It’s spring, weather you like it or not

By Brian Knox | Published Wednesday, April 27, 2016

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Spring storm season in Texas is always a great reminder of the awesome power of nature.

Of course, depending on where you are located and the type of weather you experience, you might replace the word “awesome” in the previous sentence with other adjectives such as “destructive,” “terrifying” or even “deadly.”

Brian Knox

Brian Knox

The memories of last spring’s tornado outbreak in Wise County are still fresh in our minds. Luckily, only two of the three descriptions listed above would fit those storms, as no one lost their life.

It’s not even restricted to spring anymore. The deadly tornado that hit suburban areas of Dallas last year took place the day after Christmas.

The storm was scarier than most for our family as the tornado’s path seemed to be headed straight for my sister-in-law’s neighborhood.

With unreturned calls and texts, for about an hour we didn’t know if she or her home had been spared.

As it turned out, the catastrophic destruction missed her by just a few blocks.

Already this year in Wise County, we’ve had some of the biggest hail seen in years, and quite a bit of it.

Of course, as anyone who’s driven in the western part of Wise County this past week knows, heavy rain has left many roads impassable because of high water.

Weather even has had an indirect effect on some local businesses.

Last week, as photographer Joe Duty and I were traveling around the area of Lake Bridgeport reporting on flooding, we stopped in at RJ’s Country Store at the corner of Farm Road 2952 and the entrance to Wise County Park near Chico.

With the lake closed due to high lake levels, business was pretty slow.

“We haven’t had hardly any customers in almost two weeks,” said owner Stacey Giddens.

A couple of regulars at a nearby table enjoyed their lunch – “The cheeseburger is delicious. We have to have it once or twice a week,” one said – but otherwise lake-goers had been few and far between.

“The lake is either too low, or there’s too much water,” Giddens said.

She hoped business would pick up once the rain stopped and the lake reopened.

But as I’m writing this column Tuesday afternoon, weather forecasters are predicting more heavy rain, large hail and even the possibility of tornadoes overnight. More storms are in the forecast later this week.

It is spring in Texas, after all.

Hopefully Wise County residents will take warnings of severe weather seriously.

We’ve certainly had plenty of reminders of just how powerful nature can be.

Brian Knox is the Messenger’s special projects manager.

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