Well I had to put the callsign prefix in… This is an amateur radio blog….
To those of you who are non hams please replace VA3/VE3 with “The Province of Ontario.
Yesterday evening (Thursdsay August 20th) a series of severe storms swept across South Western Ontario in an Easterly Direction. These severe Thunder Storms spawned several Tornadoes. There are reports of major property damage and one reported fatality.
Map courtesy Public Safety Canada
Click on the Map for the article that the graphic came from.
As you can see from the graphic the storm came through an area of high tornado activity. I’ve lived in Ontario all my life (53 years so far) and I never really noticed how bad it seemed to be. I can remember a Tornado in the Winchester Ontario area about 20 years ago as I was visiting a friends farm in Winchester when it hit. There was a Tornado that hit Alymer QC (across the river from Ottawa) I think about 10 years ago and this year there was a Tornado that hit parts of Ottawa back at the end of April, but until you look at the graphic on a map you don’t really stand back and say “WOW’…
About two weeks ago there was a Tornado that hit the Mount Laurier Area of Quebec ( about 1.5 hrs north of Ottawa) and there were fatalities related to that storm as well.
Last night I really did not even know it was on its way east… I heard a boat load of static on 80m and the Ontario Phone Net last night seemed to be a non event. I heard nothing from Ottawa and then tried a echolink remote recvr in Niagara Falls and nothing there either. Later in the evening I found out that the storm went through an area that most of the Net Participants and Net Control Stations either live at or are vacationing near. Tonights net should have some good stories though….
Later in the evening I find out that the line of storms are still fairly strong and heading east. This is confirmed by the Environment Canada Weather Radar and also by checking into a late evening Ontario Net on 3.730 and hearing the guys talking about what just blew past.
Not much to do at this end other than make sure all the battery packs are on charge. I have a Booster Pack and automotive 12 V trouble light for each floor of the house. Its not hi-tech emergency lighting but it works fine. The radios in the shack all run off a 12v deep cycle marine battery so we now have lights and in a worse case senario communications…. Now What???
A quick check of the back yard shows that anything that could be blown around like lawn furniture is already tied (chained down) so all is good. Now we wait…. about an hour later it starts to rain and then the “Sound and Light” starts but it seems the storm has either weakened or passed us and its all over now…
The news reports say we were lucky. There was major damages and there was loss of life… It could of been worse but it was bad enough…
ps…. At this time I am not sure of the level of Assistance provided by the local ARES Groups. More on this later… This is one of the things they train for so it would be intersting to hear how things went after the fact…