Friday afternoon was … interesting.

Well, is. As I write this, Cooke County is in the middle of a drenching rainstorm and weather spotters are out watching for a possible tornado between Lindsay and Gainesville. It’s nothing you haven’t seen before, so far at least. But the storm knocked out our internet and phone lines and I’m using our emergency procedures to keep our website updated with the latest weather information and putting out the weekend edition you hold in your hands.

One aspect of that means monitoring the county’s emergency communications channels for relevant updates — and filtering through the noise to ensure we don’t misinterpret what’s being said on the scanner — as well as checking in with officials periodically to find out what weather spotters have reported seeing. We monitor watches and warnings issued by the National Weather Service, too. All of this on Friday was done using our smartphones because of the internet outage in downtown Gainesville.

Thank the Lord for modern technology!

It does mean, though, that it takes much longer than usual to write this column. I’m taking breaks to do what I just explained in the previous paragraph. By the time I’ve gotten to this sentence, Cooke County Emergency Management Coordinator Ray Fletcher has told my reporter he had gotten no tornado reports and the National Weather Service has canceled its tornado warning issued earlier for a portion of Cooke County.

My husband had business in Lewisville on Friday afternoon, where similar weather was wreaking havoc on roadways. You can imagine what might be running through my head as I write. But he’s more than capable of taking care of himself and I trust him and God to handle the drive in severe weather. Worrying about things beyond my control never did me any good, so in bad weather like what we were experiencing Friday, I focus on what I can and should do to protect those around me.

As an editor, that also means doing my best to keep our readers in Cooke County informed about weather watches and warnings — makes sense, right? So that’s what we set out to do.

If you haven’t spent much time on our website and you already subscribe to the Register, take a few minutes next week to call us and set up your online access.

Sarah Einselen is editor and general manager of the Gainesville Daily Register. Reach her at

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