County Prepared for Severe Weather

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Pictures from the tornado-ravaged community of Hugo, Minn., are a grim reminder of the devastation that Mother Nature can wreak in the twinkling of an eye. And this may be just the beginning. According to the National Weather Service, 2008 could be one of the deadliest tornado seasons in years. Already, with several months left in this severe weather season, 110 people have died in tornadoes ó the highest in a decade and well above the average of 62 tornado-related deaths in a whole year. Whatís more, the number of tornadoes in the early months of the season is also above average. No, it is not comforting news. If there is any solace that we, here in Steele County, can take from this news is the knowledge that our county is well-prepared to warn residents that a storm is coming. The Steele County SKYWARN organization is one of the largest storm spotter groups around. When severe weather hits anywhere around the county, the group is ready to deploy, on occasion putting themselves in harmís way to warn their friends and neighbors of impending danger. Emergency Management Director Mike Johnson called these volunteers the backbone of the countyís preparedness. But not only does the organization look for and report inclement weather, they also strive to educate the public on what to do if severe weather strikes. After all, it does little good to warn people of danger if those people donít take themselves out of dangerís path. And if ó heaven forbid ó such a storm like the one that hit Hugo roared through downtown Owatonna, then there would be no doubt that the Steele County chapter of the American Red Cross would be there to offer aid and comfort in the aftermath of the emergency. All-in-all, Steele County is very fortunate to have one of the best emergency teams around to help its citizens in times of catastrophe. Letís just hope we never have to use their services. Owatonna Peopleís Press editorials are the opinion of the Press editorial board. Other editorials, columns, letters and cartoons appearing on this page are the opinions of the authors and artists and not necessarily the Peopleís Press.

Courtesy of Owatonna People's Press

Copyright 2008
Steele County SKYWARN
Owatonna, MN All Rights Reserved