Tuesday, August 7, 2007

From the Beach to Tornado in a day ... Summer Vacation Adventures Part II

Hey all,

Another summer vacation adventure I wanted to share :-)

This past week, after our beach adventures, we spent a couple of days in a little village in the Miramichi. On one of those days, we experienced tornado weather! On Sat morning, my status message on one of my online accounts was questioning 'how I was going to get the golf-ball sized hail stone dents out of my vehicle when I returned home.' Sure enough ... we had a tornado in little old Blackville, NB where we happened to be visiting LOL.

Friday morning was absolutely beautiful and stifling HOT! We were no longer at the beach, but had two pools to choose from in which to spend the afternoon :-) Between the adults and kids and fact we only had one vehicle, I made two trips bringing everyone over to where we would be for the afternoon.

The kids were able to swim for about an hour when it clouded over very suddenly. You knew immediately that it wasn't one of these 'cloud passing over the sun' type of clouds ... this was one HUGE nasty black blanket covering the sky. Then, just as we said, "time to pack it in guys' the thunder started.

As I brought the first load of passengers back to the house, the rain started. On my way back to get Alec and his cousin, the HEAVY rain started. I was just rounding the corner to the house where they were waiting when the hail started. At first, I thought it was huge rain drops hitting my vehicle, then realized that they were hitting far to HARD to be rain ... then I could see it through the sheets of rain ... Hail ... BIG hail!!! First weekend of August, swimming not 15 minutes earlier, and now there was golf ball sized hail pelting down on my vehicle, and all around me!

I pulled into the driveway, and the kids ran out from under the cover of the veranda, while I stared around in amazement! HUGE hail was beating down on the boys as they ran and they couldn't get in fast enough with yells of "Do you see that! Holy WOW! Do you see that hail mom/aunt kim?!?!' LOL.

Yeah ... I saw it! And could feel it cracking down onto the truck! I tried to get a pic through the windshield, but as you'll see below, it didn't capture much more than the sheets of rain.

Then I tried to roll down the window, and managed to get a couple of quick shots while getting smacked in the face with little ice rocks! LOL

We pulled out of the driveway and it kept coming. Alec's cousin mentioned he was worried about his dad driving back from 'town' in this and hoped he was ok.

Then it started to slow in a matter of minutes. The hail stopped, but rain and thunder and lightening continued.

On the way home, we got stuck behind a big dump truck. Just stopped in the middle of the main road with his hazards flashing. A few cars drove by in the opposite lane, but made a bit of a circle around him. Traffic was starting to build up behind me, so when I saw a break, I went around him, and that's when I saw the downed wire. Not sure if it was power or phone but it was draped all over the truck, and now we were driving over the end of it ... YIKES!

Made it home without further incident though :-) and continued to watch the huge black mass move over us as the lightening shone through it sporadically. We took a drive later in the evening once the sun came out, to my cousin's camp 'back in the woods'. Trees were knocked down along the main road, and we had to take a detour, and one just missed my cousin's camp by a couple of feet. Fell perfectly straight across the back of it. Another couple of feet in, and it would have come right down through it.

On his way home during the hail storm, my cousin looked 'across the way' and said he swore he saw a tornado. Funnel and all and watched it as he drove, not really believing what he was seeing. Wondering if he should pull over, but wanting to get home.

The whole front hood of my vehicle is now covered in dents from the hail. There are also some on the roof ... but it's more so noticable on the hood. People have had the 'OMIGOD ... HAIL did that?!?!?!' When they see the hood LOL. Today, I showed it to/discussed it with a number of people and they came to the same consensus ... I'd need a new hood and have it painted. Would cost at least $1000 just for the hood, not the roof. It's not worth having my insurance go up if I claim it, after paying the deductable, when I know it's almost reached it's limit before resale. I was hoping to trade it in next spring, and as long as it runs well until then ... fine ... but I'd never see any value back in anything I put into it right now. And definitely not worth the insurance hike because of a freak of nature LOL. I've decided it will just have to remain a conversation piece of the vehicle ... and wear it's tornado war wounds proudly LOL.

Sure enough ... there was a tornado watch issued that day. I happened to google 'tornado in NB this morning, on a hunch, and sure enough, found one of my aunts quoted in a CBC news article LOL. Funny thing was, I didn't see this particular aunt on this visit, but apparently we had the same experience in the storm.

From CBC news article/weather warning:
"A tornado warning has been issued for the Miramichi area and RCMP are cautioning New Brunswickers about high winds that have knocked over telephone poles and trees.

Environment Canada reported at 3:30 p.m. AT that people in or near the Miramichi area should be on the lookout for adverse weather conditions and take safety precautions.

Environment Canada reported earlier Friday that winds were moving eastward at 90 km/h, pushing a line of thunderstorms from western and northwestern New Brunswick.

RCMP in Grand Falls report fallen trees blocking roads in the Perth-Andover, Plaster Rock and California Settlement areas, and thousands of New Brunswickers are without power after lines were downed.

Meanwhile, in Blackville there were reports of golf ball-sized hail denting cars. "Well the hailstones are pretty well all done," said *****, who works at the Blackville post office, at 4 p.m. "They were as big pretty near as golf balls and as hard, and I had a brand-new truck sitting out here and it's all dented."

A severe thunderstorm warning issued by Environment Canada said a warm and humid air mass over the province was providing ideal conditions for severe thunderstorms today.

"These thunderstorms could produce gusty winds in excess of 90 kilometres per hour, large hail greater than two centimetres, heavy rain of more than 25 millimetres per hour and intense frequent lightning," the warning read.

Officials at Environment Canada spotted small hail and funnel clouds in northern Maine, moving towards the region."

I'm 36 yrs old and I've never seen anything like it in my life. I was just amazed and couldn't really believe I was seeing it, and wasn't quite sure what was going to happen next. I clicked my flip flops a few times ... but it didn't seem to help. I KNEW I should have packed those red slingbacks ;-) We did all make it home safe and sound though, so once again ... Thanks Fates!!! :-D

Nite all.

1 comment:

Heather said...

Yikes! Glad you made it home safe!
Congrats on your SITS day!