Thursday, July 18, 2013

Worse Was Yet to Come

It’s a trait of mine, born of experience - not always mine - never to say, “It couldn’t get any worse.” Life will go out of its way to prove you wrong.

If you’ve been reading this blog, you may recall the storms I described a couple of weeks ago. The hailstorm left flash-floods in my town, though they were no where near as bad as they were in other parts of my province. Last night went one better - or worse - than that example, though again, it was not as catastrophic as the earlier storm was in other locations.

We had been warned of thunderstorms, but I didn’t think it would be so heavy or fierce. The rain came first, of course.

This was followed by the hail. It was so strong that it was raining leaves, and the wind was fierce enough to drive the hail almost horizontally against my west-facing windows. I feared the glass would break.

The water accumulated quickly outside. It rapidly surpassed the levels of a couple of weeks ago, with water rolling in streams down the street. Then something unprecedented occurred. In Saint John, New Brunswick, there is what is called the Reversing Falls. The tide in the Bay of Fundy is noted for the heights it can attain because it forces water up relatively narrow channels. One of those is the mouth of the Saint John River, so at times, it looks as though the current is flowing backwards. I was reminded of this as I watched the water reverse itself and come back up the street.

Then it broke over the curb and flooded my front lawn. The whitish/grey spots are collections of hail; the brownish spots are seeds casings, branches and old vegetation.

Eventually it surged up my driveway and into my back lawn.

This is what the street looked like from my windows. I didn’t go out to explore because for two hours, I couldn’t get out of the house. The water was five or six inches deep all around. My house was an island. I could have course have easily walked away if I had had to, but I have yet to buy new rubber boots…

This is the debris left behind my house. The force of the wind and rain that fixed leaves to the walls may be imagined.

During the storm, I noticed a moth was clinging to the outside of my sitting room window, on the lee side of the house. He was probably thankful to reach relative safety. On the other side of the building, the eaves would not have protected him. He stayed in one place, glued to the window, all night.

The cats were, of course, frightened. Josie hid downstairs and Renn stuck it out as long as he could, but his bravery is newfound and it couldn’t take the storm. He joined Josie. Tucker hastened under the bed. Cammie, my newest foster, stayed gazing out the window in the parlour until the hail came, then she hid under my computer table, as far from the window as she could get. Tungsten and Bear-Bear remained in plain sight in the sitting room, but even they were nervous.

There was a casualty, however. My old micro-wave oven expired during the storm. The house's lights flickered numerous times but the power did not go off. There was, however, a particularly close bolt of lightning that brought an immediate crack of thunder - the only time I have ever flinched at thunder. I wonder if there was a surge that the old oven’s plug couldn’t handle. The oven is at least 35 years old, weighs close to four tons and has never given me a problem. I rarely eat anything cooked in a micro-wave oven, but it was handy for thawing items or warming the cat’s soft-food. It provided excellent service - even electronics were made better in the old days. It died an honourable death, having done its last duty just the day before.

Fortunately, the water receded, drained or simply soaked into the ground a few hours after the rain passed. I was pleasantly surprised at the speed of this, though it had happened with the previous storm, too. I could go to work in the morning. Hurrah...

I like storms. I like lightning and thunder. I used to enjoy, as a child, watching a storm approach, the air growing charged, the sky black, and then the downpour, often followed by a gentle rain. Whatever happened to those? I hope I don’t see a storm like last night's again.


  1. Oh my gosh! We've had rain rain rain and more rain, but nothing like that! I'm glad you all made it through!

  2. Aacckk! Far worse than our brief storm here. We're glad you're all safe (except for the demise of the microwave) and that you're house wasn't flooded.

    Enough's enough with this wild weather!

  3. My that is quite the storm. Glad all are well.
    Dad says he recognizes that old oven. Meow!

  4. wow - that WAS quite a storm. I like them too - but the clean up is a pain. and btw - that IS an old microwave.... :) Glad you are all safe!

  5. Wow - this sounds like a close run thing. scary for everyone and I would NOT have liked it. I hope you guysae OK now and the weather is a bit calmer.


  6. Glad to hear there were no casualties (excepting your microwave). Just read about this in the news. Happy to hear there was no severe damage to you, the cats or your property.

  7. OMC, that looks really scary. All the stuff plastered on the side of your house reminds the head peep of what it looked like after a hurricane had passed through here. We're glad that the water receded and you are high and dry now.

  8. I've made it a point to never say it could get worse just for that reason :)

    That really was quite a lot of water, so glad there was no serious damage.

  9. Oh my goodness, that's a an awful storm. You didn't say but I hope the water didn't make its way into your basement?
    The poor cats, it has to be frightening for them. Good to hear you and they are safe!

  10. Wow, that sounds really scary. We are so glad it didn't get into your house. And glad everyone was all right. We don't like storms like that. Not fun.

  11. Firstly, I'm very relieved to hear that you are safe and sound after such a storm. Secondly I wanted to let you know that I absolutely LOVE your blog!! The combination of beautiful pictures of your kitties, coupled with the background of books drew me right in. I love both so much that you've attracted me instantly.

    I'm also from Toronto, so from one Canuck to another - well done!

  12. WOW what amazing pictures!!! So glad you stayed high and dry. It's nice to enjoy a good storm when the house isn't flooding :-)

  13. Wow, that looks like the mother of all storms! We could use a mini version of that, as my lawn is parched with a capital P!

  14. We just checked in. That must have been quite a show, as long as you were warm and dry. Did the water get into your basement? (assuming you even have a basement?) From the photos, it got pretty close to your house.

    We hope things are back to normal by now.

    PS: Did the moth survive the storm?

    1. As a matter of fact, the little moth seemed to have weathered the storm. he was still there - and still alive - when the sun came out. He disappeared soon afterward.

      And the water did not get into my basement, though it rose to about a quarter-inch below my basement windows.

  15. From your comment on my post re: jury selection:

    "If you want out of jury duty, just tell them you're glad of the opportunity because you've always wanted to stick it to someone like the defendant..."

    OMC! That's brilliant! Seriously.