I remember the old Chiffon Margarine commercials of the 1970s, the premise of which is that Mother Nature believes that she is eating real butter. When informed that she has instead eaten the equally as good Chiffon Margarine, Mother Nature summons lightning bolts with the phrase, “it’s not nice to fool Mother Nature.”
I’m not sure whether anyone recently fooled Mother Nature or not, but I believe someone may have angered her quite a bit.
I will admit to being somewhat of a weather geek. I’m not an alarmist about weather or even overly fearful of it. Instead, I’m more in awe of what weather can do.
That was exactly my reaction last week when I saw the damage hail stones did to Hills Mobile Home Village and Apartments on N.C. 101 in Havelock.
The hail — reportedly the size of golf balls and baseballs — broke out about 40 windows and dented more than a couple of dozen mobile homes in the complex. Some of the homes had potmarks from where the hail hit. In some cases, the hail punched holes right through the siding of the homes as if someone riddled them with a machine gun.
Beyond the damage to homes, the hail damaged many vehicles, denting roofs and hoods, and cracking windshields.
“It was a relentless pounding,” resident Stephanie Aleman told me as I interviewed her outside one of her broken windows.
I’m no expert but I would imagine the storm did tens of thousands of dollars in damage to the complex, perhaps even in the hundreds of thousands.
Even the meteorologists at the National Weather Service in Newport seemed stunned at the storm.
“Several of my coworkers here said that they had not seen hail that large near the coast,” forecaster Bel Melendez told me.
The storm came as a turbulent July was drawing to a close. Hurricane Arthur kicked off the month, becoming the earliest land-falling hurricane to hit North Carolina since record-keeping began in 1851. The storm arrived on July 3, and though it did not cause too much damage, it was significant if only for its strange timing.
We also had a severe thunderstorm that dropped about three inches of rain on the area in about 90 minutes, causing some localized flooding and stranding motorists in knee- and thigh-high water.
And after all that, Mother Nature decided to wash out our first weekend in August with a gully-washer of a system. I mean, come on. We have just a couple of more weekends before the kids go back to school and our summer comes to an end. Did we really anger her so much that she had to ruin our weekend?
I’m sure the weather folks have some sort of meteorological or scientific phenomenon that perfectly explains the recent weather woes. It’s probably based on warm water in the oceans or maybe some sort of solar flare.
However, I’m not yet ready to discount Mother Nature — or Chiffon Margarine.
Ken Buday is the editor of the Havelock News. He can be reached at 444-1999 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.