28. August 2010 · Comments Off on The Vollmer "Weather Curse", Take 6 · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , ,

Most of this text is stolen from a 21 November 2008 blog post about the crazy weather experiences we’ve had everywhere we’ve lived since we’ve been married. At the end of that blog post, I posed the question: “What will Bellevue, Nebraska bring?”

Now that we’re wrapping up our Nebraska tour and headed toward our 7th home in 15 years, I’m confident that Winter of 2009-2010 in eastern Nebraska was a result of the Vollmers living here. Really. So here’s the summary of the Vollmer “Weather Curse” (1-5 are from the previous blog post), and I’ve added #6 at the end. Enjoy:

1.) Ft. Polk, Leesville, and DeRidder, LA. Ice storm, January 1997.

Not sure if this picture is from that exact ice storm, but this is a good example of what Southwestern LA looked like after this storm.

This was pretty daunting. Louisiana flora and fauna didn’t take to this very well, neither did the 101st Airborne soldiers who were in the field doing training during this ice storm. I remember sliding sideways in my car down the hill towards the base weather station.

2.) Seoul, S. Korea. Monsoon flooding, August 1998. (<– See 5th paragraph of this link) We had a Korean citizen working in our weather unit. Mr. Ko. He told us that folklore said that every 11 years, the annual Korea Monsoon is worse than usual. And every 11th of those 11 years, it’s even worse. And 1998 was predicted to be that 121st year. All of us Americans who’d heard this were like, “Yeah, right, whatever…” Well, the folklore was right. It was the worst flooding in everyone’s memory, bridges that bisected Seoul were flooded out, the military was on the verge of deploying thousands of people into the fields for a major exercise and those plans were disrupted. The building Dave and I lived in flooded on the ground floor, and our Saturn flooded a little, too. But we didn’t have it nearly as badly as some of those stationed closer to the DMZ, whose quonset huts filled to the brim!

3.) Beavercreek (Dayton), OH. Xenia Tornado Redux, September 20, 2000.

Most weather weenies know the story of the April 3, 1974 F5 tornado that plowed through Xenia, Ohio. They still debate to this day whether that was the strongest tornado ever measured.

The September 2000 tornado originated very close to our house, and moved AWAY from our house, following a very similar path to the 1974 one. I had asked for a bicycle for my birthday (which was the day after the tornado). We lived near a nice bike trail network, and Xenia was closed to non-resident motor vehicle traffic for about a week. But Dave and I were able to ride our new bikes all over the town and see the damages up close and personal. It was very eerie to see where the tornado had crossed our local bike trail…

4.) Melbourne, FL. Hurricanes Charley, Frances, and Jeanne, August-October 2004.

By this point in our lives, Dave and I knew that strange weather happens when we live somewhere and I feel it contributed to our decision to NOT to buy a house on the barrier islands. Yes, it’s very superstitious, but I’m grateful every day of the wise choice we made when we bought our first house in Florida 5 miles INLAND.

We moved to Florida in spring 2002. As the hurricane seasons of 2002 and 2003 wound down, we started looking at just how long it had been since a hurricane hit the Florida east coast south of Jacksonville and north of where Hurricane Andrew had hit in 1992. Nearly 100 years, if I remember correctly! As every year since Andrew had passed, Florida was holding its breath for the next “biggie”.

Those storms absolutely decimated houses all over East Central Florida, but our home was spared, except for damaged screens and a blown air conditioner fuse.

5.) Apex (Raleigh), NC. The Apex Chlorine Fire (not really weather), October 2006 and NC’s Worst Drought in over 100 Years, Summer 2007.

We heard the initial explosions from the chlorine storage containers at about 10:30pm, and we saw the glow in the sky from our front porch. It was a pleasant evening, I remember, so we had opened up all the windows in our house, which made it easier to hear the explosions and the emergency vehicles…one after another.

The EQ Industries Chlorine Storage Facility Fire occurred about 1/2 mile from our house.  We could see the glow of the flames from our front porch.

We wasted no time packing the boys, the dog and some provisions and then made haste to Dave’s NC State office near downtown Raleigh. After that, we took a breath, and made follow on arrangements in a hotel in North Raleigh. It was warm the night we evacuated, so the boys were in short pajamas, and I remember having to buy warmer PJs at Walmart for the following night…one of the season’s first cold fronts had passed.

I forfeited part of our reimbursement from the evacuation expenses because I refuse to sign a gag order. I had a 4-year-old and an 18-month old! Who knows if something will come along later that might be related to this?

As for the drought, I’m glad it’s now over. All it took was Dave and me moving out of the area…I’m glad we could help.

6.) Bellevue (Omaha), NE. The winter of 2009-2010 certainly packed a punch!

Dave shoveling a path for the dog in the backyard Christmas morning.
From 2009 12 25 Christmas Eve Travel & Christmas Blizzard

Starting with a Columbus Day-weekend snow event! On October 9-10, 2009, the Omaha Metro area received 3-5″ of snow! The family was planning to go test-driving new vehicles that weekend, and we were pleased that the snow had mostly melted by the evening of the 10th. But still!

After a reprise through about Thanksgiving, December proved to be almost-recording setting, with over 20″ during the month of December alone. The kids had their first snow days on December 9th and 10th, and then when the family was returning from Walt Disney World on December 24th, a major winter storm was taking shape that shut down Dallas-Fort Worth airport just after our flight took off (phew) and we were so proud of the crews at Omaha Eppley Airfield for working so hard on keeping the runways cleared. It was rather scary driving home from the airport in the high winds and blowing snow! This photo album shows some of the weather we had dealt with¬†during that blizzard.

We had several other snow events, with the kids having some 6 snow days this year and several records being broken, mostly related to how long the area had a snowpack (approximately December 19, 2009 to approximately March 23, 2010). But not the absolute snowiest winter in Omaha.

Some pretty crazy side effects of all this snow emerged, too. Enjoy stories of school districts getting in trouble for not schooling their kids enough, and snowmelt revealing mold on lawns.