When I first started working at the Daily Globe more than five years ago, there was a system for covering storms.
If there was severe weather, the reporters were supposed to converge on the newsroom to help cover the story.
Over time, that system sort of evaporated.
So when the newsroom’s scanner announced golf ball-sized hail in Ellsworth Thursday night, moving to the northeast, I was feeling a little overwhelmed.
With two stories to wrap up, several obituaries to type, pages to proof and a blog to post for the paper and online, I did the first thing that came to mind — I called co-worker Kari Lucin.
Having her help to get the story up on our Web site, listen to the scanner for more information, work on the updates and then go out in the storm to take flooding photos, I felt a little less like I was drowning.
I must admit, when she came back from her photo shoot, I laughed as her shoes squished across the newsroom floor and rain dripped from her non-waterproof jacket. Later, we enjoyed another good laugh as she got up from her desk and pointed out the dark water splotch on the seat of her chair.
“It looks like I peed my pants!” she exclaimed. Her pants were just that wet from walking in the rain.
Laughing … it always alleviates a little of the stress!
My Thursday hadn’t been going well to begin with, but I think any of the reporters on staff here will tell you that hearing a weather warning come across the scanner on the night we have to work is certainly not appreciated.
For me, there’s a definite feeling of helplessness. I listen to reports over the scanner, watch the weather alerts on TV and peruse the radar on the Internet.
Then I worry about my family. Brother Randy, his wife and four kids live outside of Ellsworth. I called them just as a white wall of rain was approaching their house. Less than 15 minutes later, my sister-in-law called back to report they didn’t have hail on their place outside of town, but Ellsworth was pelted with golf ball and larger sized hail. Nephew Matt, in Ellsworth playing basketball, got caught in the storm and now has some rather unappealing hail dents in his car.
I can always count on my family to be willing stringers — thanks Connie for the weather reports and going into Ellsworth in search of hail photos. And Matt, I’m sorry about your car.
As the night went on and the weather reports grew more ominous … a tornado touch-down in northern Nobles County … I was thankful to have the help in the newsroom.
Most of all, when everything had quieted down, I was glad that the storm hadn’t been worse.