Tag Archives: Tornado

Only Child on the wicked weather – then and now

01910012I’m huddled in my bed as outside the rain and wind tangle and tango outside. The noise against my window is reaching the deafening point and I just want to crawl under the covers and disappear until it is all over.

My mother enters the room and comforts me.

“The rain won’t get in here,” she says. “We are on high ground.”

The occasion? Hurricane Hazel hitting Toronto with a vengeance in October 1954. And no water got into our bungalow and no tree or other damage was done in our area. In lower areas of Toronto, much damage was done. See the anniversary story at http://www.hurricanehazel.ca/

 

I’m huddled on the living room chesterfield, my eyes and mind glued to the TV. On The Weather Network, the meteorologist on duty and a senior meteorologist are taking us through the storm of heavy winds, heavy rain, non-stop lightning and thunder. This is for all of southern Ontario. Suddenly the Red Alert flashes and sounds on the screen. Tornado warning for the Goderich area. Goderich was hit by a devastating destructive tornado four years ago.

It is now June 2015 and my mother is long dead. It is just me. What was a very infrequent occurrence in 1954 is today the norm. Every time thunderstorms and/or heavy winds are forecast, we have to pause and to more than take note. We have to ask ourselves not if any damage will occur, but what damage will occur. And where.

The meteorologists used their digital maps and very competently explained down to the current minute what was occurring where and what was expected where and when in the next hour or two. At the bottom of the screen the Red Alert scrolled with ominous forecasts of heavy winds, heavy rainfall, flash flooding, hail, etc. including where. As the weather cells shifted around, the forecasts and locations changed somewhat – often for the worst.

I couldn’t help thinking that all this digital technology, the Canada-wide tornado alerts now issued by Environment Canada, can keep us all apprised of what is going on and what can happen. But it can’t change the weather. It can’t stop the too much extreme weather from occurring anywhere in the world. Is it better to know what is to come? Or is ignorance bliss?

Knowledge is supposed to be power. But knowledge can’t control the weather.

As the lady on the bus said the end of May.

“God controls the weather.”
And you can take that one whatever way you want to.

The floods, tornados, hurricanes, earthquakes, etc. are still coming.

For the record, a tornado did not hit Goderich – this time. But a tornado might have touched down just outside Goderich – Environment Canada is still checking that one out.
And in the Toronto area, the storm stuff died down around 2 a.m. and I finally went to bed and to sleep.

 

Today, we are not out of the woods. We have high winds and have to worry about power problems, trees and branches falling down.

Makes me wonder if the woods would be safer.

Just kidding. Although there is nothing funny about the weather in this millennium.

Cheers.

Sharon A. Crawford

Only Child Writes

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Filed under Extreme rainfall weather, Extreme Weather, Floods, God, Mom and Dad, Only child, Power Outages, Rain, Weather

Only Child lives in fear of severe weather conditions

Only Child and her late dad on the veranda of 139 where Only Child grew up

Only Child and her late dad on the veranda of 139 where Only Child grew up

June 4 – today – is my late father’s birthday and it has me thinking. Especially in connection with all the house repairs and the water leaking into the basement again. See last week’s post where I wrote that with Dad in charge, house repairs got done –if he couldn’t do them, his cronies could or recommended someone who could. I also don’t remember any leaks from rain getting into our basement. That includes Hurricane Hazel which hit Toronto the fall of 1954. My family lived near the Don River which overflowed during the hurricane. But Mom always said we didn’t get water in the basement because we lived on a hill.

Today, my house is on a hill and a block from the Don Valley Ravine (but farther from the river itself) and I get basement leaks. The City of Toronto powers that be have declared this area one of the 34 basement flooding areas in Toronto, There is an open house this Thursday evening to get information at a school two blocks from me. I hope to be there.

Flooding from the big increase in severe weather conditions is not just here but world-wide. I’m glued to the weathernetwork.com – on TV and on the Internet and I am appalled at what is happening. Last fall it was the east coast of the USA (in particular New York and New Jersey) from Hurricane Sandy; now it’s in Poland, Germany and  Oklahoma – twice in two weeks for the latter. Is this somebody’s idea of a bad joke or – and I’m leaning more towards this one – do the Bible thumpers have something about their end-of-the-world from flooding predictions? Maybe they got it right but were wrong about the date (sometime in October last year I believe) and instead of one big flood, it is a series of big floods over a period of time that will kill earth and us. I know , I know – there is this business called climate change and the greenhouse effect from all the gases hurled into the air. But did you know that water vapor enters into the cause equation? See http://climate.nasa.gov/causes

But I really think more than that is going on here. Could it be that God or the universe or whatever people believe in is so angry at us for the way we live, that he/she/it is hurling all this extreme weather at us in well, anger? I know I am jaded where anything about religion, faith, hope and trust are concerned – and that’s from personal experience and from what I see and hear about it going on, but I can’t help but wonder. Praying to be spared this extreme weather doesn’t seem to help. And I know that this world isn’t perfect and isn’t meant to be perfect. But enough is enough and we’ve crossed over that line big time.

However, something is really off with the world’s weather and it’s getting worse. So much so that I am now living in fear. It doesn’t matter where you live – someday you are going to get hit.

No wonder I can’t watch the TV series Revolution any more – even though the cause there was a world-wide permanent electrical blackout. It still is a wakeup call of what is really happening.

So is the weather.

I want to go back to times (weather-wise) when I was growing up. This world’s weather – I wouldn’t even demean the birds by comparing the weather to “for the birds.” Birds deserve better too.

Meantime, happy birthday to my late dad – he would be 114 if he were living.

Not much chance of many of us getting near that age with the weather these days.

Cheers.

Sharon A. Crawford

Only Child Writes

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Filed under Floods, Mom and Dad, Only child, Problems, Rain and wind storm, Sharon A. Crawford, Uncategorized, Weather

Only child experiences unexpected serendipity

Patio oasis in Only Child's backyard still peaceful.

I admit it – I’m a jaded realist whose motto is “seeing is believing.”  This belief took an unexpected turn thanks to a severe wind and thunderstorm that hit Toronto on Sunday afternoon. It wasn’t quite a tornado or hurricane, nothing as bad as Hurricane Hazel which stormed into Toronto in the fall of 1954. I remember bits and pieces of that one. It got really dark, wet and windy outside. Mom and I had just made it back from getting our TB tests at one of those mobile testing units parked outside Holy Cross grade school. Our house and garden received no damage because as Mom said, “We live on a hill, not in the valley.”

Last Sunday’s storm, the intensity of which was unexpected, may have had its intentional roots (at least for my property and me) in my Hurricane Hazel experience. I was answering personal e-mail on my desktop computer when I could see the sky in the northwest getting very dark. After a few mild claps of thunder, I thought, “that’s it,” and shut down my computer and turned the power board off. A few minutes later the skies opened and waves of water fell down and the winds shook everything around. I looked out the back window and couldn’t see my umbrella on its stand in the patio table. Then the power went out – for all of two minutes. I was frantically praying (yes, even with my attitudes on religion and God) that all would be well. I checked the basement (several times) and no water got in.

When the storm had died down to a trickle,  in a panic I went out to the back. At first I couldn’t get the gate open – the latch was sticking. After a minute it opened and I charged into the backyard and found my open umbrella, toppled over. It had knocked over my citronella plant and broken a few branches of it. I righted the plant and shoved the umbrella back into its stand. This time I rolled the umbrella down, more to see if it still worked than for any other reason. I did another check of  the basement – floors still dry. And made a mental note to thank the fellow that did the excavation before I again ask him when he is going to fix the picnic table leg he broke off when moving the table. Surprisingly, the five bricks and three remaining legs still held up the picnic table. The only other happenings were my big blue recycling bin rolled over and moved back and a strip of eavestrough liner (to catch falling leaves) had come loose and dangled outside my office window. It is still dangling and can continue to dangle until I get my handyman over to do a number of jobs.

Then I saw and heard what happened elsewhere in Toronto –  power outages for hours, trees down (including next door in the backyard – it fell on the telephone/cable wires cutting off four houses’ service – if they have Bell Canada and not Rogers Cable. I’m not one of those four as the box for my service is up a pole on the far side of the other house next door to me. And then there is Goderich, Ontario which got hit by an F3 Tornado. Goderich resembles a war zone and people are left homeless. This is the down side; this is destruction I can’t comprehend as right or fair…but life is not fair I’ve been told.

I have family just north and northeast of Goderich and I’ve e-mailed one cousin to see if they are all right.

At this point my garden is intact, the trees by the side and back of my house are intact, my house is intact, and I am grateful. Perhaps a smidgeon of my faith and trust in living has been restored. Perhaps I am learning that sometimes when you put it out there, you are listened to, but often in unexpected ways.

Cheers.

Sharon

Only Child Writes

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Filed under Believing, Cities and towns, Cousins, Floods, Goderich, Gratitude, Home and Garden, Life learning, Only child, Prayer, Rain and wind storm, Serendipity, Synchronicities, Tornado, Toronto, Trust, Water