The patio headed to Oz

That little weather kerfuffle Thursday night presented some new perspectives on wind in Kansas, did it not?

The Youngest Daughter has a social media video or two of the patio roof and support structures at the Coneburg Inn lifting off and disappearing into the great beyond. They are rather astounding. I think that is as close as I have come to a Kansas tornado in my 46 years here.

I have no way of knowing if it was a tornado or high velocity straight-line winds that caught the Coneburg roof. I had just shut my own front door after stepping out onto the porch when the wind picked up and rain arrived in torrents.

It was just about 10:25 p.m. when my phone rang and my astonished daughter announced the patio roof was gone. I flipped on the television to see a trailer at the bottom of the screen announcing a severe thunderstorm advisory for Marion County until 10:30 p.m. Sure enough, in about five or six minutes, the storm’s intensity diminished and it moved on east of us.

Whew! I think we dodged a big bullet. On Friday when I saw the twisted piles of damaged tin, support beams and poles, and the decorative iron fence that surrounded the patio heaped here and there in the back lot of Harder Ag, I thought it was far too ferocious a storm to be just wind and rain. However, what do I know?

As with tales of other storms of this nature, there was certainly some weird activity recorded on the videos. Wicker patio furniture either remained in place, motionless, or in the case of a couple of chairs, moved slowly across the concrete floor. A single table, front and center in the film, never budged an inch. This was not a heavy picnic style table or anything like that. It was small, with a round top and a metal pedestal base that branched into three arched legs, rather dainty legs at that. It never moved. It was still there Friday morning.

Trees all over town took a huge hit, some with minor damage, others so stripped of limbs they probably will not survive. Lengths of fencing were blown over or crushed by falling limbs. A window blew out of the second story of the American Legion building, leaving a trail of glass shards all the way to the former bowling alley.

The whine of chain saws could be heard all day Friday as people helped one another clean up. Eleven-year old Mason Schreiber and his dad, Troy, were out with a truck and two-wheel trailer picking up limbs at the homes of people they thought might not have the means to get storm debris out of their yards. They worked up and down both sides of Peabody’s streets for a good part of the day.

Much of the cleanup is done, with the exception of larger trees that will require a professional tree removal service. The damage was minimal compared to what other communities have endured. The storm brought out good people doing good deeds. We have some amazing video of how quickly a roof can disappear and be replaced in a blink with empty sky.

In addition, this is a great chance to build an even better patio, right?


Last modified Aug. 18, 2016