This weekend, I have traveled between my hometown of Peoria, Illinois, and my parent’s current residence in West Lafayette, Indiana. The weather has been sporadic, beautiful, and altogether crazy over the past week, especially the last two days.
The recent storms have been in effect at a high dose, and have been affecting residents all throughout the Midwest, including Ohio, Illinois, and partially in Indiana. Seven have died form tornadoes in Ohio, hospitalizing over a dozen, according to the Chicago Tribune and KSLA. On Saturday, June 5, more tornadoes ripped through Central Illinois, flattening numerous houses in their paths.
As I was in Illinois on Friday, and Saturday, I could feel the storms approaching. The wind was random, and strong. The storm sirens went off Saturday night, and 15 tornadoes touched the ground in the surrounding areas. I was with my friend Sameer Musaitif when the storm hit. Rain, wind, and hail crashed in around the area, and we took refuge in his basement. The intense rain, hail, and wind affected many in Peoria and the surrounding areas. News stations urged citizens to take cover, and to protect their families in any shelter possible.
I spoke to Sameer about his day before the storm hit.
“I was outside mowing my lawn at about one in the afternoon, right before you came over, the weather was really weird in Peoria this week.”
We were in his finished basement when the storm hit, and could hear the wind and rain, even down below the surface of the ground floor.
His mother, three sisters, and father quickly joined us in the basement to wait off the storm.
Although our power didn’t go out, some other close friends lost their power for the remainder of the night, but power was restored in mid-day of Sunday.
Jared Selburg, 20, told me of his night in the storm.
“It wasn’t too bad for me; I only lost power for a few hours before I fell asleep, and it was back on when I woke up.”
Earlier this week, signs of storms began showing up in Lafayette as well. As I was driving back from Indianapolis from a gorgeous day at the zoo, with clear skies and a cool 80 degrees, intense, heavy rainfall hit my family and I on the highway.
The rain made it hard to drive, even with our windshield wipers on the highest setting.
Although the rain was intense, it only lasted for around twenty minutes, adding to the sporadic aspect of the weather.
When I got back to Lafayette Saturday night, huge thunderstorms woke me up around one thirty in the morning.
This afternoon proved to be another gorgeous day in Lafayette, with weather at a nice 75 degrees, beautiful cumulus clouds, and a gorgeous sky. I headed to the Wolf Park here in Lafayette to see some natural beauties and enjoy the day.
But later in the afternoon, around 5, strong winds blew past the city, making it hard to be outside at all. This quickly passed after about an hour of random winds.
Although tornadoes are not uncommon for the Midwest, they do not generally touch the ground in the Peoria area.
The rapidly changing weather proves to be ever bipolar in the Midwest. What does this say about environmental change? Is this normal behavior for Mother Nature, or is this a result of years of neglect to the one force that provides us with life?
The devastating effects of natural disasters always strike home in hearts of people across the globe, and the absurdity of fifteen tornadoes at once will surely raise questions about the patterns of weather in an ever increasingly environmentally aware world.