Fifteen years ago, Les Kauppila and his family became part of Canada’s meteorological history.
On June 22, 2007, Les, his wife Lynn, and their two daughters were vacationing at their home in Ely, Maine, 30 miles west of Olx Praca.
“We just sat there after work. … It was a hot, humid day. We sat there with our daughters, drinking drinks and taking a little shower, some pretty heavy raindrops, and then it stopped,” he told 680 CJOB. Connecting Olx Praca.
Both Kauppila’s daughters went somewhere, one to visit a friend and the other to visit the Red River Exhibition in the city.
“We were just deciding what to do: have dinner? Go to the city? … Suddenly my daughter called back, ”he recalled.
“She was halfway to Olx Praca, and a heavy hail hit them on the highway. She looked out the window and said, “Oh, that’s a funnel cloud,” but she didn’t really know where it was.
“About two minutes later, I see this thing walking down the road to the west of us, maybe 100 yards away from us, and when I see dust flying, I’m heading to the basement.”
That “thing” was a tornado – the first and only tornado in Canadian history to receive an “F5” on the Fujita scale.
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The tornado, which remained on the ground for about 35 minutes, was about 300 meters wide, according to Environment Canada. Its maximum wind speed was estimated to be between 430 and 510 km/h.
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F5 is the most powerful tornado, accounting for less than one percent of tornadoes worldwide.
“When it was all over, the house was gone, and, fortunately, we survived,” said Kauppila.
“We came out of the basement and everything was gone.”
Incredibly, no one was hurt when the hurricane struck the small village, although several other houses suffered the same fate as Kauppila’s.
The family was lucky enough to have a carpenter friend who offered to help them rebuild the house, he said, and they were in their new home a week before Christmas.
Although he says he was not traumatized by the event, Kauppila admitted that he worries whenever the weather starts to change — even a decade and a half later.
“When you see these dark clouds, thunder and lightning, you are always looking at the sky from the outside, which we have never done before. You never thought about it,” he said.
“If you see something really bad, you look for a place to go and hide if you have to.”
Tornado touches down in western Manitoba
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