Friday, May 23, 2008

Tornadoes in Colorado. Sunny in Sweden.

Northern Colorado, more specifically Windsor, was blasted by tornadoes yesterday. Which is unfortunate. Greeley took a bit of a hit too. Which is also unfortunate since Greeley is home. Somehow, and I say somehow based only on the pictures and videos of the mile wide tornado, only one person died. Out at the missile silo. Considering the circumstances that’s not bad.

The buildings on the other hand are a different story. The roof of my dad’s warehouse was torn off by the wind. He seems to be ok. The rest of the surrounding buildings are ok. The cars are ok. No word on whether the new trees we planted while I was there are ok. According to Morfar, an old forest service man, the trees are perfect for resisting wind because of their root system. Of course these trees were about a foot tall when planted. So we’ll see.

Of course the destruction that probably put a bit of a damper on BGC’s day was not done. A brand new office building of another company he is involved in was blown down in Windsor. I had just been given the tour when I was there in April. Pretty crazy. And shitty really.

But while businesses being blown down aren’t good, other people are without homes. Windsor has taken a beating. Which is even less good. So donate some money. Or some time. Or something of use. And here’s how (I have shamelessly taken this from the Greeley Tribune’s website. It’s a staff report published on the 23rd of May (that’s today) for those of you who are really interested in that sort of thing.):

Here's how to help victims of Greeley and Windsor tornadoes:
Several agencies are accepting support to assist the victims of Thursday's tornados:

›› The Tribune, Windsor Now, Fox 31 TV and The Community Foundation are partnering on a special fund to provide relief for victims of the tornado. Checks should be made out to the Community Foundation, and "Tornado Relief" should be written on the memo line. Donations may be sent to the Community Foundation, 711 8th Ave., Greeley, CO, 80631. These gifts are tax-deductible and supervised by the foundation's board. For more information, call the foundation at (970) 304-9970.

» United Way ... United Way of Weld County has established a Tornado Disaster Response Fund for victims of Thursday's tornados. To donate, contact United Way of Weld County by dialing 2-1-1 or visit the United Way Web site:

Checks made payable to United Way of Weld County may be mailed to: UWWC/Tornado Fund, P.O. Box 1944, Greeley, CO 80632 or delivered to the United Way office, 814 9th St. in Greeley.

People also can drop off donations at the following Cache Bank & Trust locations: 4601 W. 20th St. and 924 11th St. in Greeley, 100 S. College Ave. in Fort Collins and 410 17th St. in Denver.

Also, United Way is helping coordinate volunteer efforts. To volunteer, dial 2-1-1.

» American Red Cross ... The American Red Cross helps people respond to emergencies. To donate to the Centennial Chapter of the Red Cross, go to and click on "supporting the Red Cross," or call (970) 352-7212.

» Salvation Army ... The Salvation Army responds to many disasters by providing food, shelter, clothing and spiritual comfort to victims. Donations can be made by credit card, money order or check by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY or going to”

This has very little to do at all with Sweden, and some of you who come here looking for the usual deep revelations that I so often come with will be disappointed. But as I’ve said before, I’m a sucker for a good cause. And while it had nothing to do with Stockholm. Or Sweden. It did have something to do with moving to Sweden. Because I feel somewhat useless as I sit in front of my computer knowing that the old man could probably use an extra pair of hands to help clean up. And that’s a feeling I haven’t been prepared for. Apparently this is what happens when you grow up and move away. Doesn’t make it fun though.

So good luck with the clean up. And in case you were wondering, the sun is shining here.


  1. Yeah man, that video was incredible! Glad to here your family and friends are safe, if not out a roof or two.

  2. Indeed, mile wide tornadoes are intense. I can't even imagine what it must have ben like to be there.

  3. Life gets a different perpective when you experience a storm of this magnitude.
    It is very comforting to see all the people, young and old, willing to help. No one was hurt, we had two employees taking cover in the bathroom, not only taking cover with all the emotions that entails, they were also worrying about their children and no way of contacting them. The room behind the bathroom was gone with debris flying all over,blowing out walls etc, yet a wheelbarrow was left in its place outside the building.
    Hairy, it is also comforting to know that you worry and want to help - THANKS!! Your brothers helped and did a great job - THANKS

    The Old Man

  4. Hairy, you are a wonderful guy to be thinking of all those in need and wanting to encourage people to help out.
    We feel very lucky today that all we lost was "things" we are all ok and most everyone else is also. Very amazing after seeing such destruction that more people weren't hurt.
    Looking at all the destruction in Windsor makes one feel very insignificant in the face of nature and how quickly something like this can happen and change lives.
    so many people are without homes tonight, leveled to the ground, but people are coming together to help each other and it is wonderful to see how a catastrophe such as this brings out the best in people.
    We in Colorado will be ok, but we do miss you!

  5. its good to hear that everyone seems to be ok. everything isn't but I suppose in the grand scheme of things its the ones not the things that are important.

  6. ps very strange seeing the old man writing in english when he is addressing me. threw me for a loop at first.

  7. Drove through town today on the way back from the sister-in-law's wedding on Saturday in Estes. The housing devastation is tremendous. Chad (the groom) is the plant manager of Universal Forest Products (next the Old Man's Windsor company that got blown down)--He and his employees all laid in a ditch outside while the tornado went directly over them. One guy hid under a train car until the tornado blew the cars over. Amazingly even though he was under the cars and they got blown towards the ditch everyone else was laying in, no real injuries occured!

    Nice to know those lessons we learn as kids (about laying in a ditch) really work.

    Now it's time for me to start helping with the cleanup.

  8. Damn sounds rather insane, stuff like that never occurs where i live in Sweden :)

    Hope u'll rebuild and come back stronger.

  9. @john - I remember the tornado drills in school where we were crouching uder desks. glad I never actually had to use it. I would have been scared shitless as a little kid. well probably scared shitless regardless.

    glad everyone is ok.

    @braus - indeed. I didn't even know the swedish word for tornado until the old man sent out an email to the swedish side of the family letting them know what was happening.