Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Storm Damage in Valley, NE | by Kelly Cackin

Hail in Valley, NE | Looks like snow!
Broken window on vehicle | Unfortunately, this is my vehicle...

We had an unexpected, tornadic storm come through Tuesday afternoon.  Most of us in Valley, NE, USA, are grateful for auto insurance!

The storm went from a light rain to heavy winds and large hail in the time it takes to pop a bag of popcorn.  For about 10 minutes, we all huddled in the tornado shelters, biting our nails and worrying about our loved ones and property! Though we didn't have any tornadoes in Valley, this same storm produced an EF1 tornado in western Iowa later in the day.

In Valley, at least 60 MPH winds were reported; hail diameters measured between 3/4" to over 1" (ping-pong ball to golf ball least).

Most, if not all, vehicles in Valley sustained a lot of damage, including broken windows and mirrors, broken bumpers and fenders, and many, many, many dents.  Some vehicles are not drivable, while most are close to totaled. 

Because it IS that time of year again (ie: tornado season), make sure your tornado shelters are cleaned out and ready to use!  If yours are anything like mine, I've been storing my Christmas decorations and books in my shelter for the past 6 months...Also, make sure you have at least one flashlight and battery-operated radio that work.  Having several blankets on hand is also a good idea.  As someone who has pets and takes her pets into the tornado shelter with her (...), make sure that your pet carriers are ready to be used!  One last hint that my mother taught me many years ago - during tornado season, keep your jewelry (the stuff you don't wear everyday) and small items you would want to salvage in a spare messenger bag; this bag is easy to grab in case you need to take shelter.

Stay safe!