7.7.11 Thu

in case anyone is still reading this … : )
I’m going to try to post first thing in the morning from now on – else I get distracted and forget … for days in a row … 😉

And as you can see, the corn was definitely “knee high by the 4th of July”

the tomatoes are another story … what is UP with them?


on this date, 20 years ago (per Mr. Bill of Wood Storm team 8)

Severe Storm – 20th Anniversary!
July 7th, 2011 at 12:40 am by Bill Steffen under Bill’s Blog, Weather Click the graphic or click here to enlarge. Today is the 20th anniversary of the great Southern Great Lakes Derecho of July 7, 1991. It was a hot Sunday afternoon. We had reached 93 for a high in G.R. on Saturday and 91 before the storm rolled in off the lake late Sunday afternoon. I had taken my three daughters to Hoffmaster St. Park. We left and started for home with the storm closing in on us as we drove east on I-96. Dave Whitford was at the station and he said radar showed the storm moving at about 71 mph through Ottawa County. We have trees and power lines in our front yard and was hesitant to try and unload there or to have the garage door open (it faced west). With the storm closing in fast, I pulled our 1978 Suburban into the orchard across the street. I had the girls get down low in the car. It lowered the center of gravity of the vehicle and I figured they wouldn’t be as scared. The wind was quick and fast. There were measurements of 84 and 85 mph on the north side of Grand Rapids and 85 mph in Belding. I lost 16 shingles and my neighbor’s tree was toppled. The average wind that day was only 7.5 mph, so the strong wind lasted only a short time. I drove out Sunday to see damage along Scott Road in western Ionia Co. and estimated the wind there was probably 95-100 mph. There was considerable building damage there. One mobile home was completely untouched, even though their detached garage was destroyed. It shows that tie-downs do make a difference. Two homes were destroyed in our area and over 250 others sustained significant damage. About four dozen barns were damaged or destroyed and many fruit growers lost more than half of their crop. In New Lathrop, 10 movile homes were blown over. One was rolled into a nearby lake. Wind gusts of 75-85 mph were common in Ann Arbor, Detroit and Pontiac. Thousands of trees were toppled in S. Michigan and 853,000 customers lost power. A semi was blown off I-69. The storms formed in SE South Dakota. In Iowa, the wind gusted to 103 mph at Sioux Center, and the roof was torn off a school in nearby Orange City. Winds hit 71 mph in Mason City. The storm flattened crops in Iowa, causing 60 million dollars damage. In Wisconsin 30 buildings were destroyed and another 250 heavily damaged. Winds gusted to 83 mph at Madison WI and 81 mph at Waukesha and Sullivan WI. The derecho (Spanish for “straight) covered 1,000 miles in 17 hours.

Zack, Aaron, and Nathan (5, 3, and 2 months) were with me at the spa show with Eric, in downtown Grand Rapids. We were set up near one of parking lots near one of the off ramps, on the East side of 131. It was windy, but nothing drastic – then all of a sudden, it hit – I grabbed the boys, huddled down on the ground under one of the tents and yelled “TORNADO”. funny now, but it wasn’t then 😀 … Some damage to the tents, none to the spas – I think we were protected by being on the east side of the highway – the overpasses and road took the brunt of the wind.


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