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Tornado aftermath in Durham, Ontario

A destroyed building is seen Aug. 21, 2009 in Durham, Ont., where an 11-year-old boy died after taking cover from a storm under a wood-framed picnic shelter.

A destroyed building is seen Aug. 21, 2009 in Durham, Ont., where an 11-year-old boy died after taking cover from a storm under a wood-framed picnic shelter.

I imagine a few people have tried to call after yesterday, but we are still without a phone. Thankfully, our internet is back up and working, although we had to tweak the satellite dish to get it working again. Our power came back on late last night, after hours of it being on and off.

So, an update:

A class something or other tornado touched down about five minutes north of us, cutting a swath north east and then heading south into Vaughn. The tornado decimated most of the south end of Durham, knocking down buildings and snapping two hundred year old oak trees like they were twigs. We saw sections of aluminum siding embedded 100 feet up in a tree, and a car on its side in the middle of a pasture. It’s fairly surreal. I HAD to get to work this morning, but had to take a 20 minute detour. This took us down a road that had been hard hit. Massive trees down, barns decimated, fences thrown hundreds of feet. One local boy is dead, two others in critical condition, but otherwise limited injuries.

Oddly enough, the only sign that Sean and I had that anything was seriously wrong, other than a thunderstorm, was that Petal and Sailor both went NUTS mid storm. Petal was yowling and screeching and hiding under the furniture, and Sailor was at the door barking frantically. The puppies were all scared, I imagine mostly from the lights being off. Thankfully, we have a good supply of emergency lights, so I sat with them and sang silly puppy songs.

The worst damage we suffered personally was the wind threw our pool cover roller into the deep end… we’re feeling very lucky. Somehow I never pictured that this area would be at risk from a tornado. I guess I was wrong.

Sean and I have offered our house for any pets that won’t be allowed into temporary shelters with their owners. The red cross is here, and every spare police man and fireman from the area. We’ve been declared an official disaster area, so hopefully things will get turned around shortly. They’ve told us we can hope for phone service as early as tomorrow morning, so fingers are crossed.

Stories and what not are here — http://www.thestar.com/News/Ontario/article/684327 and here — http://news.google.com/news/search?pz=1&ned=ca&hl=en&q=durham+tornado

6 replies
  1. Susan
    Susan says:

    Thank goodness you guys are ok. Can’t think what we can do from here but if there is something, speak up.

  2. Julie R
    Julie R says:

    So glad to hear you guys are okay… but it’s so sad that a little boy was killed and so many others were hurt. It was a scary storm, even around here (Cambridge).

  3. Susan Snider
    Susan Snider says:

    I am glad to hear you are all okay. What a terrible storm, tragic for Durham.
    It was pretty nasty around our way here too. I think SW Ontario is now the “Tornado Alley” of Canada.

  4. Jennifer
    Jennifer says:

    Thank god you are all okay. I had to work yesterday…it was crazy especially York Region where over 60 houses on one street were destroyed. We actually suspended all ambulances at one point it was just too dangerous to have crews on the road.
    I feel so horrible for the young boy who was killed, and his family. Thank god there were no other fatalities.
    They say we are in for more tonight, but not as severe and I will be working again.

  5. Jenniferj
    Jenniferj says:

    Relieved to hear you’re OK! My heart breaks for the family of the boy who died. I hope the others and the town recover at a record pace.

    Maybe 12 years ago, I was driving in the dark to a show and there was wind and lightening, then hail, big hail and oh boy did I get the heebee jeebeees, Pitch black out, middle of nowhere. If debris had started hitting the car I have no clue what I would have done. The next morning I found out that two twisters had been within a quarter mile of the freeway. Northern CA is not exactelty Tornado Alley! But it seems they’ll happen where they like…

  6. Sarah
    Sarah says:

    we, too, had quite a few days of Tornados here in MN. My frenchie’s didn’t notice anything either, just that they were irritated with having to go in the basement every half hour

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