The tornado threat I alluded to in yesterday’s post consolidated and shifted slightly south and east, putting northern Mississippi in its crosshairs. For three hours last night Deb and I watched a YouTube livestream cover the destructive system as it scraped across the region.
It was, in a word, horrible. And this morning’s news is worse.
The death toll (so far) is 24. It’s being reported that one monster tornado carved a path a mile wide and 80 to 100 miles long. Parts of the Mississippi towns of Rolling Fork, Silver City and Amory were completely leveled.
The swath of destruction crossed some of the humblest parts of America’s poorest state, places where the poverty rate is as high as 50%. These are Country folk. What little they had is gone.
The YouTuber we follow on matters of meteorology, by the way, is Ryan Hall, aka Ryan Hall, Y’all. He’s the best we’ve found, plain-spoken with an easygoing southern style. We recommend that you follow him, too (no matter where you live or travel). Subscribe to his channel and follow him on Twitter (@ryanhallyall). You can thank me later (and you will).
But the guy isn’t just another social-media star with over a million subscribers — he gives back. While live-streaming last night, for example, he also was collecting donations for disaster relief. In the span of a few hours he’d raised over $120,000 — you read that right — which, beginning today, will be applied and distributed by his “Y’all Squad” in tornado-ravaged areas of Mississippi.
He’ll travel there himself today or tomorrow. It isn’t the first time, either. This is what he does.
Ryan Hall is a sharp weather guy and a good man worth supporting. ‘Nuff said.
This morning, as usual following heavy rain, the campground is drying out. Standing water around the motorhome has receded. Things are a little messy, naturally, but we’re fortunate that all’s well in our world.
I suggested to Deb last night that we begin our Saturday with a morning fire in the ring on our campsite, after the long winter a pleasure long overdue. I drove over to the campground office, tossed a bundle of firewood into the bed of the truck, brought it back and tucked it under Ernie to keep it dry in case we got more rain overnight.
The familiar ritual of gathering twigs, building a lay and touching flame to tinder today produced a satisfying burn in short order. After I got it going, Deb came out with two cups of coffee. We kicked back in our camp chairs and basked in the warmth of our first campfire in months.
Meanwhile, over on The Mountain, Deb’s cousin also was emerging from this latest round of rain.
He sent us cell-phone images of a wet-weather run on his property, The Mountain is a dry patch of land, that’s for sure, but given enough rain these temporary creeks pop up and last as long as there’s sufficient runoff. His occasional stream boasts three impressive cascades, strong enough that he could hear the rushing water from his front porch quite a ways away.
The transient water feature is accessible on foot or, thanks to a path he cleared, via ATV. We look forward to checking it out.
Deb and I have seen what may be a similar run along one edge of our 20-acre plot. It’s a sort of ravine, giving every indication that it collects and carries runoff from the eastern flank of The Mountain. Since this will be our first rainy season here, we’ll have a chance to investigate that soon. Of course, we’ll pick a day when conditions are most favorable.
It’s more than mere curiosity. Even a small creek that runs only in wet weather is a resource. Long before the shit hits the fan, we’ll want to confirm where it is, when it flows and how long it’s likely to last. Like Deb’s cousin has done, we’ll clear a path to it that’ll accommodate our Ranger.
Sure, it’d be possible to carry water out on foot. But if we can make it easier, there’s no reason not to.
Yes, these are things we think about. You should, too. It’s a mindset.
Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.