Sunday, August 5, 2012

Of Floods and Tornadoes

Good evening! How is everyone doing today? One more day to enjoy before the long weekend winds up. Got anything special planned for tomorrow?

Well, the rumours are true. While I haven't actually seen the word 'tornado' tossed around, a massive storm did blow through town, and damaged a few places to the very southern limits of town, and a few buildings just outside of town, along highway 43. Mostly, trees were twisted off along the tops, some were torn out by the roots- and from what we could see, a large shed lost its roof. News reports said that the winds reached 100 km an hour. I am so thankful we weren't home!!

Mom called in a panic late this afternoon, and the first words out of her mouth were, 'are you ok??!' They had just turned the 6 o'clock news on and heard that a 'tornado' had passed through town. I told her that nothing in town appeared to be damaged, and from what we had heard was hit by the tornado, we couldn't see any kind of damage- other than trees that got pushed over by the wind. Two houses, in particular, may have had some damage from trees falling into them. Head over to Global Edmonton, and click on the UPDATE on the homepage- there'll be a few more pictures of the damage the storm caused to the Lions' Campground, which is literally right outside of town. I'm not sure, but the way I'm interpreting all of yesterdays events, the same massive storm hit Fort Saskatchewan and Onoway, too; both towns also had massive damage to themselves.

The only way a person would really get a sense of the extent of the damage is if they flew overhead. We are surrounded by trees, trees and more trees. Thankfully most of what was damaged were just trees!!

Since I'm on the topic of devastation, I'll share a few of the pictures I got of the flooding and damage to highway 32 south, and a bit further up the creek, off the highway. All I can say is in.cred.ible!!

These are all along highway 32 south, at Baseline Road. See how there's nothing left of the ground above the one culvert?

There is a bridge, at the bottom of a valley along highway 32- at Groat Road, where motorists are required to slow to 30 km/hr from 100. At the beginning of the weekend, we didn't know why the speed restriction was there. We assumed it had something to do with when the flooding was actually happening. Tonight, Kyle told me its because of this:

As far as I understand it, this pile along the road is what's been cleared up of the mess, so far

Looking directly upstream (or, I should be)

OK, so this picture is looking straight down over the side of the bridge.

Down stream. I didn't include pictures of it, but water is still running from out of the trees further uphill from where these pictures were taken. Not much water, but it still looks unnatural! See all the sediment in the foreground of the picture above?! Insane! Unfortunately, these pictures do no justice to the awesome (and humbling) sight we were looking at.

These pictures were taken at a spot just off the highway, not very far up Groat Road (only about 4 miles). He told me that the driftwood had knocked out most of the supports beneath the bridge, so its fairly unsafe. But, of course, the signage sucks, and no one slows down to 30. No one knows the risk they're taking crossing the bridge. Making matters worse, this highway is the over-dimensional route for big trucks. Need I say more?

Well, tomorrow I'll share the happier pictures of our weekend. It was a much needed, well spent weekend!

1 comment:

  1. Oh goodness! It's amazing how powerful wind can be. So glad you're OK.