It’s quite windy today and I was reminded of a time when a horrific windstorm ripped through the Anchorage area. I was working as a flight instructor at Fort Richardson. People were scurrying around tying down anything that could blow away. I bundled up and headed out to the flight line, wanting to double check the tie down ropes on my airplane. As I opened the door of the Quonset hut, I was greeted with a blast of frigid air. I put my head down and cinched my hood closer around my face. It was impossible to breathe facing into the wind. As I walked across the open area between the building and the airplanes, I was at the mercy of the wind. Barely able to control my movements on the snow and ice covered slippery ground I thought maybe I should return to the safety of the building. But my plane had to be secured. Going downwind, I was practically flying; and walking upwind, I had to lean forward more than forty-five degrees to keep from being blown backwards. I learned later that gusts up to 100 miles per hour had been recorded.
We waited out the storm next to the cozy heater in the office until dark. Knowing there was nothing more to be done, we all finally went home, hoping to find the airplanes safe when we returned. The next morning, under calm and sunny skies, we surveyed the damage. My airplane was untouched, but others were not so lucky. The tail tie down rope of one plane broke and the plane was flipped over onto its back, wing tie downs still intact. Several others had been blown into each other with crumpled wings and tail sections. The force of that wind was a graphic reminder of the power of nature. “The Spirit, like the wind, blows where he wills and no one can control his movements.” John 3:8