On Monday of this week, the web was abuzz with warnings about a dangerous windstorm coming to Davis County over night.
The Clipper was in on it, posting stories about the warning with information from local officials on davisclipper.com and our multiple social media accounts. We even planned to have our photographers out early to document the damage.
The next morning, most of us awoke to find little sign of the storm, but for scattered trash cans and flying plastic grocery bags. Why were the warnings so urgent, many people wondered? Have the meteorologists gotten it wrong again?
As you will recall, the weather service said, repeatedly, that this storm wouldn’t be as severe as the storm of December 2011 that wreacked havoc around the county.
In fact, the weather service got it right. As predicted, the worst of the winds reached about 75 mph and knocked out electricity in many areas.
Were the warnings simply fear-mongering and paranoia? From my perspective, absolutely not.
I think sometimes we thrive on fear too much in this society, but this instance was not that.
Instead, I think that the lack of chaos to be found on Tuesday morning was a sign that the warnings worked. The fact that the worst of the damage was a downed light pole and a few upended trees shows that we learned our lesson.
On Monday, Bountiful and Centerville cities sent out warnings to people to flip over their trampolines, get extra emergency supplies in case of a power outage and, basically, batten down the hatches. Those warnings likely saved thousands of dollars in property damage.
During the windstorm, parts of the interstate were closed to top-heavy semi-trailers. That likely prevented several crashes.
This week’s windstorm has passed, but there are sure to be more like it in the future. We encourage the warning and preparation systems that local officials used, and urge our readers not to ignore them. If you do, the worst case scenario would be devastating. If you don’t, and nothing serious happens, you’re out practically nothing.
The weather service wasn’t crying wolf, and the proof is in the lack of widespread damage, not the other way around.
On another note, the Clipper is reinstituting our tradition of honoring a Mother of the Year from each Davis County city. You can nominate your own mom or another exceptional woman you know online at our website or by filling out the form on page 13 of this edition.