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Hunkering down


Texas is not the greatest place to be in the spring. Being right in the middle of Tornado Alley you just know the weather is going to get fractious. I could see it coming yesterday. Unsettled weather with a cold front swooping down to meet the warm air coming out of the Gulf, you just know it is going to be bad. This morning they said the tops of the thunderheads were going to be above 55000 feet and I knew we were in for some nasty stuff.

The boomers move through southeast Texas tonight.

The boomers move through southeast Texas tonight.

My premonitions were right on target for this evening. The weather started building toward late evening after the storms took advantage of the heating of the day. About 6:30pm the Weather Radio started going off and I bet it went off 50 times over the next two hours. It was reporting rotation both north and south of me at this location east of Burkeville, TX. The worst we got was about an inch or better of rain in a 30 minute period when the band of storms moved through. Some 60mph gusts rocked the Old Girl and we got some pea sized hail. No biggie but I was prepared for much worse. If you live in a motor home in Tornado Alley during the Spring you would be a fool not to. I am an old hand at this and I have to say that you must have a catastrophic plan in place before the storm starts to roll in. So here are my thoughts– some may seem trivial but they make up my overall catastrophic weather plan.

!) The Generac Propane generator is ready to go. Out in these remote areas if we get a good blow there are going to be trees down on the power lines. I am not about to be outside during a storm hooking up cables and making sure the external propane tanks are turned on.

!) Loose stuff is picked up and secured. Awnings, garbage cans, camp chairs — it is all put away.

!) I am out here by myself and I usually do not latch the underbody storage doors. I close them-yes. When bad weather is threatening, I latch them as well. I have had a good wind blow them open and suck the contents out all over God’s half acre.

!) One of the first things I do at a new jobsite is tune my Weather Radio to the local frequency. Without fail — every time!

!) I like to get the local TV channels to keep up with local weather. With DISH Network, I get the Dallas locals and in this location, 250 miles south of Dallas, I am on the edge of the 110 spotbeam. I like to keep up with local news but the satellite TV is useless for local weather in this location. My boosted Winegard air antenna picks up one local station almost 50 miles east in Louisiana. Most of my weather is moving west to east so this doesn’t do me a whole lot of good. They were reporting things tonight that I had already been through 20 minutes previously.

!) Any winds over 70mph get me a little nervous about staying in the motor home. In remote locations such as this we do not really have any hard structures to evacuate to in a hurry. I parked one of the bulldozers close to the door this evening. There is room to crawl underneath them easily and at 20 tons, I don’t think anything short of the strongest F5 would disturb them. I really have little else as far as options.

!) The most important thing if bad weather threatens you in your motor home is to have a cognitive plan in place, in advance!

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