Weather or Not

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No I did not mistype the title of my topic today. If you have experienced summer in Dallas then you have a better understanding of why I used weather. Beginning in the spring and through mid-autumn some of our best friends are the meteorologists on our local channels. It is their expert knowledge and dedication to the job, that we are alerted to dangerous weather.

Because many times it is just a threat of weather and nothing actually materializes, we let our defenses down. When the warning comes, we hear it but we don’t always head the warning. I won’t lie. I have been guilty of ignoring the meteorologists’ warning that bad weather is coming and have found myself stuck in my car at a mall parking garage while the rain and hail come down. Knowing I have experts on the lookout, I’ve never properly respected the weather as I should have.

I have been lucky. I lived in the Dallas area and hadn’t experienced anything more serious than heavy rain and some hail. The tornadoes always seemed to hit somewhere else, close but not at my house. The spring and summer of 2007 was an eye-opening time. I was living in Flower Mound, a suburb located where Dallas, Denton and Tarrant county meet north of DFW airport. It seemed for a month or two, the sirens would go off almost every day or evening. I found it annoying because other than rain and some strong wind, nothing ever happened. The warning sirens were disrupting my life.

One evening while watching TV, it scrolled serious thunderstorm threat, tornado watch.  I heard a very unusual clap of thunder. It didn’t sound right but there were no sirens.  I began to hear a popping sound, like my floor tiles were coming loose. Again no sirens so I didn’t consider it to be serious especially since the town had been setting them off at the slightest threat of bad weather. About 15 minutes after that strange clap of thunder, a news flash appeared on TV. A small but damaging tornado had touched down in west Flower Mound. About 3 miles from me, several homes had been hit and incurred serious damage.

It was then I realized how important it was to take those warnings seriously. Even if the sirens and warnings inconvenienced me, it wasn’t worth the risk. And not long after that evening, my house was hit by bad weather. I never learned if it was straight line winds or a small tornado, but I lost part of my roof, two trees, a patio cover and my fence. My pool was full of debris.

So now when there is a warning or I hear the sirens, I listen.

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