No tornado here, but still a worry

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benf | 04/30/14
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A few distraught readers called on Tuesday, wondering where The Red Line had gone, and the answer was, “I don’t know.” All I knew was that the machine that takes the calls apparently had something wrong with it, and none of the calls that came in were intelligible. For that, I apologize, and hope Red Line fans won’t give up. If you called last week with a comment, please call again. The number is 674-4478.

The Red Line and I were on the fritz at about the same time. I was dragging around all weekend and on Monday, too tired and too achy to do much of anything but lie around and groan. When I would stand up, I would get dizzy. That was a good excuse to stay horizontal and catnap a couple of days away.

At least I wasn’t in a tornado as the folks in the South experienced. Whole towns were thrown topsy turvy. People were killed. It was awful.

If you turn to Page A8 in today’s issue, you will see a funnel cloud touching down not far from the Madera Municipal Airport, which should get your attention. We didn’t hear any reports of an actual tornado occuring, but a funnel cloud is a first step.

Many people remember a tornado hitting hereabouts about a decade ago, and it did a lot of damage to crops in places where it hit. When tornados hit, they leave very little intact. I remember interviewing a staff member of the Joplin, Missouri, Globe, when that city was hit by a powerful tornado a few years ago. Recently, I saw a news story about Joplin’s recovery, and it was slow. Joplin is a prosperous town, too, one you would expect would rebuild quickly, but it has been a slog for those industrious folks. Thank goodness no tornado hit us here.

In fact, except for the lack of rain, our weather has been perfect.

But a drought is not unlike a tornado in the damage it can do. It’s just slower. Farmers are likely to lose some crops and see a lot of hard work wither away. In a way, that’s like a slow tornado, doing damage but nevertheless in a hard way.

 

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