Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Leamington Tornado

A century home on the north side of Highway 18 or Seacliff Drive.

Town - Leamington, Ontario - got hit with a Tornado early Sunday morning.
The destruction is mainly along Highway 18 going eastward close to Lake Erie. Monday, while driving along the ridge, old Highway 3, the vista south toward the lake was noticeably changed of its treeline.

Saturday was a bit humid but not unusually so. It's been far more humid.
When the sky turns pop bottle green you know to get in and under - now. But this tornado struck at night.

It started raining heavily about half past seven in the evening. Fun texted me to take in the light show. The lightening was spectacular but I also thought it seemed unusually low and vicious.
An hour earlier Taffy began uncharacteristically barking.
The cats lined up at the screen door wanting in, something they never do.

South side of Seacliff Drive in the first block west of Erie Street.

Early Sunday morning, I texted Buff. Buff was down at the lake babysitting with his BFF. Fun was on the way to pick him up. Speedy finished work in The City and walked out to a foot of water flowing down the street. He knew his little basement apartment was flooded.

Seacliff Drive looking south.

Not long after Fun picked Buff up, Buff's BFF called crying that the house was shaking. She woke the children and got them to the basement. Two houses across the street are now destroyed.

South side of Highway 18 east.

Buff's BFF's father is a volunteer firefighter. They found one of Shoeless Joe's patio chairs forked into an interior wall of a home further east. Meanwhile, whoever it is who decides these things, still hadn't determined if this was a tornado.

Seacliff Park, looking east.
Ordinarily, sky would not be visible through the trees.

Speedy got to work on his flood by throwing all the clothes already on the floor, up against the door where the water was pouring in.

Seacliff Park looking south to Lake Erie.

It was once a beautiful stand of old trees.
What is left will likely have to come down.

Mitch's Barber Shop, Erie Street South, looking west.
Comfort Inn is to the right.

Fallen tree and crushed sidewalk at Erie Street south and a side street looking west.

A friend of Buff's said all the water was sucked out of their inground pool. Four inches of rain water remained in the bottom.

Forest Street, looking south to Lake Erie from Seacliff Drive. Seacliff Park is right.

The view should be all towering trees with very little sky - maybe again in another hundred years.
A few weeks ago trees in the lower half of Seacliff Park, looking out to Lake Erie, were removed to make way for a water park. And now the upper half is nearly all gone too.

North side of Seacliff Drive.

We heard that someone in a tent sustained a broken arm from falling debris. We have not heard of any other serious injury. Thankfully, there was no loss of life.

South side of Seacliff Drive, between Erie and Sherk.

18 remains closed up to the Albuna Townline. A teenage boy who begrudgingly went with his parents to their cottage for the weekend came home to a heavy tree crashed into his bed.

18 East and Cherry Lane looking east.

Cherry Lane is heaped with downed trees. Yesterday, the north/south street was open but very congested. I stayed out, driving further east along the Bevel by the golf course. Trees are snapped and over, a Baptist church heavily tarped on it's west end.

Seacliff Park looking east.

Fun has been working for a construction company building fence. That's their signage on the ground impaled by the fence. He is currently in Toronto constructing security fence for the G20 Summit. There's plenty of work to be done here when they get back.

Seacliff Drive looking north.

We get very bad thunderstorms here all summer long. Many times when the boys were little, I put their bike helmets on them, bedded them down along the west wall in the basement and nervously curled up beside them. But thankfully nothing ever happened. This time too, we are fine where we live further north.
But Town is a mess.


Adeena said...

I was thinking about you when I heard about the tornado - and hoping you and yours were okay! Glad you are.

Wow! Quite the pictures! Reminds me of when the cyclone went through Goderich.

It's amazing how much the view changes when you lose a tree or two.

Jeanne said...

Love and hugs and many prayers for all those affected
Love Jeanne

Patricia said...

So thankful that you and yours were not hurt.

Joy from the South said...

I live in Alabama, where tornadoes are common but never welcome. I'm glad you're OK! I pray that everyone affected will recover quickly and that God will supply their every need.

Caution Flag said...

It as a frightening night, wasn't it? Glad there was no serious injury. Did the clothing against the door barricade work?

Gill - That British Woman said...

Gosh I didn't realize you were in that area. I have to say it was unusual the way it happened wasn't it. I'm guessing you were lucky and didn't have any damage to your property?

What a shame with all those downed trees?


Mental P Mama said...

I grew up in a tornado-prone area. My prayers and light go out to everyone who suffered through this, and I am so glad no one was killed.

Sue said...

So glad you're alright! I sure don't miss tornadoes. Of course, I traded them for earthquakes!