Here in the Rockford area, we're no strangers to weather extremes, as folks in Belvidere, Poplar Grove, Fairdale, and Rochelle can attest. We've seen death and destruction up close (and personal, for many). However, we've rarely, if ever, had to face down a storm that's as big as our state.

As another post on our website shows, a sinister-looking Hurricane Matthew, having already taken lives and destroyed property in Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and the Bahamas, is bearing down on Florida and other southern states. Some two million people are being displaced as dire warnings are being given with increasing urgency by local and state officials, even the president of the United States.

So, even though we've had weather emergencies and tragedies of our own, this is one of those times that northern Illinois' weather is far more preferable to what they're looking at in the southern U.S. and Caribbean: