Writing Update

We almost got hit by a tornado

Spring is a wonderful time in Bentonville. Bike races, bike events, bike festivals.

You get the idea.

The good times were rolling for about two weeks, but all that changed on the morning of May 26 at about 1 AM when a massive storm producing 12 confirmed tornadoes rolled through the area. Seven of the tornadoes were in my county (Benton County), and one was within miles of my neighborhood. An EF3 tornado west of us was the widest on record in Arkansas at 1.8 miles. Another one east of us, an EF2, was 1.7 miles wide. Our local meteorologists say it's unprecedented to have two massive tornadoes so close to one another produced from the same supercell.

My wife and I are fortunate since we suffered no house damage or anything significant other than losing power for about 12 hours. Others had their houses or places of business absolutely destroyed, egress from their homes blocked by downed trees or power lines, or wound up with a tree in their living room. I tried to find a picture representing the destruction, but there were so many, and honestly, it became a little depressing, so I'm only including a shot of one of the tornadoes below.

Bentonville is home to Walmart, but it's also the self-proclaimed Mountain Bike Capital of the World. Unfortunately, the storm laid waste to many of the trails, knocking down trees and washing out entire sections. Driving around, the volume of trees impacted is staggering, and I don't think a picture does the amount of damage justice.

On the bright side, the community has rallied and cleanup efforts are well underway. The fallout of this storm will be felt for months, if not longer, but I'm confident we'll get back to our usual routines sooner than we think.

Writing has slowed as I deal with the cleanup around our house (mostly small branches and tree limbs) and spend some time volunteering to help others, but the work does go on. I'll have more updates on that front in the near future.

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