Today, July 31, is the 25th anniversary of Black Friday, the Edmonton Tornado.
I was in downtown Edmonton that afternoon. My insights into this singular event are simple: I have none.
What I have is my story. It's not very exciting, but it is mine.
I downtown waiting for a friend to get off shift. I'd parked catercorner from the office building she worked in, had checked in to say I was there, and then went to a local market across the street.
It was sultry. The cool of the market was welcome. Nothing in the market caught my attention so I decided to do something else. I've long since forgotten what I was going to do.
It had clouded over. A few drops of fat, warm rain fell. I decided to change to running shoes before I went anywhere else. The pair I had on were suited to my job interview earlier in the afternoon and good weather, not a possible rain storm.
It was a block's walk to the parking lot at or near 103 St. and 103 Ave. During the two to three minutes I spent changing my shoes the wind came up, but it wasn't raining more than a drop.
I opened my car door.
The wind pushed it back.
I tried again.
I could not get out of my car.
I'm sure I could have gotten out the passenger side, but I decided to wait until the wind died.
For the next 45 minutes I watched as the sky turned dark and violent. Rain pelted down so hard I could hardly see though my windshield.
As it gradually lessened I watched cars on the avenue in front of me splash water over their tires and nearly to their windows. The vehicles were going slow. They still kicked up the water.
Was I scared?
We'd had several violent storms in the days leading up to Black Friday. I quite enjoy the power and might of nature during them. I thought it was just another grand display of Nature's temper.
Once it calmed I went to see my friend and learned it had been a tornado. At that point no one knew much. No damage reported. No deaths.
We learned later the extent of it. I have nothing else to say about it. You can read about the death and devastation in the link.
This post serves but one purpose. It speaks to my desire to scratch my initials in scarred trunk of time and announce to any who will listen: I was there.