Monday, June 21, 2010

I wish I had my camera today!

9.25 Miles

Still tired and stiff from a weekend of camping and water skiing with the boy scouts, I almost convinced myself to take the day off from biking.  With the tornado and torrential down pour that accompanied it yesterday, I assumed that all of my favorite trails would be inaccessable, flooded or just really muddy.  There is so much debris on the roads from the flash floods that road biking wouldn't be enjoyable so I almost stayed put.  That's when the idea of a true adventure hit.

I decided to ride right up to Metra Park where the tornado hit last night, then turn and ride up the Black Otter Trail to get an almost aerial view of the damage.  Morbid as that may sound, the idea really excited me.  I wasn't the only one trying to sneak a peak.  I took the same route that I usually take to get to Two Moon Park which leads me right through the Metra Park Complex.  As I approached the entrance, I could see the sports arena with the broken sign lettering and the roofing material hanging over the edge of the building.  Trees were completely uprooted and the parking lot was a mess.  Of course, they had the entrance blocked off so I had to turn North towards the Black Otter Trail.  My understanding of last nights events is that the tornado hovered over the sports arena, ripping the roof off and then headed right up the rims, directly where I was headed.  There was debris everywhere.  I could hardly view the damage because I was so focused on dodging the pieces of rigid insulation, roof membrane, metal flashing, building paper, and other miscelleneous building debris.  I made my way up to the Applebee's parking lot and looked back to see the entire roof and north wall of the sports arena ripped off.  What a mess.  I got an even better view from the Black Otter Trail on top of the rims.  I really wish I had a camera today.

Now, I don't delight in the misfortunes of others and am very glad that no one was seriously hurt.  Other than the Metra Park, very few businesses were affected and, as I understand it, no homes were damaged, not by the tornado anyway.  However, I am just in awe of the shear force of this tornado and all the damage it was able to do in just a matter of minutes.  And this was just a small tornado, an EF-1 or EF-2 according to the lattest report.  The power of nature, WOW!
Image from the Billings Gazette
Image from the Billings Gazette

1 comment:

Russ said...

More disaster. On my way home from the gym today I rode past a home that apparantly exploded and burnt to the ground yesterday. It a block away from our house and we all slept through it.