WHIRLWINDS

Kayak (Canada) - - FEATURE STORY -

In Septem­ber, 1775, hun­dreds of boats and their crews were fish­ing in Pla­cen­tia Bay off New­found­land when a hur­ri­cane struck, smash­ing boats and killing about 4,000 peo­ple. One of the worst tor­na­does ever to hit Canada formed just south of Regina on June 30, 1912. The high-speed fun­nel-shaped storm de­stroyed farms and ripped through houses, stores and the city’s rail yards, leav­ing other struc­tures un­touched. Known as the Regina Cy­clone, it killed 28 peo­ple and left 2,500 with­out homes, but most of the build­ings lost were soon re­built. Hur­ri­cane Hazel had al­ready caused death and de­struc­tion in the Caribbean be­fore it hit Toronto on Oct. 15, 1954. It was sup­posed to weaken and pass by, but in­stead it poured three days’ worth of rain onto a city whose ground was al­ready soaked. Rivers and streams swelled and over­flowed, wash­ing away cars, fur­ni­ture, peo­ple and whole houses as well as roads and bridges, while fierce winds blew at more than 120 kilo­me­tres per hour. Peo­ple climbed onto their roofs hop­ing to save them­selves from the icy, swirling water. By the next day, Hur­ri­cane Hazel had moved on, leav­ing at least 81 peo­ple dead.

Homes de­stroyed by the Regina Cy­clone in 1912.

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