In this past week, the Vandalia area has seen its share of severe thunderstorms with the potential to produce tornadoes.
Last Thursday, area spotters even reported seeing a funnel cloud up on Route P. Winds ranging in the 45-60 m.p.h. range caused many down tree limbs. Even one tree completely fell over on a truck at a residence on Highway 54 in Vandalia.
Tornado sirens in Vandalia were turned on to encourage residents to seek proper shelter.
While the area has experienced some flooding with mostly minor wind damage, we’ve been extremely blessed.
I hope that is something none of us never take for granted.
So many times these storms cause us to seek proper shelter and then nothing of significance happens.
Well, it might be a little annoying but that’s okay with me.
I’d rather have no storms substantially hit our area than for my family or my neighbors to suffer the heartache in dealing with tornadoes and the damage they can cause.
We should be reminded not only of what took place in Joplin not that long ago, but remember what has happened in our neighboring states just this past week.
The death toll from tornadoes has reached 21 and it will likely increase after tornadoes hit the Tupelo, Mississippi area earlier this week.
It’s important that all Vandalia area residents take every one of these storms seriously.
We never will know when one of these tornado watches and warnings will result into an actual tornado touching down in our area.
I think the report of a funnel cloud on Route P hit a little too close to home for me.
I want to encourage all area residents to not be lazy when it comes to taking proper shelter during these types of storms.
It’s important to have a game plan in place.
If you have a basement or know someone with one, underground locations are the best places for shelter during these storms.
If you don’t have a basement and are unable to seek shelter in a place like the Vandalia library, then go to a small center room like a bathroom, closet, under a stairwell, or in an interior hallway with no windows.
It’s important to also consider covering yourself with padding like a mattress, pillow, or blankets to protect yourself from falling debris from a roof or ceiling falling in.
I feel like God has truly protected our area and I’m thankful none of us are facing the aftermath of these deadly storms.
It’s important we never get lazy with these storms. We need to take every warning and watch seriously.
Meanwhile, we should also be thankful for God’s protection when these storms go by us without much of an impact.