"Weather Gods Are Mad!"
By Capt. Fred Davis
Published: Friday, May 27, 2011

Weather broadcasts can’t keep up with weather changes. By the time the broadcast comes on, it’s too late. The change has already happened and another is taking place.

The Corp of Engineers seems to be facing big decisions lately on whom to flood out next. Over the years, the Corp has diverted water and built levees to improve control of various waterways. For example, the Mississippi River has been a constant problem, first overflowing than being too low. Attempts to change its flow to join the Atchafalaya River have been an ongoing challenge.

Each time major changes affect the Mississippi, new levees or locks and dams were built. This year there was no way to control all the water draining into the Mississippi from its many tributaries. Spillways had to be opened to relieve the pressure created by the high volume of water.

The latest problems on the Miss may well create even more concerns for the Corp of Engineers, calling for additional controls to handle the magnitude of flooding. The extreme flooding is no doubt exacerbated by the heavy rainfalls the past several weeks — which are still occurring. The weather Gods change their mind daily.

Although the controlled flooding is tearing lives apart by destroying prime farmland along with many homes, these circumstances are not the worst. Those affected are given warning and have a few days to gather their possessions before heading to higher ground. Where floodwaters overflow levees and spillways, people often do not have much warning at all.

On my return drive from Florida, I drove through areas where a different type of weather disaster had occurred – with little warning. I got a first-hand look at the devastation left behind by the recent tornadoes that ripped through Georgia and Tennessee. I was told people only had minutes to seek shelter; many were unable to do so. Entire towns and communities were destroyed, trees ripped out of the ground, cars and debris piled everywhere.

Here in Huron County, we wonder if the weather will ever return to normal. We should all be very thankful we still have homes to return to – I know I was. We should be grateful for our farmlands to work — as the weather allows — and our crops to harvest. If our basements are flooded from the constant deluge of rain, as I’ve heard many complain of, at least we can still live in our homes as they dry up.

To those upset with the weather, I suggest they consider, as the people of Joplin are, what real problems can result from the weather. Many of them are left with nothing; no home, car, clothing, and in too many cases, missing family members.

As I see it, we should all recognize our troubles and problems in respect to what others around the country are facing and give thanks. If you have Memorial Day activities with outside barbeques planned and the weather Gods intervene to dampen the event, just hug your friends and family and enjoy the fact you can all be together.

As we celebrate, let us remember the true meaning of Memorial Day, once named Decoration Day, dedicated to all those who died in U.S. wars. Memorials to all men and women who served their country in any conflict, whether declared a war or not, have since been added. The purpose of MEMORIAL DAY is to commemorate our heroes — not just enjoy a three-day weekend — so lets take time to salute them.



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