Twenty-five years ago to the day. I was 12 and living in north Edmonton at the time. My friend and I caught the matinee showing of Superman IV at Londonderry Mall that day. The weather had been sunny and warm when we went into the theatre, but it was vicious by the time we came out.
Later at home, we heard a tornado had been sighted, so my family went to the basement. We weren’t near the tornado’s path, but the wind was still strong enough to tear a large branch from the Mountain Ash tree in our front yard and scatter pink insulation all over our neighbourhood from the wreckage dozens of blocks away.
I was filling in on my friend’s Edmonton Journal route. The next day, the paper, usually a morning edition, didn’t get dropped off until 4 in the afternoon. The power at the Edmonton printing plant was still out and the paper had to be printed in Calgary.
The Rural Alberta Advantage respectfully captured a song about a day most Edmontonians still remember vividly. Last night, a funnel cloud was spotted in nearby Tofield and the week before Edmonton was under a tornado watch. It’s as if, despite all our arrogance and accomplishments, nature is reminding us who is in charge.
I will never forget that day either, the green sky, the baseball size hail. I was living on the south side at the time, home alone, hiding in the basement with the cat and a transistor radio (do people even know what those are anymore? lol).