Thursday, June 28, 2007

Yes Virgina there was a funnel cloud!

I guess the rumors were alittle true. A funnel cloud was spotted near Canatara park in Sarnia. It was a nasty storm. I had left early from home to pick the kids up and ended up being there till 2:50pm. The principal announced over the pa that the walkers and bikers were to stay till further notice, then the power went out and we were all to line up in the hall with the walk way clear. Some of the younger kids were crying and if their parents weren't there some of other moms and dads were comforting them. I even saw some of the bigger girls crying. It was alittle scary but I think the principal and the staff of our school did a great job. They kept us inform and were all very calm. Now I know better what to do next time. I did take one of my daughter's friends (with the teacher's permission) to her big brother.

We did end up having our little end of school party -by 4:30pm we were in the pool (the kids any way) and having fun. The pool was 80f at that point. Today temps are 21C and it feels cold after having temps at 28C or 94F.

Here's the article that was in the Sarnia Observer today.

Tornado warning spurs panic

Jeffords, Shawn; Huebl, Stephen

Thursday, June 28, 2007 - 16:00

Local News - A violent storm that ripped through Sarnia-Lambton and spawned at least one funnel cloud near Canatara beach Wednesday also produced some confusion in the emergency response system.

Sarnia police interrupted local radio broadcasts to issue a tornado warning, even though one was never officially issued by Environment Canada.

The emergency broadcast sent school children, city hall workers and Sarnia courthouse staff scurrying for cover in basements and hallways.

The officer was acting on information gathered from emergency officials in Michigan, 9-1-1 calls, CB radio chatter from truckers and Environment Canada's own CanWarn weather watchers, said Cal Gardner, Sarnia's emergency management co-ordinator.

"It would have been worse if we did nothing and it had happened and someone had been hurt," said Gardner, who wondered why an official warning was never issued.

The skies darkened shortly after 2 p.m. and driving wind and rain blasted the city, downing power lines and tree branches. The power went out for about 6,000 city residents for up to two hours.

Wind gusts reached 67 km/h at Sarnia airport and the Blue Water Bridge Authority for a time considered closing the border crossing. "It was getting close," said operations manager Joe Lopetrone. "We kept a very close eye on it."

Residential streets overflowed and there was localized flooding in south Sarnia. The backed-up sewers discharged an enormous brown plume of storm water and raw sewage to the St. Clair River that lasted several hours.

All 25 of Bluewater Power's linemen were busy repairing damage from fallen tree limbs and lightening strikes, said president Janice McMichael-Dennis. Staff had monitored the storm and were prepared to deal with damage, she said.

"We're very concerned about restoring power quickly and safely to our customers, and we take that very seriously."

Jeff Coulson, of Environment Canada, said three storm fronts passed over Sarnia-Lambton yesterday. He confirmed a funnel cloud appeared over southern Lake Huron and briefly formed a water spout, an event captured on camera for The Observer by Sandy Lane resident Brian Sawkill.

The Sarnia fire department fielded dozens of calls from residents concerning about downed branches and arching power lines. Queen Street was closed after three utility poles were snapped.

And a resident of an apartment building near the Sarnia Arena was reportedly stuck in an elevator until a backup generator kicked in, the department said.
ID- 590770

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