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You Motha' Nature

2011 Insane Gardener Summer Series

“If I lived in Missouri, I’d build a tornado shelter,” my mom said on May 1st while visiting from Littleton, Colorado.

I told mom we felt pretty secure because we had a crawl space as well as an interior laundry room under the staircase. I’ve stayed in the laundry room with pillows and blankets a few times. On two occasions I received phone calls from our daughter, Ashley, in Springfield warning us that our town was in imminent danger. Each time a tornado struck within five miles. Neither one was rated higher than an F2, but don’t underestimate an F2; they sink boats, destroy mobile homes and snap trees like toothpicks.

We’d just finished dinner on May twenty-second when once again, we received a phone call from our tornado angel, Ashley. She said a huge tornado destroyed St. John’s hospital in Joplin and a large part of the town.  It was moving our direction and Stone County was under a warning.  I looked outside—the sky wasn’t green and it was calm. Six days earlier our glass patio table was smashed by the umbrella when a straight line wind came out of nowhere and launched the table and umbrella halfway across our deck. It's not unusual for straight line winds to be upgraded to F1 or F2 tornadoes around here.

As predicted a tornado touched down in Stone County at 7:10 p.m. three miles northeast of the county seat of Galena.  The tornado was on the ground for fifteen minutes and was seven miles long and two hundred yards wide. It destroyed several mobile homes and turkey houses. There was no loss of life, well, except for the turkeys. The F2 twister was much less destructive than when it hit Joplin. 
Doug Cramer, National Weather Service Meteorologist in Springfield, confirmed it was the same tornado that demolished Joplin. By the time it arrived in Stone County the wind speeds had gone from 200 mph to 120 miles per hour. Stone County was lucky, if you want to call it that.
The week prior to the tornadoes, President Obama declared Stone County and seven other counties in Missouri disaster areas due to flooding and severe weather.
This week Missouri has record setting high temperatures and the thirteen year cicadas crawled out of the ground. The racket is relentless and they won't shut up until they're dead.

It’s time for Motha’ Nature to give the Show Me State a break.

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Oh dear...

Glad the wind slowed down before it hit your county. I can't remember such widespread weather devastation, such as the world has had this year.

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The weatha'

Hi, Sue

Yes, it's been horrific weather wise. My husband made a comment about Joplin. He said, "Imagine the destruction in Joplin...now times it by a thousand and you have Japan."

Whoa. It was a very sobering thought. Too much, really. We're not through the severe weather season, yet unfortunately. And how unusual to have tornadoes in Springfield, MA.