o in the aftermath of Sunday night’s freak storm, it appears there was 1 man seriously injured after all, unfortunately. Even so, many eye witnesses have commented it’s a miracle there weren’t more casualties. An investigation by the Ontario Ministry of Labour continues; but I’m not sure there’s much one can do to avoid this type of event. A temporary stage can’t be blamed for what Environment Canada has characterized as a "downburst" — a kind of reverse tornado.
Will monitor for news on investigation in weeks ahead a report findings here. As always, stay tuned!
|Smartphone video shot shortly after a freak storm caused damage to Ottawa; this video was taken just outside and around my apartment where a tree in a neighbour’s front yard was splintered by heavy winds! Below, the position of the felled tree is projected on a map of the neighborhood.|
|Bluesfest site location (above, courtesy Google Earth); where the main stage hosting the "big name" artists was severely damaged by winds exceeding 90 km/h, according to Environment Canada (Source: CBC News)|
uite a night, here in Ottawa — and here I am again writing another blog article about what can only be described as “unusual” weather (for this city anyway). Earlier this evening I was at my usual spot, seated in front of my computer coding away when a loud “crack” could be heard outside. Unsure at first where the noise came from, smartphone cam in-hand, I walked around outside a very short distance and found myself confronted with a felled, 50+ year-old elm strewn across the road.
As is evident from the relative calm depicted in the attached video (above/right), the storm wasn’t a very lengthy event….reports elsewhere indicate that while incidents of damage were spread over a wide area, there were intense winds and lightning for only about 15 minutes. Long enough, however, to cause the main stage at Bluesfest (an annual summer music festival hosted in the city’s downtown) to be blown apart; and to cause numerous other instances of felled trees, 1 fire and numerous power outages in the suburbs.
No injuries associated with the storm have been reported as yet.
In the ensuing hours immediately following, there are reports of another system heading for the city. Additional coverage to follow as events warrant.
erhaps it’s just my being a Manitoba ex-patriot; but I was shock-stricken by what I’d initially thought a belated Twitter message from Canada’s “The Weather Network” concerning tornado watches and warnings being released by Environment Canada (the Canadian government department responsible for acting as the official weather forecaster) being issued for this very night. So to verify, I visited the Ministry’s website and, sure enough, there’s severe risk of tornadoes turning the still frozen topsoil up into the high heavens along with anything else fixed at or near ground zero within the twister’s dreaded path:
|The region coloured in bright red in the map of southern Ontario above denotes a region called “Barrie-Orillia-Midland”; and is so coloured to indicate a weather warning. (Amber indicates a weather watch, while green indicates watch/warning ended.) Source: Environment Canada, 11-Apr-2011.|
So far, no reports of twisters reaching the ground or causing damage/fatality have been reported. Should such events follow this extraordinary event, I’ll be sure to post updates to this article for reference.
It bears mentioning too that southern Ontario isn’t exactly Canada’s “tornado alley”….that would be more the case on the Canadian prairies (which I still call “home”, despite having lived in Ottawa, Ontario since summer of 2000). Tornadoes in the summer months are a very real danger pretty much anywhere near Winnipeg — indeed the city itself if struck by tornadoes of sufficient intensity to do serious damage or pose a risk to personal safety every second or third season. (But never in April, particularly given that Winnipeg’s climate is lightly cooler than Ottawa’s or Barrie-Orillia-Midland’s