Thursday, June 24, 2010

When it hits close to home…


You always see the news reports of tornados that strike various places of the world. But last night for me, and a town of 15,000, it hit home.

On Wednesday June 23 2010, an F2 tornado formed over Perkinsfield and tore through the south end of Midland, ON.

Power was knocked out as a result in most of the town and the surrounding areas. Several businesses and homes, mostly in a trailer park, were also damaged. The miraculous fact is that nobody was killed and only a handful were injured.

One of the injured was Fred Prosser, who owns Ward and Patch Sports. Fred is a popular guy in Midland, and is one of the best to go to for a deal on hockey or baseball equipment. Even through a rough economic period, Prosser would stay open late and always make you a great deal to save a trip to Barrie or Toronto.

He is conveniently located right across the street from my “real” job, so it comes in handy for a quick skate sharpen on game day.

Fred was in his shop when the tornado struck and found himself pinned beneath the rubble. Calling for help to no avail, he realized a gas line was exposed nearby. He then managed to get himself free and was found by a passer by and taken to hospital. Fred suffered a broken rib and some cuts and bruises and is resting at home.

His business was destroyed, as seen in the lead photo. After taking a break from our own cleanup, I made a trip across the street to take a look. The roof and front wall of Prosser’s shop was gone and I could see the skate sharpening machine sitting at the back.

Late Thursday friends and co workers were allowed in to salvage what they could. Hopefully Fred will be able to get the business back up and running in time for the upcoming hockey season.

For me it was an eye opener. I was in Brampton on Wednesday evening, where it was a bright sunny, and enjoying my fiancee’s daughter’s soccer game. Checking Facebook and Twitter, for NHL Awards updates at halftime, I realized what happened.

After contacting family and friends, in Midland and area, and knowing they were safe, I decided to stay in the City as more storm systems past through the area.

Arriving back in Midland I discovered this. It’s just a sampling of the damage in a widespread area that I took some shots of between clean up sessions. CTV news has a more detailed photo montage of the damage in my workplace area and other areas where the twister struck.

It’s really a scary feeling, and something I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy to have to experience.

Fortunately ,most of the power has been restored as of the time I typed this with the exception of where I work.

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