July 11, 2007 Edition

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Weather is amazing

Gretchen Hunt

Weather is an amazing thing and though you can hear story after story about how strange the weather can sometimes be, there is nothing quite like experiencing it first hand.

On June 28, my husband and I, along with our son, Conley, Jason's cousin, Leah, her husband, Billy, and his daughter, Hayle, were pulling into Portia to attend the carnival when the skies opened up.

We had decided to head back to Walnut Ridge and get a bite to eat and see if the rain would let up when Jason's phone rang. It was his brother, Anthony, calling to say that the roof had blown off our neighbor's barn, where Jason, Anthony and our neighbors keep their horses.

Conley was devastated, not because of the barn, but because he was not going to get to go to the Portia Picnic. Luckily Leah and Billy volunteered to take Conley and Hayle on to Chuck E. Cheese in Jonesboro, which had both children grinning from ear to ear.

Jason and I got back in his truck and headed toward home. This is where the strangeness of weather comes in. We pulled up to the barn and the entire south side of the roof was demolished. Whole sections of the roof had been lifted and dropped.

One section landed on top of a pickup truck, causing extensive damage. Another one had obviously careened over the front of the barn, slammed into the top of a horse trailer and come to rest in the driveway about 60 feet away. It hit the horse trailer with enough force to punch two holes in the top of it.

Meanwhile, the empty blue barrels, lined up in the riding arena located directly behind the barn, were untouched. There was no damage to any of our homes or other property. Other than a few limbs down in the roads, which is a common occurrence in the mildest of storms, you wouldn't even know a storm had been through except for the scattered debris that surrounded the barn.

We were very fortunate that even though all of the horses were in the barn, none of them were injured. I'm sure they were quite spooked by the experience, though.

When we were sitting around at Sunday dinner the next day talking about how strange it was that there was no other damage anywhere else in our area, my husband's aunt recalled her mother telling a story about a storm that came through and took the roof off their house but left a teacup sitting on a fence in the yard. There is no doubt about it ~ weather is an amazing thing.

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