Tuesday 21 August 2012

Tornado...One Year

One year ago today, the town that is my second home (I've always spent my summers there) was hit by an F3 tornado. The damage that was caused to "the prettiest town in Canada" was devastating. 

One year later, and we are still rebuilding. 

Houses are still being built. Roofs and windows are still being replaced. Businesses have yet to reopen in their original location. 

I was alone at the house, actually standing on the back patio, wondering if it was a tornado. 
Hail on the patio

Rain...and you can't really tell, but wind too.

While there was no damage to our property, I did watch a tree fall on my neighbour's house. There was damage to our street and we were without hydro (electricity) or hot water for a week. 
I went over to check on my neighbour, but she wasn't home. I went back inside and read. After a while, I got my ipod and listened to the radio (hoping to find out when the power would come back on), this is when I found out for sure that it had been a tornado.
I attempted to call and text my dad, letting him know I was ok. I couldn't make any calls and my text weren't going through. Around this time, my neighbour came home. She had been in the next town over, and they didn't have so much as a drop of rain. I decided to drive, heading to the other town, until I could pick up a cell signal and call my dad.

My dad, after not being able to get a hold of me (land lines and cell towers were both down), and knowing our street was two over from where the tornado came up, made the 3 hour drive to check on me. When I spoke to him on the phone, he was already half way there. 

After talking to my dad, I went home to wait for him. I did end up walking to the bluff overlooking the lake, just to see what the damage had been like.

Damage to the salt mine

Damage to the grain elevators

The police had all roads coming into town blocked off- you could get out but not in. My dad had to sneak his way into town. When he arrived, he told me that they (the media) weren't joking- the town was a mess, destroyed.

He and I, in the pitch black, walked around our neighbourhood. 
Large, old trees came down, blocking roads. The roots would pull up the sidewalk

Car flipped over from the tornado. Luckily there was a hydro pole to stop it

The next morning, we walked around again, getting a day light look at some of the damage. 

Another tree

Tree blocking the entrance to the house, it fell on the enclosed porch

The top floor of this heritage designated home was torn off.

Same house as above, different angle

Driving down the street was a bit of a challenge
It broke my heart to have this town, my second home, be destroyed. It saddens me to know that the little town will never be the same. It's exciting to rebuild and create a new place for memories... but I will miss the history and beauty of what the town was.

The Windsor Star had some great photos of the damage taken, which can be found here. The photos are artistically beautiful but are sad in the extent of the damage they show. 

The London Free Press posted photos on the weekend, which are "then and now". Showing a scene from right after the tornado and a scene one year later. They can be seen here.


  1. oh my gosh! what a powerful storm!

  2. Girl...dang...that is scary! I think the worst we went thru was IKE...no power for 3 weeks...and OMGosh...was it hot. There was no food, good drinking water...Our cell phones were dead...no contact with the outside world! I felt like we were living in a war zone! We had to eat those army rations. It was a nightmare! Made me appreciate what I do have!

  3. wow, the damage is awrful :(

    xo brie