As we left Faith, SD we noticed the winds were starting to pickup. Having some experience with windy conditions during my days in Eastern Washington I thought it was no big deal and we continued on down the road. Well slap me silly. As we approached the Missouri river crossing about mid way across the state the winds were continuing to build. Long flat stretches of plains make for some really strong winds. Combined with what looked like lightening strikes and ever darkening skies we were starting to get concerned. We switched on the radio and started to hear reports of gale force winds, tornado warnings, hail, mass rain, flood warnings and thunderstorms with lightning. At this point I am beginning to wonder about the families choice of date for the wedding. We appear to be driving into the eye of the storm.
When we got to the Missouri river crossing we stopped at a small road side park just to get out and walk around, use the facilities and stretch. I could barely open the cab door on the truck as I fought to get out. Getting in was even more fun as Mia was laughing as I tried to keep my feet and hands from being slammed in the door and keep my hat on my head at the same time. The door slammed against my shin and gave a nasty bruise with a minor cut. Ouch!! At this point we had some nasty winds and some rain but the sky as you can see isn't that bad.
Once in town we got the opportunity to see some of the damage as we drove slowly down the darkened streets. There was absolutely no power to be found in the town. In fact, Watertown depends on pumps to move their sewer water to the sewage plant and all of the lift stations were without power causing them to advise against using any toilets, showers or sinks. We moved on to the motel and found it without power. Tomorrow, fun times at the motel.