Black Friday: Tornado in Canada
"The roof was caving in and I thought I was going to die. It was like your worst nightmare!" said Mary Grandish. Most people think they will die when they see,or hear of a tornado heading their way.
Although all the details of the formation of a tornado are not yet understood, it is known that tornados are the result of great instability in the atmosphere and often appear during severe thunderstorms (see appendix #1 for a scientific explaination on how it really starts). Strong updrafts present in severe thunderstorms result in a rotational momentum. Falling rain and/or snow probably drags air from aloft when it comes falling down. The combination of severe thunderstorms and sweltering heat are the breeding grounds for a tornados' formation. The first sign of a tornado is a strong dust whirlwind along with a funnel growing from the storm cloud. A more organized funnel descends farther from the cloud, sometimes even touching the ground. Funnel winds generally move counterclockwise and the funnel can move slowly or at about
100/ft per second. Eventually the tornado becomes fragmented and dissipates causing the end of the tornado.
Tornados are the cause of great destruction and devistation in the area in which they occur. For example the Tri-State Tornado of 1925 occured in the
Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas States. This tornado was one of the largest tornados recorded in history. It killed nearly 625 people. However, the tornado which strikes closest to home has occured on what Canadians have come to know as "BLACK FRIDAY".
The tornado of "Black Friday" touched down on July 31st, 1987 at 2:59 pm.
(See appendix #2 for the torndo path). (See appendix #'s 4&5 for maps locating the disaster sights). 27 people were killed; 25 people died during the tornado and 2 died later in the hospital. Hundreds of other people were injured and thousands were left homeless. Edmontonians faced a horrible natural phenomenon which destroyed homes, farms, and businesses. (See appendix #3 for a picture of what it looked like after the tornado struck up the street). More than 25 auto dealers faced a loss of more than $100,000 worth of cars, which were struck by hail measurihg at up to 10 inches in circumference. Not only were auto dealers' cars affected, but many other privately owned cars were damaged to varying degrees. The Kennedale storm sewer overloaded and outfall collapsed, which caused many people to call in complaining of flooded basements. Damage estimites were listed at between $150-$300 million dollars. $20 million dollars damage was done to Evergreen Mobile Home Trailer Park; $50-$70 million dollars