The Aylmer Tornado

by Lee Wilson
(Lac Sainte Marie, Quebec, Canada)

I used to live in a town called Aylmer in the province of Quebec in Canada. I no longer live in Aylmer anymore, but in the 15 and a half years that I lived there, had the experience once of hearing about a tornado being close to an area where I was at the day it happened and seeing alot of damage caused by the tornado and being very surprised that it happened. The year was 1994, in the month of August, the 4th day of that month. I was 12 years old at the time, and would be starting highschool in a couple more weeks time. Anyways, I was staying at a friends place as I was invited to spend the night from the day before. It was a Thursday morning. I remember waking up to a cloudy day that day, and as the morning went into the afternoon we got some rain, and then there was thunder and lightning as well, not to intense or severe but as with any storm that happens and so on. Just after 3 p.m. the power went out where I was staying at my friends place in Aylmer. I found it odd because it was not that bad of a storm and it was not even windy. About 10 minutes later I remember hearing this siren go off and then my friend and I afterwards both decided to go out on our bikes and see what was going on. It was raining quite a bit, and we cycled around a couple of blocks but did not see or find anything unusual or out of the ordinary. We go back to his place, all soaked from the rain, and then my friends sister told me to call my mom at her work as she had called for me earlier on when I was out with my friend. I called my mom, and she had asked me where I was and was really worried about me, and I told her where I was from earlier, and I asked her what was wrong and she told me that a tornado had went through some parts of the town of Aylmer, as it hit some areas that were close to where my friend lives. When I heard that I was like, “What the hell”. I was very surprised to hear that. In all the years that I lived in Aylmer, we never had a tornado at all. I know that tornadoes can occur anywhere and at anytime, but I was not expecting it at all considering the fact that it was raining with a little bit of thunder and lightning and not windy where I was at my friends place. I told my mom that I was ok and where I was staying at my friends place that the area where he lives was not hit by the tornado that happened earlier and so on. After I got off the phone wiht my mom, I told my friend about there being a tornado that had hit and passed through some parts of Aylmer and so on, and he was all surprised like me and at first did not believe that it even happened, and then we called this on-line weather service phone line called Touchline at the time, and they had said that there was a confirmed tornado touch down in Aylmer, Quebec and that the tornado had knocked down alot of power lines and caused alot of damage to alot of houses. No one was killed and there was only a couple of injuries and that was it. The tornado was rated an F3. Immediately afterwards my friend and I went back out on our bikes and went to this area only about 7 to 10 blocks away from his place called Wilfred Lavigne and Jardins and we saw alot of damage to some of the houses, and trees were uprooted, some roofs torn off some of the houses, broken windows and lot’s of debris as well. Had it of been an F5 tornado, it would been alot worse, and to the fact that no one was killed was a miracle.

Since that day, there have been no other tornado’s in Aylmer, but to this day I still think about it and will never forget being close to where it happened and eventually hearing about it and then seeing the damage when it looked like everything was fine and that it was just one of those days with rain like any other day when it’s cloudy with rain. I feel really lucky that the tornado did not happen where my friends place was, because then it would have been really scary and more horrifying as well. Sometimes tornadoes can be very surprising and even unexpected and you never know where it will happen and how it will happen. They come and go so fast sometimes and we may not always see them or feel any of the effects from them, but only hear about it eventually and unexpectedly like I and my friend did the day that it happened.

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