Other people's weather makes ours look good

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

We’ve had our share of rough weather over the last year or two in Southwest Nebraska and northwest Kansas.

We had a major ice storm that left our neighbors in the cold at the beginning of the year.

The drought has eased somewhat over much of the region, but the folks near Hayes Center, Imperial and many other places could have done without the downpours that caused flash flooding and road damage that will take years and many dollars to repair.

Anything involving water is a sensitive issue in our region, thanks to the conflict with Kansas over the Republican River.

We’re thankful for the volunteer firefighters who are willing to take time off from their jobs and families to fight grassfires that are all too common when we have dry, windy conditions like we had today.

But check out today’s news, and you’ll see we’re slackers when it comes to weather disasters.

In California, 200,000 acres have burned, one person has been killed and more than three dozen injured in 13 fires whipped by those infamous Santa Ana winds. Some 250,000 have been evacuated, and 10,000 of them had to sleep in Qualcomm Stadium,, where the San Diego Chargers football team usually plays.

Movie stars and other celebrities were forced from their multi-million-dollar homes by a blaze in Malibu that burned 2,400 acres and destroyed 10 buildings including a landmark castle and a church.


It must feel like deja vu in New Orleans, where streets were flooded by more than 8 inches of rain on Monday, with more expected today. Levees and pumps were working as advertised, but just couldn’t keep up with the downpour.

Actually, New Orleans needed the rain, just not so quickly; the city has received about 11 inches below normal for the year.

And water conflict?

In Georgia, the governor is going to court to order the Army Corps of Engineers to stop letting water out of reservoirs to keep mussels and sturgeon alive while potentially leaving people in places like Atlanta short of water.

“I am confident that Congress did not pass the Endangered Species Act with the intention of providing protection for species of mussel and sturgeon at the expense of critical human needs,” Gov. Sonny Perdue said.

Yes we have our problems with Mother Nature, but all in all, The Golden Plains don’t look so bad.

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