Gentle rain, yes, but Mother Nature is still in control

Monday, April 18, 2016

McCook's Barnett Park was still closed today because of heavy rainfall over the weekend, but a drive down South Street offers just a taste of the view that greeted residents during the infamous 1935 Republican River flood.

That disaster's not likely to be repeated, thanks dams along the river and modern communications, but that doesn't mean Mother Nature is no longer capable of flexing her muscles.

Rainfall ranging from 5 to 8 inches around McCook flooded some basements, caused at least one retaining wall to collapse, and Trenton and other communities experienced problems associated with the torrent of water.

The U.S. is airlifting food, water and emergency supplies into the remote Japanese city of Minamiaso, where at least 42 people were killed and more than 1,000 injured in a 6.4 magnitude earthquake Thursday, and a 7.1 magnitude quake Saturday.

Those quakes were overshadowed by a 7.8 quake in Ecuador on Saturday which killed at least 350 people, left thousands homeless and about 100,000 in need of help, according to the Spanish Red Cross.

Aftershocks continued through the weekend in the South American country, where poor construction added to the misery, buckling highways and knocking down an air traffic control tower as well as flattening homes and buildings.

We're thankful for the heavy, yet gentle rain, but we know the next storm might not be that mild-mannered.

Recent high winds are a reminder that we're headed into what is traditionally a season of wild weather.

Hail, tornadoes, flooding and lightning are real hazards for people who call Southwest Nebraska and Northwest Kansas home.

Now is a good time to make sure we're ready the next time a severe weather warning is issued or the tornado sirens go off.

Visit http://1.usa.gov/1qTtJMR for tips from Severe Weather Awareness Week.

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