We were pretty lucky. The house is framed on three sides by trees, some of them older than others. A lot of branches fell, but the biggest ones didn’t hit the roof. The yard is a mess, with branches, branch tips and coniferous boughs strewn every which way.
Tuesday night’s gusts were the strongest winds I can remember in a long time. In the six o’clock newscast, our meteorologist had mentioned a freezing rain warning and a wind warning. From the street outside our studio, I did a live report about the weather and, at the end of it, right on cue, my camerman, Luke, tossed a generous handful of snow in my face, after which I pointed out the winds had already begun to pick-up.
Little did I know.
By the time I got home after midnight, the winds had really begun to howl, even roar!
Everyone in the house was asleep as I stood by the back door and watched the pine trees briskly wagging back and forth like soggy spaghetti noodles. The maple trees were terribly restless and their branches clicked and tapped on the windows and outer walls.
I could feel the sudden surging wind shoving against the patio door as branch bits swirled and flew all over the yard.
Looking out the front window I could see distant flashes of green, which I assumed were transformers shorting-out. About half an hour later, I realized the green flashes were lightning, because they were right outside our windows, dazzling and disconcerting.
The next day I learned wind gusts had reportedly topped 100 kilometres an hour on the South Shore of Montreal and had reached close to 100 km/hr in suburbs around the city. Tens of thousand of people lost power and many people had serious property damage.
Through the relentless roaring, we, surprisingly, kept electricity and cable television! I finally crawled into bed at around 2:15 and, though cringing each time gusts screamed their loudest, I continued watching the Australian Open from under cozy thick blankets. It was kind of surreal.
I’ve been putting off cleaning the yard, hoping snow will fall and cover the mess until spring.
All in all, the episode was quite nerve-wracking and leads me to dread with new urgency, the thought of living through a tornado or hurricane.