Monday, May 12, 2008

Never have I witnessed so many natural disasters as have occurred over the past couple of years. This past week saw so much loss of life and now today, the earthquake in China appears to be devastating. This country, as well, has been hit by many tornadoes and fires.

In Pennsylvania, tornadoes strike occasionally, but our major bad weather is from thunder and lightening storms, floods, and snow- and ice-storms. Most of my life, I rested in the knowledge that we didn't have to worry about hurricanes, cyclones, earthquakes, and tornadoes. Then, in the seventies, I found out tornadoes were indeed a possibility. On a late spring night, a little past 11:00 PM, my husband and I were watching the news when a tornado warning came across the screen for our area north of Pittsburgh. We scarcely took a breath when the sound of a train accompanied by strong winds suddenly engulfed us. The wind blew the living room drapes from the wall, and I ran to waken the kids and get everyone to the basement. The noise and wind didn't last too long, but caused a lot of damage in the area. The only damage we incurred was to our open tent trailer which had some badly bent supports and some torn canvas. Apparently, the funnel made a turn just before our house and then traveled a few miles south where it ripped out trees from hillsides and damaged many homes and property.

Not long after that experience, a tornado struck the area where I grew up and left much damage in its wake. We were EMT's and made the trip there to make sure our parents were all right because there wasn't any phone service. Everyone was fine, thankfully, but again, there was much damage to homes and property.

After a while, the only evidence of that kind of storm is the absence of trees or damage to woods areas. Even now, after 25 years, one can see where the tornadoes destroyed trees. I don't think I would want to live in areas which are prone to these natural disasters on a regular basis.
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