No Gawking…Take Shelter!

Blog tornado

Pipestone made the news yesterday. We had a small tornado on the west side of town and of course instead of taking shelter, I started taking pictures. I know…not the wisest thing to do.

It was raining, and I was sitting out front on our porch swing that is sheltered by the overhang above it. I was enjoying the peace of the raindrops falling around me when the town siren went off. I was wondering why as I didn’t see anything too threatening in the sky. When my neighbor drove by, I noticed she was looking to the west. So, I stood up to check out what she was looking at since our front yard tree was in my way. That’s when I saw it…the above picture shows the tornado. It was about a mile and a half away in that picture and it was heading north…away from town and from me.

I posted my few pictures on Facebook. A friend/colleague of mine commented ‘no gawking, take shelter.’ I smiled. I did not feel scared by the tornado since it was traveling north, and it wasn’t too windy and stormy outside. But, thanks Dr. Z. for your concern. 🙂


After I posted the few pictures, another friend sent me a text message. She reminded me of a story I had shared with her about my dad.

My dad worked for the REA (Rural Electric Association) and back in the 1970’s, he would have to track tornadoes so he could report back any possible power outages that the REA might possibly have to deal with.

The story he would always share with people was that anytime a tornado was outside of Pipestone, the tornado would stop, whip its tail like it was ticked off, then go around Pipestone or go back up into the clouds over Pipestone before making its way back down to the ground.

It is told that Pipestone is sacred ground. The Pipestone National Monument quarries are sacred to most of the tribe in North America. And my dad believed it! He swore by it! Because of this nature’s tornado phenomenon that he witnessed several times, he believed it to be true. He believed Pipestone was indeed sacred ground.

I don’t know if it’s true or not, but…he was my dad, and he knew everything. 🙂

Thanks to my friend Carrie for sending that text message. It brought back a lovely memory of my dad and that made my day.  

Thankfully, Pipestone experienced zero damage. It is tornado season, though. A season of storms. Nature’s fury will always win a battle! So in all seriousness, if a tornado is approaching, take my good friend’s wise advice…no gawking, take shelter!


Stay Calm & Take Shelter!
Profs Dr. Wendy & Dr. V.

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