Thursday, July 5, 2012

Another July 4th Storm

Reminiscent of 1999 and the infamous Blowdown, the Fourth of July skies open up, or rather rolled up yesterday with what threatened to be a vengeance.  Eerie, uncanny clouds rolled in as if they were waves just when the  Parade was ending.

Storm rolling over Ely, July 4th, 2012

Despite all the rain of late June, we were suffering from hot temperatures like the rest of the country (well admittedly we are spoiled, we're talking temps in the 90s when others are suffering with mercury over the century or even 110 degree mark).  Anyway, we were thankful for the promise of rain after a week or more of drying out.  We raised heads and eyes to the sky with doubt and not too little thoughts of deja vu.

Back in 1999, I watched the wind pick up a dumpster from in front of the community center and shove it all the way across the street to the Senior Center parking lot.  The wheels were locked.  No small display of strength.  When I got home the wind grabbed my crank out windows, yanked them wide open and then shoved them shut, blowing my screens off the inside and stuff across my living and dining rooms.  I was inside, there were plenty of folks in the wilderness when the flatline winds took out a path of trees 7 miles wide and 25 or more miles long.  Suffice it to say:  When it looks like this over Ely on the Fourth of July, we take notice around here.  It might not just be another summer thriller.

1.6 inches of rain fell nearly all at once yesterday in a downpour.  Some branches blew off trees, a few came down and quarter sized hail was reported in some places.  Outskirts of Ely and elsewhere on the Iron Range power failed and went out.

8:30 p.m. brought the end of the rain and I saw the sun peek out.  I began to hear fireworks (amateur style) going off and I knew it was going to be a beautiful night.  Indeed by the time darkness rolled in to envelope what was left of the storm clouds the city fireworks display began on schedule.  In my opinion some of the best coordinated, choreographed fireworks I've ever seen with a real Grand Finale.

Sometimes the shadows and dark skies hold just as much promise as the bright sun-filled ones do.  Sometimes more.  It is good to be prepared for the worst, but is also good to be prepared for the unknown that can be much, much better than we ever imagine.  Don't let fear rule the day is a good motto.  Embrace the undiscovered country...


Tim Stouffer said...

People are now reporting huge trees down all around the area from the fernberg trail, to cloquet line, to echo trail. Big winds came in, perhaps 80 mph. and did big damage in select areas. Power out to a lot of folks.

Clifford Jacobson said...

Great post, Tim. Really, you should have been a writer. Hey, there's still time!

Tim Stouffer said...

Thanks Cliff, some power came back to folks late last night, many still without. Lots more trees down than we thought yesterday. Very similar results in concentrated areas to the blowdown. Big trees ripped up and laid flat. I'm glad my "English with a Writing Emphasis" degree is having positive results :)