Saturday’s storm was an example of how quickly the weather can change. I estimated that I had approximately 60 seconds from the moment I noticed the wind picking up and ran outside to bring my dogs in the house to when I made the determination it was time to head to the basement. As I descended the stairs, the lights went out and I heard a crash. I would later learn that it was the sound of a tree falling on our roof and pictures falling off the wall.

I made a pledge to myself 10 years ago that I would always take storms seriously. That was the year I had taken one last glance out my window in my kitchen on Hershey Avenue at the approaching tornado that seemed sure to be headed my direction. As I sat in the basement that year, all I could think about were the children at Franklin Elementary School, that at last glance were directly in the path of the tornado.

We now live off of G28, not too far from where that tornado came through Muscatine, just missing my old family homestead. As soon as the winds and hail passed on Saturday, neighbors were out with chainsaws helping one another.

I quickly exchanged text messages with Muscatine Journal photographer Beth Van Zandt, who on any other day would have jumped in her car to photograph the damage. This time she and her husband were helping a neighbor who had a tree come through the roof. This time, I was tending to the seven downed trees in our yard. This time, we were both part of the story.

But it could have been worse. The trees just missed our vehicles and nothing came through the roof. Other area residents weren’t as lucky. The damages in the community were quickly seen in social media, along with the tales of good Samaritans.

Thank you to all of the people who just show up with chainsaws when things like this happen. You are appreciated more than you know.

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