Home Again and Damage Is Less Than Feared

Kansas Viewpoint

My family escaped with only one major wipeout as hail, rain, wind hit Wichita on Wednesday night

Published on: September 16, 2010
All day long, driving back from Husker Harvest Days, my mind was on how much damage I would find at my home and those of my kids from Wednesday night's storms which brought hail, wind, heavy rain and tornadoes to the Wichita area.

I was pretty relieved to find out it doesn't look that bad.

One pick-up truck -- really questionable, hit by flash flooding AND hail.

Roofs on two houses need inspection and one has some pretty substantial trim and gutter damage.

Fence panels blown down at two houses.

But happily, all windows intact, nothing displaying serious leaking; out of the family "fleet" only one car not driveable. Not bad, all told.

Our neighbors to the west were not so lucky. Hailstones bigger than baseballs pounded things into oblivion. I read this morning that major insurance companies are pulling in adjusters from all over the Midwest to help speed up claims payments.

And I was thinking -- how lucky we really are. Disaster strikes, we call the insurance adjuster. If the house isn't livable, we go to a hotel or a temporary rental paid for by insurance while the repairs are made. Worst comes to worst, we have to rely on FEMA, Red Cross, Salvation Army or Mennonite Disaster Services for help, but we still get shelter and food and clothes and help putting our lives back together.

 In so many parts of the world, people just have to plug away doing the best they can making do with the wreckage. This may be a flawed system in many ways, but when the chips are down, it sure is better than the alternatives.