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Freak storm in Ottawa

267 Views 11 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  bluebayou
I was stunned coming home along the river parkway on the bus yesterday by the large number of trees that were either fractured or completely uprooted. Homes, cars, and people were damaged by falling trees and branches. Some places lost their roofs, and power lines were downed in many places. Looked like Puerto Rico in patches.

While no one has designated it a tornado ("downdraft" seems to be the official declaration), it seems to have been pretty localized to some areas. Our neighbourhood is about 3km from the worst affected areas, and has more than enough trees to have shown an impact. But when I came home there weren't even any twigs or additional leaves on the ground. Looked like it had drizzled a bit in the afternoon and that was the extent of it. I count myself lucky.

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A friend of mine posted about it online. I hope no one was hurt.
One person was seriously hurt, that we know of.
Fortunately(?) the person injured was right outside the hospital. Our whole floor at work in Kanata North was at the windows watching. It looked all of the hurricane footage you see on the news. Right next door at the Marshes Golf club, they are hosting the World Junior Ladies Championship, all of their tents and chairs etc were all over the course after.
Wow. The only reasons these storms don't kill more often is folks generally have their wits and common sense about them. Once in a while someone's luck or good sense will run out. Nature is still the boss.
Which is why it was all the more bizarre to me that our neighbourhood looked like it had been just another overcast day. It is a walkable distance from our place to where all this devastation occurred.

I work (until Monday) just the other side of the Chaudiere Bridge in Gatineau, and it looked rainy, but we had absolutely no idea what was going on over on the Ottawa side. Of course, our work neighbourhood is all concrete bunkers with no foliage at all, so I guess it would be hard to tell.

Split branches on the ground I get. But when you see a 30ft tree completely uprooted and lying on its side, you start having Godzilla images, because it looks like a whole lot more than what wind could do.

Weather is a curious thing. I remember growing up in Ottawa, as a kid, there was a sunshower on our street, but with no wind whatsoever, such that the rain came directly down; perfectly perpendicular to the ground. I was standing on the sidewalk about 8 feet from the edge of the shower, watching it, like I was behind some kind of glass wall.
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Dang. By the title, I thought this was going to be about Parliament sitting again.

Hope everyone's OK. Perhaps you guys need a nice holiday - somewhere in the Caribbean! :D
Dang. By the title, I thought this was going to be about Parliament sitting again.

Hope everyone's OK. Perhaps you guys need a nice holiday - somewhere in the Caribbean! :D
that would have been "Freak show in Ottawa".
My younger son and I were at the infamous Cheap Trick show at Bluesfest a couple years ago, when a sudden freak storm took the stage down. We were watching them, turned around to see where all the folks holding their hats, picnic baskets, and kids were walking to, saw these huge black clouds, and when we turned around again to see the band, there was no stage.

We see pics of the aftermath of the storm, but I have no idea how long it took for those trees to come down. Were they rocked back and forth for 30 minutes until they keeled over? Did a huge sudden gust cause those big branches to fracture? I don't know. And the reporting usually only shows the mess afterwards, and people telling reporters "I was in my kitchen and I heard this huge crash." You never hear anyone saying "I watched this tree get bent this way and that for 20 minutes, until it finally fell on my neighbour's garage."
If I remember correctly, they did classify what happened at the Cheap Trick concert as a micro-burst which can be pretty violent.
They're calling this one also a 'micro burst'. I was on the 417 when it hit. It was dry in the west end part of town. Not a drop of rain and didn't get the wind either. I was also at that Cheap Trick concert and saw everything transpired. Crazy weather...
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At the arboretum, Grandmother oak - she was planted in 1898, broke almost vertically in half. Don't know if any experts will be able to save her or not.
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