Sunday, May 1, 2011

Be gone, or someone will drop a house on you too!!

Last Thursday I had my ass handed to me while I was driving to work in the morning.  The Niagara Region was experiencing some strange weather conditions resulting in 90+km/hr wind gusts.  The combination of Mother Nature and the Garden City Skyway (a very large and very long bridge) proved to be too much for my poor windshield.  At one point I was almost certain that the wind was going to lift up my car and politely place me on the other side of the bridge, thus plummeting to my death via the Welland Canal but thankfully that wasn't to be the case. 

I knew I was in a little trouble when I had passed the last potential escape route prior to going up the bridge and seeing the following on the highway:

"Vicious winds on bridge, please reduce speed."

I've NEVER seen that posting before.  So I immediately got that sick feeling in my gut and of course, reduced my speed (after getting the hell away from the large transport trucks that were swaying all over the place).  The next two times I happened to be on the highway and going over that bridge on Thursday I noticed they had continued to downgrade the warnings from the above to:

"Strong winds on bridge, use caution." to 
"High winds on bridge, drive carefully."

Anyway, the real reason for the post... I got a phone call from Eric just before 10 a.m. telling me he was pretty sure we were going to lose our shed during this 'storm' and wondered what I thought he could do to try to salvage it.  With the strength of the wind and the size of our shed there wasn't anything realistic that Eric could do to try to save the inevitable.  So we shrugged, laughed and hung up.  About 2 minutes later I received another phone call to let me know the shed was officially wrapped around my back fence and making its way into my neighbours yard.  

Eric headed outside to do his best to keep the shed from causing a lot of damage to the fence and my neighbours yard.  It was hard to work in that strong wind, especially by himself.  

Shortly following that last phone call from Eric, I got a desperate phone call from my sister trying to find Eric because a 60+ foot pine tree had fallen from their neighbour's yard through their back fence and was now propped against my mom's house on her back awning.  This type of situation just reinforced to me how much my dad is going to be missed, because even though Eric pulled through and was more than competent to handle the situation, out of habit, my dad would have been the first person both Dawn and I called had he been around.  And that made Holly sad on top of stressed on Thursday.  Sigh...  Anyway, we shall persevere.  

There goes the shed, through the fence.

After I got home Eric and I took a spin over to my mom's house to check out her situation and we discovered my brother had popped by and cut the 'tip' of the tree off to get the weight off the house.  Her backyard was pretty much completely full of pine.  And she's got a decent sized yard.  After we left there, we did the drive through the neighbourhood to survey the damage and it was pretty severe.  St. Catharines I think still fared the worst though.  We (at work) were without power for 10 hours and I know there are still others in St. Catharines without power even as I type this.  I had to make funeral arrangements in the dark.  That was a first and interesting to say the least.  Like going into a funeral home in the day time with the building all lit up isn't hard enough...

This picture to the right is the yard that runs along the left side of my backyard.  They ended up with about 5 of those trees down, and in the process ripping out their back fence as well.  Thankfully they didn't fall into my back yard as well because it already looks like a tornado ripped through it since all the shed contents are sitting in my yard waiting for the insurance adjuster to come take a gander.  I should be seeing him on-sight early this week.  So while this has been an enormous pain in our ass, I know we fared quite well considering the extent of other people's damage and all those citizens in the United States that were in the path of all of those tornadoes. 

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