driving through Midland after the tornado


Thursday June 24th was the day after the tornado rampaged through Midland. I am a hemodialysis patient and I receive treatment three times a week, on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday mornings from 7:15 AM until about noon.  On the 24th, I left about 45 minutes earlier than usual to drive from east of Victoria Harbour along Hwy 12 to pass on the edge of Midland, Ontario, and then hoping to turn on my normal track along Hwy 93 to Penetang and then into the dialysis clinic at the Penetang Hospital.  Reports said that the tornado struck at about 6:30 PM on June 23rd.

I was surprised to find Hwy 12 open all the way. I had anticipated having to loop south and west on some kind of detour.  Hwy 93 was closed between Hwy 12 and Yonge Street because of damage and power lines down.  My detour was short, just a one road swing to the west.  I rejoined 93 above the blockade and headed towards Penetang. All the traffic lights were out and so people treated them as four way stops. Power was out in a large area of Midland and some of Penetang. It was eerie to see so many darkened businesses and homes.

Back on 12 I saw the front of Baytech manufacturing plant draped with enormous blue tarps.  It seems the roof was damaged and much of the front cement block wall collapsed.  The reports said workers were in the plant when the tornado struck. No one was seriously hurt. I did not see many trees down. It seems the damage was very concentrated.

Penetang Hospital was on backup generator power and dialysis went ahead.  There was no power for the televisions which made for a run that seemed longer than usual, but a small problem.   When I retraced my route home at noon today, Hwy 93 was still closed as in the morning.

The Mayor of Midland has estimated damage at $10-15 million.

A lot of damage took place in a trailer park in Midland near Little Lake.  One resident told reporters he heard a sound like a freight train coming towards his trailer.

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Author: William J. Gibson

62 year old - writer/photographer Canadian, survived open heart surgery, received kidney transplant, sometimes dour, sometimes amusing, over six feet in height, severely follicle challemged

3 thoughts on “driving through Midland after the tornado”

  1. A very hard life you are facing, going through dialysis. I wondered why you had dropped from sight on Facebook with your regular photographs. I hope you can find some inner strength to get through it — what a chore!. Four hours — what a long stretch! Reminds me a tiny bit of lengthy months in pregnacy strict bedrest which I went through three times.

  2. well, it is not really that onerous, just time consuming. the diet is very restricted. they point out that when you are on dialysis you are an outpatient on life support, which seems like an oxymoron if there ever was one. It is an illuminating contradictory concept.

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