Sunday, August 05, 2012

Horizontal Rain and Other Stories.

For months now I'm sure every farm family in my area has added a prayer for rain to their mealtime prayers around the dinner table.    I'm just as sure those prayers have been said at every church service in the county as well. 

I have a hunch that old expression about "being careful what you wish for" has crossed a few minds besides mine today.  Last night our drought was broken by an epic, gully washing, frog choking, deluge of Biblical proportions .  

rain overflowing our guttering 
Yesterday the Old Salt and I attended a barbecue to celebrate the  eighty-fifth birthday of a family member.  We arrived home near sunset, hot, tired and sweaty.  By the time we had showered and settled into our easy chair's to relax with the latest Netflix movie what sounded like an atomic blast rocked our house and what could have been the flash bulbs of a dozen cameras going off at once coming through the cracks in the drapes.  

Since the Old Salt spent over forty years living in southern California he has both a fascination and fear relationship with storms. He was at the front door before I even realized what the noise was.  A few seconds later he had gotten his weather radio and we were listening  to extreme  warnings for our surrounding area.   

The announcer was warning all those with livestock, exhibits, and booths at the fair to secure everything because forty to seventy mile per hour winds were entering our area along with torrential rain and hail.  He was so right.  Over the next couple of hours the weather gods dumped everything they had on us.  

Photo taken at the 2009 fair
The ten o'clock news report confirmed what we already new.  REO Speedwagon was scheduled to preform on the main stage at the fair last night and their show not only got rained out but the winds were blowing away the folding chairs set up for the audience like they were made of paper.   Today is the last day of the fair and I can only imagine how all the volunteers are rushing to repair the tents, canopies and other equipment upset or damaged in last night's storm.  We were planning to go to the fair later today but now I wonder if we really want to roam over the boggy ground and how much of it will have closed down early because of storm damage.  

Footnote: (added 8/5 at 7pm) Just saw the report on the 6:00 news about the problems with the storm at the fair last night. There were eleven thousand people that had to be evacuated from the fairgrounds by school buses once the storm started.  Damage from lightning, rain and wind was extensive.  Only one injury was reported which was amazing with all the flying objects.  It was the first time in decades that emergency plans had to be used and apparently everything went off without any problems.  Even through the fair was open today some minor venues were closed. Last I heard the main stage show for this evening was expected to preform on scheduled.  The Old Salt and I  decided not to attend the fair today after all.      

taken last April 
The high winds were snapping limbs up to a three inches in diameter and blowing them like matches around the area.  A large Maple tree lost its top. There were reports of golf ball size hail.    

This cypress tree is in our neighbors back yard and today the entire neighborhood is littered with the lacy leaves, pods and twigs blown around by the storm.  It will take me days to pick up all the mess embedded in the mulch of my flowerbeds that I can not take a rake too.   

When I walked my yard this morning, I found most of my flowerpots lying on their sides and several of the clay ones broken. Plants were bent and branches were broken. One tomato plant heavy with ripening fruit snapped in half and lay on the patio.   Statues and other yard art were not only blown over but moved around in some cases.  My shepherd hooks were leaning and had lost the plants and birdhouses that were hanging from them.  I also found my patio umbrella in a broken heap against the fence.  But, the worst damage was to the hawthorn tree at the corner of the yard.  The tree was leaning after a storm last fall and after last night, it is leaning so much more that we will have to take it down. 

The bright side is we got over three inches of rain and I will gladly sacrifice an old patio umbrella and a few tomatoes to the weather gods if it means our farmers get some relief.  I didn't really care for that thorny old hawthorn tree anyway and now I have an excuse to replace it with something ..., perhaps, flowering and sweet smelling.    


  1. Don't know whether to say congrats on the rain or not. I guess it is partly good, but those gully washing storms on all that dry ground is usually not good at the time, nor later on.

  2. Gully washers usually aren't the answer at drought time - - - but we still need a couple of weeks of good old soaking rain 'round here!

  3. It was nasty out last night . It wasn't as bad here as at your place but we did lose our New umbrella . Will have to pick one up this week I guess. I'm still waiting for that soaking rain for a couple of weeks.

  4. prayers, deluge, and state fairs......interesting post.....

  5. "Be careful what you wish for."
    Hmmm... could I ever, ever grow tired of record snowfall? :)
    Happy 'twas only your plants/trees that suffered casualties last night!

  6. Glad you got some rain, but sorry it had to come that way. When it comes in so fast, so much is lost to runoff...glad you were safe! How far away are you from St Louis? Our family is in Hillsboro/DeSoto area. Will have to call them today!

    1. Linda, we are about 35 miles west of St Louis.

  7. I can just imagine what those chairs were like flying around!!
    the shot of the rain falling off your gutters is amazing
    I hope everyone was safe
    and I'm glad there was some relief for the farms

  8. Oh dear! You have had a rough time! The weather is very unbalanced everywhere in the world. In Australia, where I recently have been, but also in my country we were having heavy winds blowing and a lot of rain.
    Thanks for your visit!

  9. The weather the last year and this year has been crazy! In Omaha, Nebraska we have yet to see a good rain. I know what you mean about farmers praying for it. It's on the news every night it seems. I just went to Mahoney St Park and it's sad seeing the Plat River from the tower. I see plenty of land where water is should be. Last year I a hard time getting to Kansas City for my cousin's wedding. So much was flooded. Friends wanted to visit us from there. I told them not to bother. It was a pain trying to find different routes. It would be nice is flooded water could be saved for droughts like we have now.

    Rain is in the forecast. I've seen drops, but nothing like we need.

  10. Wow! I'm glad to hear that evacuation at the Fair was handled so well. It could have been a real disaster. Wishing you temperate times.

  11. Wow! That's an amazing storm you had! Glad no more damage was done, and only the one injury at the fair grounds.

  12. And that my dear, is why I'm happy to live in the land of no weather... Sorry about the damage. That sucks!


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