Sunday, May 22, 2011

Surveying the Damage

Yesterday was predicted to be the day the world would end. This major event was supposed to take place at 6pm central time. At 5:58pm this is what the sky looked like where my brother was in southern Jefferson County. So, for a brief few minutes it did run through his mind that the end of the world was actually taking place. Thank goodness it did not turn out to be the end of the world, but rather a very active weather day in the eastern part of Kansas.

Adam and I were glued to the TV watching the weathermen display the maps of the storms. The most active cell was south of us in the middle of Jefferson County. Reports of softball-sized hail, straight-line winds, funnel clouds and tornado touch downs were all topics of discussion as the night went on. The radar screen was lit up like a Christmas tree with all of the red, yellow, and green displayed across the viewing area. The screen showed more than one hook echo, which is usually the tell-tale sign a tornado is in the area. Several members of my family were in the direct path of this storm. The night was spent worrying about their safety and how this weather would affect my family's crops.

My brother, sister, and cousins were able to take pictures of the ominous looking clouds and the forming funnel clouds near the Topeka and Perry Lake areas. Thankfully everyone is safe and made it through this bout of severe weather unscathed.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Reading, KS and Joplin, MO. Reading was hit by a tornado last night and their town suffered severe damage. Twenty homes were destroyed, several were damaged and one fatality has been reported. Joplin was hit by a tornado this afternoon and the damage is extensive. Please keep the people of Reading and Joplin in your prayers as they recover, and start the clean up and rebuilding processes.

Below are the storm pictures taken by my brother, sister, and cousins.

Ominous clouds at Grantville.

Photo of a funnel cloud at Perry Lake.

Clouds in the Topeka area.

Funnel clouds in Topeka.

Funnel cloud in Topeka.

The severe weather hit our house later in the evening. The rain started to come down in buckets, then the straight-line winds hit, then we were pounded with hail two different times for about 10 minutes each. We went to bed after the threat of severe weather had passed, we woke up this morning and surveyed the damage.

Adam went out to look at the corn and I checked out the buildings. Adam came back inside with a somber expression on his face. He said the corn did not look good. I went out to look at the field with him and he was right. The corn was tattered, and was far from the the healthy vibrant plant it had been the a day before. Seeing this sight made both of us sick to our stomachs. It will take about a week to know whether or not the corn will be able to bounce back from the hail damage.

The rain gauge in our yard showed 3.5." We received this amount in about an hour, which washed out many ditches, and caused terraces to break over.

3.5" in an hour is not good for a young corn plant.

The battered corn plants.

The field of corn south of our house. It breaks my heart
look at it.

Standing water in the field south of our house.

The pictures below show the impact of high winds and hail to our buildings. We had a section of roof torn off our hay barn. Other barns had damage to the roofs as well.

Wind damage to the side of a barn.

Roof damage to another barn.

This door to the hay loft was blown open from
the wind. We don't really know how we are going to
get it closed.

More roof damage to another barn.

The roof that was ripped of our hay barn.

Our crop has a long way to go until harvest. This hard hit of severe weather has not given it the best start. We can only hope that yesterday's storm will be the worst of the severe weather for us and that the corn will come back from being hit with hail. We will keep you updated on its progress and whether or not Adam will have to replant this field.


  1. I am so sorry to hear about the storm, but I am glad you and Adam are safe. Growing up whenever a bad storm was rolling in - Ben and I were sent down to the basement for safety, but also to pray that the damage on the crops wouldn't be too bad. Hopefully, this will be the last of the bad weather you receive this year so your crop can come back and you have a great harvest.

  2. Becca,

    It was somewhat of a scary night, but I'm glad only minimal damage was done. The corn is bouncing back, and has really taken off in the past few weeks with the heat we have been having.

  3. Those dark clouds look mean and scary! But I’m more terrified by the damage it caused. Natural disasters can damage properties really bad. Roofs torn off, damaged or blown away by the wind can cause structural damage to your property. We cannot prevent this from happening, but we can do something about it by preparing our home from disasters like this. [Pleasance Faast ]

  4. That's some scary looking cloud you had there! I'm pretty sure it had some serious wind velocity because of the damage it caused. Imagining those things gives me goose bumps! Are those metal or aluminum roofs? Replacing or repairing that roof is kind of hard because of the height. This is actually not a DIY job. It would be best to hire an expert to do that job. Plus, having a regular roof inspection would be more reasonably priced.

    Corbin Linder

  5. By the looks of those clouds, I can guess that the storm did significant damage to your neighborhood. I think your barn was still in luck for it only had small damage compared to others that totally fell down. Anyway, more than a year has passed. I hope you were able to cope from this storm and you’ve successfully rebuilt your barn by now.

    Tiffany Larsen


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