Black Friday Tornado In Canada Essay Research

Black Friday: Tornado In Canada Essay, Research Paper

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

damage to residential areas across the Millwoods and Clareview areas; $6-$8

million dollars damage to the Transalta Utilities power equipment consisted of:

49 – 240,000 volt double circuit steel towers

17 – 138,000 volt double circuit steel towers

134 – 138,000 volt single circuit wooden structures

Although there is no way to stop a tornado, there is a way to prevent

death and limit personal loss. People should get into the lowest level in their

home, apartment, or trailer. The reason for this is that if you go into your

basement when the tornado hits you will have less of a chance of getting sucked

up into it. People should tune into all radio, T.V. and other forms of

communication to recieve warnings of the tornado and its movements so people can

be prepared and take cover until it passes. We should ensure that all the

schools and community buildings are open for people to seek shelter if they are

caught out of doors when the tornado threatens.

Tornados affect tens of thousands of people and cause wide spread

destruction to any thing they come in contact with. “Black Friday” will be

remembered in the hearts and minds of most Edmontonians as the greatest, tragic

event ever to occur locally. The power of nature continues to astound us and

makes us aware of how fragile mankinds existance really is.


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