Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Twisted Anniversary

I’ll be taking some quiet, reflective time today between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m.

Twenty years ago today was Black Friday. A tornado hit Edmonton killing 27 people, injuring about 300 more, and devastating a trailer park.

I was in it, trapped in my car.

I was in the city to visit a friend and was waiting for her shift to end. My car was in parking lot in downtown Edmonton and I’d had gone out for a bit of a wander.
It was sultry and had been for days. We’d had several highly charged electrical storms during those days.

It started to rain a bit so I went back to my car to change from the shoes I’d worn to an earlier job interview into some runners. In the less than two minutes this took the storm hit.

The wind was so strong I could not open my car door.

So I sat there and watched the rain until it came so thick and fast I couldn’t see out the windshield any longer.

For 45 minutes I sat there enjoying the storm. I had no idea I was in a tornado.

Eventually the wind and rain let up enough I could see again and I watched cars drive by on the street. Some drivers may have slowed a bit, but the water still splashed up in high walls around their vehicles.

When it was over I collected my friend and we drove off through the running water.

To this day I check cloud formations especially when it’s been hot and humid as it has lately. I’m happy to say I haven’t seen a funnel cloud.

I’m not quite sure how I’ll mark the anniversary this afternoon.

Quietly, I expect.


Dawn said...

What a lucky escape you had! We very rarely have things like tornadoes in NZ although having said that there was one recently.

Crabby McSlacker said...


I feel terribly for those who were not so lucky and their families.

However it's nice that you managed to ride out the tornado and even enjoy it. Sounds like quite an experience!

Leah J. Utas said...

Hello Dawn - Yes, I was lucky.

It certainly was quite an experience, Crabby.

It's something that, in a way, is kind of cool to have had happened. Good for life experiences.