Tuesday, May 08, 2007

The Next Time You Think the Weather is Bad Here

Then have a look at what the most recent tornado did to this Kansas town. It annihilated 95% of Greensburg. It's amazing anyone survived as some of the dead were found in rubble filled basements. We in Newfoundland and Labrador suffer through long and often brutal cold winters, and hopelessly dreary, lingering, cold, wet, windy springs, at least in St. John's (apart from that the weather couldn't be better). But we do not face the devastation suffered by states in tornado alley, or south-eastern seaboard states that get the brunt of hurricanes. Each time a big tornado or hurricane occurs it amounts to many $ billions worth in damages, not to mention the priceless lives that are taken. So far, there are 11 people confirmed dead in Greensburg. If you could put a town in a giant blender and set it to maximum, here is what it might look like. It looks like Hiroshima.

Like many I have complained about our weather, but when seeing and hearing about disasters like Greensburg, it helps put our place and weather in better perspective, and reminds me to appreciate this place. You can take any place in the world and find something positive and negative about it. We associate warmth with the southern U.S. People in the south may love non-winter like weather for much of the year, but they have to deal with nature's cruel force and destruction. It's like people living there have been gambling in a bizarre lotto - and the winners are the ones who lost everything but their lives. In fact it reminds me of a short story called The Lottery by Shirley Jackson. It's an inverted lottery in which the "winner" gets stoned to death, but year after year, the towns people gamble, knowing it could be anyone.

Unfortunately it is all too real and sad for the families of the eleven killed.

If anyone still thinks we have it bad, then have a look at this video footage of the damage in Kansas. With a risk of freezing rain and cool temperatures today I'll have no reason to complain.

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