Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Opinion

June 15, 2013

Keep taking those weather reports seriously

If you lacked a peaceful, easy feeling Wednesday, you weren’t alone.

Throughout the day, media outlets were abuzz with breaking news: A massive line of storms was heading across the Midwest, and Michiana was in its path.

Some of us learned a new word Wednesday: derecho. Sounding like the name of a snack chip or mythical beast, a derecho is actually a storm of strong, straight-line winds. A derecho is to a typical thunderstorm what your grandmother is to Mike Tyson in his prime.

The skies grew ominously dark over Goshen in the early evening. And then it was here, the fearsome event — which turned out to be little more than a garden variety, late spring thundershower.

Goshen lucked out. But what gives? Why the hype?

Truth be told, the media thrives on excitement. “Nothing much to see here” is an invitation to consumers to switch channels, click on another website or pick up a different newspaper.

In Tornado Alley, the prospect of a massive storm is big news. And news outlets latched onto a story Wednesday that proved anticlimactic.

After a while, people turn a deaf ear to dire warnings. Time and again they’ve been told to take cover from a catastrophe that never arrived. The risk is that they will be tragically ill-prepared when a massive storm does hit.

Consider Wednesday’s storm. Even diminished, it did significant damage to a couple of buildings in downtown Mishawaka. The South Bend Tribune reports that funnel clouds were spotted near the St. Joseph-Marshall county line, with others seen southwest of LaPaz and near North Liberty.

Consider, too, that violent storms are no stranger to Elkhart County. Ask anyone living in Nappanee in  October 2007, when an EF3 tornado ripped through the city. Recall the horrific Palm Sunday tornadoes of 1965. Around here, damaging and potentially deadly storms are a matter of when, not if.

Predicting weather is an inexact science, but meteorologists do their best with the experience and technology at hand. They also get paid whether there’s a funnel cloud or not a cloud in the sky. When they sound a warning, we should listen. Weather watchers work to keep the public safe.

So what to do when the next big storm is on its way? Preparedness, not panic, is the best approach.

Rather than scramble during an emergency, have your family’s area of shelter selected beforehand. Keep water, medical supplies, blankets and a charged cell phone handy. Keep updated on reports from the National Weather Service (yes, this may involve the imperfect news media) and listen for warning sirens.

Ultimately, Wednesday’s storm was a nonevent. But what about next time? Elkhart County residents should know not to take chances.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • MAUREEN HAYDEN: A sign of things to come? When U.S. District Judge Richard Young recently ruled in favor of a lesbian couple seeking recognition of their out-of-state marriage, opponents of same-sex unions called him an activist judge who was unilaterally trampling the law. The label didn't

    April 21, 2014

  • NWS GN0406 guns in school image 04 OUR VIEW: Little reason to fear new firearms law A change in state law has proven to be controversial. This newspaper respects the opinions of the objectors -- they have concerns about public safety, a worthy focus of worry. Still, The Goshen News sees little reason to fear. Indiana Gov. Mike Pence

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140417 percussion champs 01 OUR VIEW: Drums, honors and radio shows Every so often we like to tip our caps in this space to the outstanding efforts and accomplishments of our community members. There has certainly been much to celebrate and appreciate in our area the past few days. We'll start with the Goshen High S

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Chicken-keeping ordinance not the best, but it's a start The first ever Goshen chicken-keeping ordinance is restrictive and limited, but it is a start. After weeks of discussions, debate and resurrection, the chicken-keeping ordinance was approved Tuesday on a 4-3 vote by the City Council. As written, the

    April 17, 2014

  • MORTON MARCUS: The truth behind Indiana’s economic condition is often unwelcome Jim Feelwright greeted me warmly as I entered the room: "Well, here he is, Mr. Negative." Since it was a friendly meeting, I borrowed a famous line from the movies: "You can't handle the truth." "You," he said, "just don't want to see what's rea

    April 16, 2014

  • Only you can prevent grass and field fires Maybe you can feel it in the air, too. We at The Goshen News are cheered by the much-awaited, and welcome, return of spring. The greenery makes us glad. Seeing runners and bicyclists -- many in shorts, no less -- reminds us that we need to kick our e

    April 13, 2014

  • Church ministry reaches out to local renters One of the highest hurdles a low-income family has to overcome is finding a decent place to rent -- and the good news is there is more help available for Goshen families struggling with that issue. Working in partnership with the Goshen Housing Autho

    April 10, 2014

  • GN140404 goshen college OUR VIEW: Goshen College is no waste in our book Last week the website www.policymic.com published an article titled, "These 10 Colleges Are the Biggest Waste of Tuition Money in the U.S." Their source of data for the post was from www.payscale.com, which used self-reported salary information from

    April 6, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140401 Goshen City Hall OUR VIEW: Chicken keeping in Goshen shouldn't be so complex Aproposed ordinance that would allow Goshen residents to keep hens on their property is back. City council members voted down the measure at their March 18 meeting, but at their session this past Tuesday approved a motion to reconsider an amended ver

    April 4, 2014 1 Photo

  • MORTON MARCUS: Indiana Statehouse likely would have thrown water on Noah’s ark The new movie about Noah and his ark, combined with the antics of the Indiana General Assembly, led me to setting the fabled story here in the Hoosier state. We would need an acceptable name for Noah's wife. Naamah is her name in the movie, but schol

    April 2, 2014

Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
AP Video
Bon Jovi Helps Open Low-income Housing in Philly Pipeline Opponents Protest on National Mall Hagel Gets Preview of New High-tech Projects S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart New Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees Named 'Piles' of Bodies in South Sudan Slaughter New Yorkers Celebrate Cherry Blossom Blooms SCOTUS Hears Tv-over-Internet Case Justice Dept. Broadening Criteria for Clemency Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers 'Miss Meadows' Takes Holmes Back to Her Roots Biden: Russia Must Stop Talking, Start Acting David Moyes Out As Manchester United Manager Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs High Court to Hear Dispute of TV Over Internet Stowaway Teen Forces Review of Airport Security
Poll

There has been discussion at West Goshen Elementary School to require mandatory student uniforms in the future. How do you feel about the prospect of mandatory student uniforms in a public school environment?

I think it’s an excellent idea that is way overdue
I think it’s a bad idea and would be restrictive for students and parents.
     View Results