Presentation on theme: "The Eighth Deadliest Tornado in Canadian History! Sudbury, Ontario - 20 August, 1970."— Presentation transcript:
The Eighth Deadliest Tornado in Canadian History! Sudbury, Ontario - 20 August, 1970
In the northern town of Sudbury, Ontario, a tornado was the cause of much devastation in the community of Lively.
Considered to be unusual for this part of the country, the eighth deadliest tornado in Canadian history would strike an unsuspecting city by storm, leaving 6 people dead and injuring 200 others.
The tornado that hit Sudbury on August 20, 1970 was classified as an F3 tornado on the Fujita Scale. The tornado would enter through the bush and cause absolute havoc, throwing large trucks across streets, ripping roofs off of houses and uprooting large trees.
According to reports, the tornado first struck Lively, and quickly travelled eastward, hitting Copper Cliff ten minutes after the touch down. Within an hour, a tornado associated with the same storm system would strike a town 50 kilometers east of these communities, Field.
Reports from the CBC Radio captured the nature of the day with a radio broadcast. Here are some of the accounts from that broadcast that illustrate the severity of the tornado.
But it did happen, suddenly, unexpectedly, where it wasn’t supposed to happen. A tornado hit Northern Ontario last Thursday, and in a matter of minutes  people died, hundreds lost their homes, and millions of dollars of damage was done. The towns of Sudbury, Cooper Cliff, Lively and Field were ill prepared for such a storm, after all the weather bureau said rain and thunder showers and tornados never hit Northern Ontario. CBC Radio Archives
There was a half tonne truck on the west bound, parked here. There was another car parked ahead of it, and on the other side of the road eastbound there was a Volkswagen. The Volkswagen was picked up when the actual twister came, was picked up through the air carried over the top of the parked car and in the ditch here. Its occupants were not hurt seriously. Just a split second later, the half tonne was picked up and carried over the Volkswagen, more or less in the opposite direction, to land about 150 feet away in the field over there. Without touching the ground anywhere. There were no single, no mark of tracks at all. The man in that subsequently died of his injuries, as I understand.” CBC Radio Archives
The small town of Lively, near Sudbury received the most physical damage and one person died. Its citizens, just like anyone else, will always remember what happened to them the day the storm came. “I was inside the trailer and I heard a little bit of wind. I went to get up to get out, and I grabbed my glasses, the next thing I knew it took the top of the tent first, then it picked the trailer up and threw it right up in the air and turned it upside down...” CBC Radio Archives
“I just got up to close the windows and I could hear the glass cracking so I went over to my brothers room, and I slammed the door, and it was like I didn’t because the glass come through and hit into the windows and went into the walls, just like plaques, all the way up. And then all the water started coming in through the roof, and downstairs the bricks were going down the hall and hitting into the walls at the end. My father was standing at the other end of the hall and a piece of wood came right through and came out at the other side of his ear. It was over so fast that we didn’t know what went on. We just looked out the window and watched all of the branches flowing. We started laughing because we thought it was kinda funny, we didn’t know what was going on, until the house started shaking, that was when we got kinda scared.” CBC Radio Archives
“I work night shift, and I just got to sleep, and the windows started rattling, and I got up to close the window and I seen the garage going by. And then I went to the back door and I was thinking about my car out in the driveway, and then I headed for the basement. It was only a matter of a few minutes, and I was out on the street and checking on my neighbours. I took two down to the medical centre, and then we started checking the houses on seventh and eighth.” CBC Radio Archives
Sudbury is a nickel town, and at Inco’s copper smelter operations were going full blast when the winds struck, Denis Manchanko was there. “Well all of a sudden the power just went out, and it started hailing, and windows just started flying right out. Pretty soon it was debris and everything flying all over the place. Out there is trucks and everything turned over now.” Reporter: “Where many men injured working the copper refinery?” “Well I seen about a dozen at least. One fella was cut open pretty bad, I heard there was a heart attack, I don’t know. A lot of people were really shaken up, with bumps and cuts and bruises all over the place.” Reporter: “How long did it last?” “About five minutes. The electricity went out at 8:23 according to punch clocks.” CBC Radio Archives
The story was much the same in Sudbury where Blanchard Bell afterwards examined the damage to his home. “I got up to close the bedroom windows and as soon as I got them closed, they smashed open, glass flying everywhere and mud, and pieces from the garages there, all these garages that blew down, it scared us half to death… About half the roof is gone, and part of that wall in the living room. Nobody got hurt anyway.” CBC Radio Archives
The clean up job has started now, and for many of the homes a bulldozer seems the only answer. Sudbury’s city engineer Herb Acres toured the area…. “ Just about a bad a storm that I think I have ever seen in my life. It looks as though it had cut a path through the city about a quarter mile wide and within that quarter mile strip, there is really extensive damage. Roofs of houses are off and power line disruptions and industrial places are completely demolished and so on.” CBC Radio Archives
Local papers also published articles about the tornado in the Sudbury Star in edition following the storm. Although the paper labelled the storm as a hurricane in the newspaper, they are reporting on the 20 August 1970 tornado.
Although the storm happened in 1970, the people of Sudbury will never forget where they were the day the storm came.