went outside. Tree limbs were all over the yard. I walked behind the trailor house across the driveway, and there were two big tree limbs that were ripped off the ash tree, and they had demolished the meter loop that fed our well, and ripped the line to the ground from our outside night light all the way to the transformer, so we were out of water. Thursday, we bought a new breaker box, electric wires, and conduit, and on Friday Gay's cousin Edmond Fore brought his Bobcat with a backhoe attached. We spent the day hooking up from our house load center to the well. By 6:30 p.m., we had water once again. I told Gay that I might as well wait until Saturday night to take a shower! But she changed my mind rather quickly. One lady who grew up like my family without running water and electricity was asked about the one thing she would never want to do without again, and her reply was "Running water in the house." I agree. Of course, A/C [the air conditioner] would run a close second.
I told you it would be scary -- Uncle Cran without a shower! I inquired about photos of the damage, so Uncle Cran sent the following photo and message:

Jeffery, there were two large limbs from the ash tree and one from an elm that fell close together. I have already cleaned up the limbs from the rest of our yard. I'll send a couple more [photographs] from another angle.
But I don't see an unwashed Uncle Cran! Maybe in the next photo and commentary:

These are the two limbs from the ash tree that demolished the utility pole from the transformer. It had the meter loop, meter, and load center box attached. I shoved the limbs off the pole, [which] . . . is lying on the ground on the other side of the limbs.
Still no unwashed Uncle Cran, but a reference to his superhuman shoving powers! Yet . . . he also errs despite those powers:
Jeffery I mis-labeled [that] photo . . . . It was a photo of the elm limb, about like the other one.
An obscure corrective, which I leave as homework for the reader to figure out, and a repetitive description follows, along with some new facts:
Here are the two elm branches that demolished the utility pole with all the attachments I mentioned in [the other message]. I learned today that there were 9 supercells in the area Wednesday afternoon. The one that came over us didn't actually have a tornado on the ground, but several other people had barns destroyed, trees on houses, and other damage. At least three people reported a funnel cloud in the air. The roar we heard was likely the funnel just over us. The wind was really raging. It was pretty scary.
And scarier with each retelling! Here's the photo of the elm branches . . . or were they ash branches?

The hilltop farm looks peaceful now, but I know how scary an Ozark storm can be, and I'm thankful Uncle Cran and Aunt Gay are safe. Nine supercells could easily have done far more damage! They're lucky the Ozarks are a low-lying plateau, else the funnel might have struck their hilltop farm more directly!

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At 9:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad all are safe. We have been under drought conditions for the summer with most of the state listed as in a severe or extreme drought. With temperatures exceeding 100 for most of July and into August, we all need some rain and relief, however; i would prefer in come in the form of a gentle two or three day soaking versus the violent storms and lightening we normally get. Tell Cran to makes baseball bats out of the Ash limbs.


At 8:32 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Good to hear from you, Jay. I'd begun to wonder if you were fine.

I'll let Uncle Cran know of your comment.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 2:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been here reading the posts except for a week in June when we on vacation to the gulf coast. I wanted to make some comments on the whole multiculturalism topic, but never could get me thoughts succinct enough to put them into writing.

Hope you had fun on your mini-vacation. I have not been on stage since January, but have a small part in "Oliver!" next month. I have been doing more set building and behind the scenes stuff over the Spring and Summer.


At 5:31 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Ah, the multi-culti debate . . . There are some topics that one isn't supposed to talk about.

Jeffery Hodges

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