Well, it was an interesting evening yesterday, as many of my friends and neighbors can attest. We had one of those uber-thunderstorms, not only with pounding rain, lightning and thunder, but also with flash flooding and hail. When living in the Midwest, we got used to these types of storms and usually just waited for them to roll through, but experiencing such a storm in Colorado is different because they get trapped by the air patterns caused by the mountains and just hang in the same spot. This particular storm was pretty much stationary over Parker for almost three hours.
Our family spent most of the evening huddled in the basement, with very upset doggies barking at every blast of thunder. Eventually we managed to calm them by holding them closely and reassuring them, but it was stressful for all of us.
I’ve lived through a lot of storms in my life but other than the inevitable cleanup afterwards, most were usually not very memorable. This one struck me as different though, because while the storm was the same, the experience was different. People talk about how social media changes our lives and makes our interactions with people less meaningful, but our experience last night was just the opposite.
As we were huddled in the basement, we were getting real-time updates on people’s experience of the storm via Facebook. Our friends were posting about how they are doing, adding photos of the damage, and supporting each other through the challenges. We knew that one friend’s husband was in the midst of driving home from the airport so we were all worried, and much relieved to hear that he arrived home safely. We knew about the other friend with the broken skylight and flooding in his basement. We knew about the person with the downed trees.
Given the nature of the storm, there was not much we could do but it felt good somehow to be part of this little community, even if we were all huddled in our basements watching our smart phones, alternating between the weather radar and the updates on Facebook.
It was also interesting to see photos being posted from around the community, like this one from the Pinery, which is just south of town:
This morning, the storm is over, and we have all crawled out of hiding to assess the damage. Luckily, mine doesn’t look too bad although I was about the 10th caller from Colorado when I called my insurance company to have them come do a more formal assessment. Everyone is safe at least, and the damage is all to property, which is mostly insured and can be repaired. So, we’re lucky and a bit grateful that once again Mother Nature has shown us her fury but we all came out okay.
Hope it’s all good in your neck the woods too. Happy Thursday.