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patterns of ink

How fruitless to be ever thinking yet never embrace a thought... to have the power to believe and believe it's all for naught. I, too, have reckoned time and truth (content to wonder if not think) in metaphors and meaning and endless patterns of ink. Perhaps a few may find their way to the world where others live, sharing not just thoughts I've gathered but those I wish to give. Tom Kapanka

Monday, June 09, 2008

Close Call at Mom's House

Updates At the Bottom and in Comments

Two posts ago I told you about my friend Carmen's house being carried off by a tornado before her eyes. Today her town of New Hartford, Iowa, is being evacuated due to flooding.

Then in the comments of that post I mentioned a black wall of storms was in our rearview mirror as we headed east from Iowa to Joliet, Illinois, to put our daughter on a train to another Chicago suberb.
................... Click on photo to enlarge. Scroll left-right-up-down to view.
Four tornados hit the greater Chicago area just after we left. That storm system included southern Wisconsin and continued east across Lake Michigan to my county. It began pounding Interstate 35 with high winds and flood waters. In fact, I-35 was closed under two feet of water in Holland, Michigan, just a few hours after we passed through. Early the next morning, just south of Holland in Saugatuck, two people were killed in their vehicle as it was swallowed up in a forty foot sink hole caused by flood waters under the roadway.

That night's winds and rain knocked our power out for six hours. By afternoon the second string of the same storm system hit and moved east across the state to our family homestead, taking down four large trees. Our land is full of oaks. This one on the south side of our Mom's house (in background) just missed taking out what used to be my little brother's bedroom.

Bob sent the picture today. I mentioned that he is moving north to Port Huron and his new house is not surrounded by towering trees. As you can see this particular oak was hollow and snapped off. The others were uprooted.

On my way to work this morning, I was detoured around a twenty foot deep "sink hole" in the middle of our road just two miles from home. The road is gone similar to what happened in Saugatuck, but thankfully no car drove into it.

The flood warnings are in effect until further notice.

Update: Wednesday , June 11, 2008: Additional tornado activity is spreading across Iowa. Four Boy Scouts were killed at a camp. An additional 6 inches of rain is expected tonight in areas already under floods at 100-year levels. Areas of Waterloo, where we were a week ago, have already been evacuated. The photos in this slide show were taken before this new system came through.

Update: Thursday , June 12, 2008: The video below was taken after the Wednesday night storm. Cedar Rapids is 45 minutes south of Waterloo. I learned today that the favorite Italian restaurant where we ate a week ago tonight is under water. Sad news for our friend WSL (Wisconsin Sandwich Lady) in the comment section: this system moved east into Wisconsin.



The photo of the tornado was taken by Lori Mehmen from outside her front door in Orchard, Iowa, Tuesday, June 10, 2008 at 9:04 p.m. All but a few tree tops in the photo SURVIVED the near-miss of the funnel cloud!

26 Comments:

Blogger Dr.John said...

It seems like more bad storms are coming.

9/6/08 6:36 PM  
Blogger Nancy said...

The storms sure are hitting close to home... literally! I bet this has been overwhelming for Bob.

Again let me repeat- send those storms to the east as fast as you can... we need the rain.

9/6/08 9:42 PM  
Blogger patterns of ink said...

Dr. John,
This really is something. I think the Michigan death toll is up to ten in two days.

Nancy,
I know you guys are in a heat wave. We hope to be done with this rain soon. Maybe it will shower down on you in a day or two.

9/6/08 11:25 PM  
Blogger the walking man said...

What I have a hard time understanding about local weather patterns is why do the Counties to the north of Wayne experience such radically different weather. That storm system thundered a bit, rained for about 15 minutes normally, and then we cooked outside. While my Daughter in Yale got slammed.

10/6/08 2:35 AM  
Blogger Cris said...

This storm has really been something. People have lost their lives and thousands of people are without power. Glad to know that the trees that fell didn't hit the house.

10/6/08 5:53 AM  
Blogger patterns of ink said...

TWM,
You're right.
I remember tornado drills in Huron Park Grammar School on Frazho Road just a couple miles from you, but I don't remember any actual tornados or damaging winds in the Detroit suburbs. Ten miles north on I-94 and our homestead near New Baltimore has had many trees taken down through the years.

Cris,
In addition to the two I mentioned, one couple's car was hit by a falling tree that killed the man who was driving and another lady in Lansing was crushed by an RV.

This summer will be hard enough "closing down" my mom's house with having to do repair to the structure itself.

10/6/08 5:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Big Sigh!!! We're in a respite here in Wisconsin. I had not heard of what had transpired in Michigan.
I would imagine by now, you all have seen on the news the flooding in South Central Wisconsin...along with the devestation in Indiana.
My town also had another very small F1 tornado on Saturday. It tore up alot of trees did some home damage..but not o the degree of the one that hit here 3 years ago. Amounts of rain have been in the record amounts depending on location. There is rain in our forecast once again tomorrow. I pray that we won't get it...or that it will be minimal. Have you seen on the news what happened 50 miles north of me, in The Dells? It will definately affect their economy which largely depends on summer tourism (though that's changing to year-round with in-door waterparks).
WSL

10/6/08 10:31 PM  
Blogger patterns of ink said...

WSL,
I have read the accounts and seen the footage. I think Wisconsin and Indiana got it even worse than Michigan. We have lots of trees down and some washed out roads, but we don't have dams breaking like they did in the Dells. Years ago my wife and I drove from Michigan's U.P. to the northeast part of Wisconsin (Green Bay, Door County, etc.) but we've never been to the Dells.

11/6/08 12:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Growing up in Minnesota, I heard alot about "The Dells"..fast foreward to adulthood..when my husband and I were young marrieds we drove over to take a look at what all the "hype" was about. The town is very commercialized, built around river bluffs and it's quite wooded. The shops are all tourist-driven. They probably get people from all over, but one will see ALOT of Illinois license plates. Lake Delton, that over-ran it's banks was "man-made" from what I gather...water backed up and was quite beautiful. You'd never have known it was man-made I guess. There is also a town called Lake Delton, which is a part of Wisconsin Dells (also a town). There are many, many resorts there.
The Madison morning newspaper has on the front page that "More May Be Coming"...oh my, we need to pray that isn't so!! On another note, there is a pretty town further west in the state out in the hills, called Gays Mills that has been flooded twice in the past 10 months. There is talk that the people there will give up and not try to stay! Tornados are bad..one can rebuild after that, but what to do after floods and the prospect that it could happen again and again??!!!
WSL

11/6/08 7:29 AM  
Blogger patterns of ink said...

WSL,
Please keep us posted about what happens Thursday. I'm sure you've seen this news, but Iowa is being swept with additional severe weather that is expected to come your way in Wisconsin. I just added an update to the bottom of this post.

11/6/08 9:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Go online to Foxnews.com and see the article on the weather. I just saw on MSNBC online that a tornado hit a scout camp (probably near Sioux City)killing and injuring there.
There are high winds in No. Dak. and Minn. that closed I-94 because it was turning trucks over.
We need to get on our knees!!!
WSL

11/6/08 9:43 PM  
Blogger Donnetta Lee said...

Don't understand the weather any more. We used to end up in the cellar in the spring dodging the storms. But often we had these beautiful gently rains. My brother and I would put on our swim suits and run and play in it. I never see those rain showers any more.
Donnetta

11/6/08 9:49 PM  
Blogger patterns of ink said...

WSL,
Yes, I'm watching it as I type. Our friends in Waterloo,Iowa, a couple hours east of that Scout camp are bracing for the worst now and in the hours ahead.

Donnetta,
This is the sort of thing that may not happen again in a hundred years. We had a gentle rain, the kind you remember, just last week.
This reminds me of a poem by Sara Teasdale that begins "There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground,/And swallows circling with their shimmering sound;/And frogs in the pools singing at night,/And wild plum trees in tremulous white..."

11/6/08 10:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wisconsin is bracing itself for tomorrow. The lakes by Madison are being sand-bagged and the Interstate north of there I-90/94 at Portage might have to be detoured as there is high water near there. Of course the other areas already affected. The weather was just on...and rain is in the forecast at least through Sunday!
WSL

11/6/08 10:26 PM  
Blogger the walking man said...

The kids out for a camp should not have had the winds land in their midst. Sad.

What is this doing to the farms and the planting season? Isn't this well past the time they would be seeding?

12/6/08 12:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So very sad about the scouts!!!

The front page of this mornings paper..top headline says.."Crop losses will be high! Tens of "millions", insurance will fall short.
The planting is done I think and seedlings were poking up about an inch or two.
Another headline..."Floods end raw sweage pouring into lakes and rivers"
This is catastrophic in alot of ways!
WSL

12/6/08 7:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's me again...at nearly 4 p.m. The t.v is going constantly with weather updates. We're being "hit" again in this state...with thunder showers (monsoons), tornado watches/warnings, flood warnings etc. etc. There are road closings happening as well. The freeway between Madison and Milwaukee is going to be closed again (near Johnson Creek, for people who know the area). We have a "dish" so the coverage keeps getting knocked off by the weather. One area reported getting 4" since 2:00 this afternoon. It's just incredible!!! I had to drive into Madison for errands this morning (11:15 a.m.) and it had just started. At times the rain was so hard I thought about pulling over then it improved.

I see by an article on the Internet that Cedar Rapids, IA has mandatory evacuation. So we're not the only ones having challenges.
WSL

12/6/08 3:59 PM  
Blogger patterns of ink said...

TWM,
You're so right. The immediate effects of this damage and flooding will take days to soak in. The long-term effects are unimaginable.

WSL,
I know what you're seeing is awful, but I do appreciate your willingness to keep us all posted in real time. If the pattern holds true, your storms will come across the lake and hit us in Michigan tonight and tomorrow.
Feel free to keep posting updates.

12/6/08 7:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's mid-day on Friday and it's not raining though it's cloudy and rain "could be" in the forecast all through the weekend. They're saying "occassional" rain. I won't even say showers as what we have been having is torrential. Yesterday's amount was over 3" at our house. We live on a corner and at one point the 2 streets were rushing "rivers" and some yards in our neighborhood had "lakes" in them. There's a greenway a short ways away that is for "run-off" and there was a lake there at one point last evening. That's just in my rhelm of being. Thankfully, so far, our house remains dry!!!!
Today, you'd never really know about all those "lakes" of last evening!!!

Our weather people on t.v were constant for 5 hours from mid-afternoon into early evening due to the seriousness. Tornados were being spotted here and there (never heard a firm report on if they touched down etc.--for damage reports). The Interstate (I-90/94) north of Madison is closed..this is going towards Northern Wisconsin OR to Minnesota. I know it's closed again towards Milwaukee (I-94) as well. I heard a radio report this morning that there are so many other roads closed that there's too many to list. So if one needs to get anywhere they'll need to check on their own. You can probably view some of this online!

Big Sigh! Yes, the system is headed eastwards towards you POI!! I pray that somehow the lake will curtail alot of the severity of it. Again (as they're saying in Cedar Rapids)..we NEED to look to God!!! It's only by His provision and grace as "man" really can't do a thing about ANY of this!!!
WSL

13/6/08 11:53 AM  
Blogger patterns of ink said...

WSL,
You'd make a pretty good journalist. I wish it were under better circumstances for you. To our surprise those high winds and downpours swept across Lake Michigan and hit land about 50 miles north of us in Ludington, up where we do some camping. You can see on the maps that it was between there and Traverse City and parts inland that really got it. We remain in a tornado watch, but it has been an uneventful day on the lower west shore of Michigan so far.
Thanks for the update.

I do hope to post something less weather related this weekend.

13/6/08 2:43 PM  
Blogger Nancy said...

WOW, WSL really has been up close and personal with this weather stuff.

It was so sad about the boy scouts. My son is an Eagle Scout so it kinda hits home, when you do the "what if" thing. Those poor moms and dads!

No rain for us yet but it has turned a little cooler... 90 instead of 100.

We are heading to the beach for a week. I hope to have wireless but if not, I will be MIA. Have a great weekend and a great Father's Day!

13/6/08 9:15 PM  
Blogger patterns of ink said...

Thank you, Nancy,
I hope to. Enjoy the beach!

13/6/08 9:46 PM  
Blogger JR's Thumbprints said...

Not only has the weather been severe lately; allergy season is at an all-time high. I guess I'd rather be miserable; it beats the alternative.

13/6/08 11:51 PM  
Blogger Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Sorry to learn about all this bad weather. I hope it has come to an end.

14/6/08 11:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thankfully our weather took a much longed for turn for the better, yesterday. The skies cleared off (ahhhh, the sun!!) and the air cleared of humidity. Today is also gorgeous but kinda windy. There are clouds gathering to the north and west a bit. Rain "is" in the forecast (a chance) for later today (or tonight) and also tomorrow. Then clearing for some days after that. You could go online to www.wisconsinstatejournal.com for what's there today. Pictures are heart-breaking!!! I-90/94/39 inter-change is shown from an arial view. Who'd have known???
It's hard to read about all the folks who are dealing with homes lost (no matter if in Wisconsin OR in Iowa or wherever).
POI..how's the clearing of your mom's house/yard going?? Did you get any of the nasty stuff again over your way??
WSL

14/6/08 3:09 PM  
Blogger patterns of ink said...

JRT and LGS,
Thanks for stopping by. I hope to a have Father's Day post up tomorrow.

WSL,
We did get a little rain last night. Today has been beautiful. We're going to four graduation open houses and all should be fine for the parties.
I'm glad you all finally got a break from the assault.
Ludington and Manistee (an hour+ north of us) really got hit. Lots of flooding. Lots of washed out roads--including Interstate I-35.

I called home about the tree that started this post a couple days ago. (That is on the other side of the state 3.5 hours away). For now my brother in law simply cleared all the branches and debris from the yards. We'll do something about the tree itself in a few weeks when we all gather to begin all the other family business there at the homestead.

14/6/08 3:39 PM  

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