Scuba Adventurer
A Storm Of Fury at Lake Whitney, Texas

 

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Click on any picture to enlarge
Pictures taken the day after the storm

 

The dark evening sky had lightening in the distance over the water at Lake Whitney, Texas on 14-June-2003. As the storm approached, the sky lit up with jagged bolts of lightening striking the water producing an awesome light show. We secured the area getting ready for what seemed to be a normal storm, but had no idea what was in store for us this evening.
At 2am we awoke to heavy wind that started battering the tent. The wind quickly went into a howling rage partially collapsing the tent around us. I slightly unzipped one of the windows to find the EZ-up shelter had broken free and was lying upside down blowing around beside the dive shop. I desperately tried to get the tent door unzipped, which posed major problems with a partially collapsed tent. I finally unzipped the bottom of the door enough to crawl out on my knees and run towards the EZ-up bare foot and with out a shirt. Just as I grabbed the light shelter, the wind picked up more and thrashed it around while I was holding on. I got one snap to unfold then grabbed another leg as the wind took hold, flinging the shelter and myself in front of the dive shop and quickly past the marina store. Determined to get the EZ-up down, I frantically pressed on the release buttons while skidding across the road. The shelter stopped briefly on the other side of the road, then the sound of loud cracking metal over took the howling wind as the shelter wrapped around a telephone pole. While the EZ-up shelter was entangled on the pole, I quickly ran to the other side to take off the large dive flag attached to one of the legs,whitney_storm_5.jpg (225824 bytes) before it was totally demolished or lost due to high wind. After retrieving the dive flag, I briefly stopped to look at the twisted metal from the shelter, then for the first time I felt the stinging of the rain as it hit my body. I ran to the porch of the Marina store but found no shelter from the rain that was blowing horizontally. I ran back to the tent to find a large hole in the side of the tent caused by one of the support poles breaking and the rain fly partially unattached. whitney_storm1.jpg (230213 bytes) Fighting the wind I stretched the Rain fly over the tent several times trying to connect it into position, and tying down the elastic bans that had broken connectors from being violently jerked around. Rushing into the tent, I found standing water and everything inside the tent drenched. The dive shop doors opened up for us to seek shelter and we grabbed all valuable contents in the tent incase whitney_storm_3.jpg (213274 bytes) the wind picked up again and totally removed it from the campsite.  Arriving in the dive shop, the TV was on talking about a thunderstorm warning producing 60 MPH winds. As the rain whitney_storm2.jpg (166454 bytes) slowed, we went to the truck to find any thing dry and returned to the dive shop with about 6 towels, 2 sleeping bags, and a small blanket. We returned to the tent, took the air mattresses up to the dive shop, laid them felt down and dried off the slick rubber bottom, which remained up for us to sleep on. We didnít have much to use for covers, but we had a dry place to sleep for the evening inside the dive shop. The next morning we got up to find the tent leaning against a pick nick table which seemed to keep it from rolling over, the portable table was upside down and the chairs seemed to have just laid straight down in the spot we left them.

Even though the tent was ripped, the EZ-up shelter was destroyed, everything was soaked, and I had minor scratches and splinters in the bottom of my feet from parasailing across the campground. I consider us lucky that no one was injured and grateful for the caring people at The Scuba Park at Lake Whitney.

 

whitney_storm_4.jpg (222281 bytes)

This picture taken the 
afternoon before the storm.
The Scuba Adventurer camping
area is on the left side of the picture.

 

 

 

Article Provided by:
Chris Stephens        
Scuba Adventurer    

 

HAVE FUN ON YOUR DIVE TRIPS 
AND SCUBA DIVE SAFELY!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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