The old feeder was tending his garden yesterday when the sirens in nearby towns went off. There was a dark cloud off to the west, but it looked like just an ordinary summer thunderstorm. Seeing no danger, I kept pulling weeds, figuring that whoever has their finger on the storm siren button was jumpy after a tornado tore through Omaha earlier this month with no sirens sounding beforehand.
I should have paid attention. The wind, rain and small hail sneaked up behind me. By the time I got to the house I was as wet as if I'd fallen into a lake. I saw some shingles, plywood and big lengths of irrigation pipe flying through the air. My camera was by the front door because I had planned to take a picture of the corn here to prove to my friends in Northwest Iowa that it was almost 6 feet tall already. I went out and snapped the picture above, and captured this short video clip of the wind beating up on the corn. As soon as I got back inside, the wind got worse and the electricity went off.
Today, I took these photos:
silage when the stalks are snapped off near the ground like these:
Update: From Fox 42 News:
Roughly 100,000 acres of farmland in Douglas, Saunders and Dodge counties was either shredded or flattened.The longer term economic effects of this crop damage will be worse than the downed trees and power outages in town. Nebraskans tend to forget that most of the wealth of our state grows out of the ground.
It was going to be a great year for farmers north of Elkhorn. Instead, the storm leveled cornfields, corn that was 6 feet tall.
Some of this land can be replanted to soybeans, and some of the damage is covered by insurance. It costs money to replant, and insurance payouts aren't manna from heaven. The storm's cost to agriculture can't be made to go away.