Severe weather offers another chance for us to do better

FROM STAFF REPORTS / Editorial 

Shelby County was lucky. Wednesday, March 17 didn’t bring the severe weather threat that was forecasted for the area with a high risk for strong, damaging storms.

It was a blessing that no violent, long-track tornadoes struck the county, nor did we see any hail or damaging winds.

For the most part, we saw heavy rain and lightning, but much of the afternoon and night was quiet, while we watched with anticipation for the worst possible outcome.

The worst storms instead went to the North and South, splitting around Shelby County like some sort of protective shield was in place.

And even those storms for the most part never produced a violent, long-track tornado as the state experienced no deaths and rotation struggled to form into tornadoes for more than a few minutes.

But instead of counting our blessings and being thankful, many have turned this into an opportunity to blast local meteorologists for a “bust” in their forecast prediction.

Instead of rejoicing that they still have their loved ones and their homes, they’re complaining that school was let out and businesses were closed because of the extra precaution taken.

Those people didn’t take the time to realize that there have been preliminary reports of close to 20 tornadoes across the state and residents in our neighboring county of Chilton County had homes wiped completely off their foundation as total losses.

Just because the tornadoes didn’t come through the most populated areas of the state and weren’t as violent as originally projected, the precaution was the right call.

The National Weather Service in Birmingham issued a high risk of severe weather for the area for the first time in close to 10 years.

We simply didn’t know what would or wouldn’t happen, but there was a chance that another violent tornado like the destruction of April 27, 2011 could have struck the state again.

When it comes to dealing with the threat of severe weather in this state, it’s always better to be cautious because of how quickly the atmosphere can destabilize during the spring.

Many, for some reason, decided to focus on the “bust” aspect of the weather, but I guarantee you, if your house was gone like some in Chilton County and other areas, you’d wish more had been done.