Friday, June 23, 2017

Big Weather Out Our Way. You?

Severe thunderstorms were predicted for my town and surrounding area on Tuesday evening. You know, the usual--wind, rain, lightning, possibly hail. The good news is that we only got the wind. The bad news is that boy, did we get wind!

Gusts of 110 km/h hit the town from the northwest, snapped mammoth trees at the base like toothpicks, scattered trampolines and garbage cans and left hundreds of homes without power. Nearby Red Deer was declared a local state of emergency because power outages were expected to last three days in some areas.

Everyone has their own story. My daughter and I saw the storm clouds but decided to take a quick walk, thinking that the approaching rain would keep us in for the rest of the evening. When the winds suddenly escalated we broke into a run three blocks from home, the wind spraying gravel at us and then buffeting us like a bully. We entered the backyard to sandbag our little apple tree. It was then that I noticed that our trampoline was missing.

Yes, that's it leaning against the neighbour's swing. Notice how bright and sunny it is during the windstorm. So bizarre. My 12-year-old son had been on it only minutes before but had jumped off when the wind turned cold.

My husband was at the lakeshore when the storm blasted in. He spotted a waterspout (a tornado on open water) on the lake and while driving away, the wind tore into a huge display at the nearby water sports place, so he was bombarded by inflated toy sharks and crocodiles and pink dragons.

Trees were the hardest hit.

This is me beside one in Red Deer which experienced the same storm. Many poplars were toppled. I don't know if it's because of a shallow root system or what that makes them more prone to high winds.

Here is a common sight at the lake today.
While it's sad to see such shade-giving, enormous living structures gone in seconds, it was only the trees that were destroyed. In more than one case, giant trees crashed into houses or cars.
All this tree mess has been a windfall (yes, pun fully intended) for tree services. This truck appropriately boasts, 'Specializing in Dangerous Tree Removal'.

Oddly enough, my story coming in February 2018 is set in July when a once-in-a-lifetime storm hits town, creating a windfall for the roofing company my hero owns. As well in the real-life storm, many houses lost shingles. Only one left our house--phew. But during the storm itself every house on the block had shingles lift and flap like hosts of bird wings. 

Two days later, the storm has long gone but the tidy-up continues and the stories grow as high as the log piles.

I know everyone has one of their own. Tell me yours!

Visit me at M. K. Stelmack or Facebook.

29 comments:

  1. Looks like you had quite a storm, M.K. I'm glad you're safe. So far, we haven't experienced too many major storms...just extremely hot and humid.

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    1. I come from where there's 'dry heat' and 'dry cold'. Don't know if I could handle humidity, Jill!

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  2. I have a lake in my back yard right now... Storms seem to be everywhere this year, and a lot of them.

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  3. I've been in earthquakes, hurricanes and tornadoes yet oddly enough I've missed an extreme wind storm like this. And yet it's the humidity that gets to me - probably because it's a daily thing :)

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    1. Oh yes, when I lived on the west coast, I experienced an earthquake. Very mild. I was wondering why everything was shaking and by the time I figured it out, it was over.

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  4. Goodness! Both you and Janice Carter need flippers for feet! Hope you get things back on an even keel. Best!

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  5. We get some pretty serious windstorms here in the Pacific NW. When I was in about 6th grade we had one that blew part of the roof off of our house. Scary. Our at our coast, hurricane force winds are so common they rarely even make the news.

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    1. Losing a roof? Probably every storm after that you were wondering if it was going to happen again. I know that being landlocked we don't get extreme weather like you. We generally just get something of everything.

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  6. Glad your family is safe. We get these windstorms every summer in Arizona. Scary!

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    1. Yes, fortunately no one was injured. Thanks for reading, Patricia.

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  7. Hi, Guys! When I was about 7, we had a hurricane that flooded the cemetery, and I remember kneeling on the sofa in our second story apt. and watching several coffins float by. Haven't thought about that in years! You ladies are so good at making the brain tick over. Have a great weekend!

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    1. Muriel! What an image! Needs to go into a novel...or a biography. You have a dry weekend.

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  8. You made me feel bad for complaining so much about our heat wave. Hope everything in your area is getting back to normal.

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    1. It is! Interesting how humans work to get themselves back to a steady balance.

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  9. Moria, I am glad to know that you and your family weren't more negatively impacted. We have been experiencing extreme weather conditions in Ontario, too. In fact, the reason I didn't comment on your post earlier is because we had such a heavy downpour, it cut our satellite internet service for a period.

    I look forward to reading your February release!

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    1. Ontario is so wet, isn't it? It's going to float right off its place on the map!

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  10. Wow, that was quite a storm. I've been surprised by the early storms showing up here in Wisconsin. Thunderstorms when it isn't all that hot, and a few days in a row where it rained most of the day. So far, an odd summer. I'm following a few friends dealing with the SW extreme heat, so not complaining. I'm so glad your son got off the trampoline and that no one was hurt by the falling trees and branches. Those storms can be scary--I don't get that blue sky. I'm not sure I've been in wind like that when the sky was clear.

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    1. I need to clarify, Virginia. A black, giant cloud brought the severe winds but it didn't darken the skies the way that a normal storm does.

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  11. We're scheduled to get rain tomorrow. They are predicting record level of rainfall. My fingers are crossed. I've never had water in my basement, so I pray it doesn't happen this time either.

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    1. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you, too!

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  12. Amazing how the wind can snap those giant trees. One year the snow here had crusted over. The wind took our canoe for a ride down the hill. It ended up two fields over. Can't wait to see the next release!

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    1. Imagine being in the canoe. What a ride that would've been!

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  13. We've just experienced Cindy here in North Mississippi...mostly just rain and wind, but no tornadoes for once. I've lived through a tornado, ice storm, aftereffects of a hurricane and an earthquake (tiny one). But mostly just deal with 100% humidity. :-)

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  14. Wow! We had a huge storm many years ago that took out our rear car window from blowing gravel and toppled some telephone poles, but it wasn't as severe as yours! After we moved into our house, neighbors told us it had once lost a roof in a windstorm. The roof repairers must have done a good job when they replaced it, because we've only had minor problems with the metal edging.

    I think you're right about poplars -- they're brittle and shallow-rooted. Here, the topsoil is thin and birches have spreading root systems, so they often pull up their roots when they topple in the wind if the ground isn't frozen.

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  15. Wind storms can be so frightening and dangerous. I'm still shaking from Muriel's description of the coffins floating by. That is too eerie!
    Moira, I'm looking forward to your book!

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  17. Oh my goodness, that's horrible about the destruction but I loved the imagery of your husband being bombarded with huge inflatable animals. That sounds so fun but I bet it was actually pretty scary, maybe not being able to see so well. Things are so windy over here in Southern California right now but it is hot. We had a blackout two nights ago because everyone is running their air conditioners at full speed. Hope the wind has quit roaring and you'll left with a gentle breeze and looking forward to your book.

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    1. Oops, I meant to say *not so windy over here. ;)

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  18. Oh my goodness! Storms like that can be so scary! Glad y'all are okay. And I hope the trampoline can be salvaged!

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