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Author Topic:   Storm Story: July 17, 2006, Manitoulin Island
jimh posted 10-11-2006 08:13 PM ET (US)   Profile for jimh   Send Email to jimh  
Recently, while cruising around the Inland Waterway in northern Michigan, I bumped into a fellow classic Boston Whaler owner who encountered very high winds and rough sea conditions during the unusual thunderstorm activity which occurred on the afternoon of July 17, 2006 in northern Lake Huron and the North Channel around Manitoulin Island. This experienced boater related the following details, which I will paraphrase from his first-hand account.

Bob was cruising the North Channel of Lake Huron in his 35-foot trawler. As the storm hit it happened that he, his wife, and a friend were out in Bob's Boston Whaler MONTAUK 17 exploring around the anchorage. They saw the storm approaching and were heading back to their cruiser in the MONTAUK. They were about 400-feet from their trawler when the wind suddenly increased to extraordinary strength. The relatively sheltered water was suddenly whipped into a frenzy of 8-foot waves.

Bob was trying to maintain the boat with the bow headed into the waves. The MONTAUK has a 70-HP Suzuki four-stroke engine. In a very short time, the bow of the boat rose as a large wave came under it, and the boat began to slip back down the wave face. The stern of the boat and the engine were driven underwater, and the wind caught the bow, flipping the boat over. Everyone was thrown from the boat and into the turbulent water.

The MONTAUK landed in an inverted position, with the keel up. Everyone was able to swim to the boat and hang on. Bob was holding on to the bow eye in the front, and his wife was hanging on to the SONAR tranducer at the stern. (I do not recall from Bob's account what happened at this point to their other passenger. Perhaps they were hanging onto the engine.) Bob said that, once inverted, the MONTAUK hull was much more stable.

The wind speed was so great that it was impossible to communicate from the bow to the stern of the boat. Everyone just hung on for dear life. When the wind speed finally decreased as the storm blew through, they were able to paddle the boat to shore on a small island. Everyone was very cold and tired. They gathered moss and pine needles to make a blanket to huddle under to try to regain body heat. Fortunately, sometime afterward a boat passed and they were able to hail the pilot, who came to their rescue.

The MONTAUK was recovered and towed back to the trawler (which apparently weathered the storm). The engine was ruined.

"As soon as it went into the water with the engine running, I knew it was a goner," Bob told me.

Bob purchased a new engine, a Yamaha 50-HP four-stroke. He got the MONTAUK back in service in short order, and not long afterwards he was helping his friend, who owns HARBOUR VIEW MARINA, to salvage the remains of several large metal buildings which were blown down and carried into the water by the storm.

As a result of this experience, Bob made several modifications to his MONTAUK:

--installed pad eyes on the forward gunwales on each side of the bow, and rigged a 1/2-inch line from the pad eye through the bow eye and up to the other pad eye, forming a loop of line which could be used to hang onto if the hull were in the water and inverted;

--rigged a similar line at the stern from the two stern towing eyes across the engine, making another line which would provide something to hang onto if the hull were in the water and inverted;

--decreased weight in the stern of the boat;

--increased weight in the bow of the boat.

Bob mentioned that in his extensive experience in operating a MONTAUK this was not the first time that he had been in high winds. He had previously been in the MONTAUK in very high wind speeds and had noted the tendency for the bow to be blown upward and the hull to be flipped over. He recounted an earlier experience in which he ran the boat into a patch of tall reeds in order to get it out of the wind and prevent the bow from blowing over. In his opinion, the MONTAUK has this tendency. It is light in the bow and prone to being blown over in high winds, he told me.

Bob is a retired airline pilot and said he was very familiar with high winds and microbursts. In his opinion, the conditions on Manitoulin that afternoon were tornadic. He mentioned that the official weather report for Ontario has never mentioned tornadoes, but, in his opinion, there were many formed.

Here is an excerpt from the official Canadian weather summary for that event:

"...the day which resulted in the most reports of damaging weather was July 17. A cold front moving down from Northwestern Ontario kicked off three distinct bands of severe weather. Beginning in the morning north of Lake Superior, in the Hornepayne area, a large complex of thunderstorms created damaging winds, hail and heavy rain as it tracked eastwards. Before this area exited Ontario, it created a damage path near Kirkland Lake and eastwards towards Larder Lake. By late afternoon, another area of thunderstorms became organized to the west of Manitoulin Island. Between approximately 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. this area of thunderstorms raced eastwards, generating sporadic strong wind gusts called microbursts. The speed of some of these wind gusts was between 120 and 160 kilometres per hour and damage was reported in a large number of localities from Manitoulin Island to south of Sudbury, through North Bay and into the Mattawa and Deep River areas."


Bob said the 50-HP Yamaha four-stroke was a good engine for the MONTAUK as it reduced the stern weight. In his opinion, following this storm casualty, the 70-HP Suzuki engine was too much weight on the transom.

Several others were present when Bob gave his oral account of the storm, and if I have left anything out, or my recollection differs from theirs, perhaps they can join in with more details. I asked Bob if he would publish a first-hand account of what happened, but he declined. I feel the incident is significant and will be of interest to other owners of classic Boston Whaler MONTAUK boats, and thus I have paraphrased Bob's narrative as best as I can recall it.

Binkie posted 10-11-2006 08:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for Binkie  Send Email to Binkie     
Well its fortunate that they all survived and were able to relate their story. I don`t believe that poor design of the Boston Whaler Montauk was to blame, and it probably doesn't have any more tendency to kite into the wind than any other 17 ft. outboard.
Bob lost control by not accelerating up the face of the wave, and probably went straight up the face, instead of at an angle, so that his bow wouldn't plow coming down the other side. As a pilot he should have known better, what he did is basically the same as stalling a plane, which would have sent him into a spin. Any time you lose forward motion in rough seas you`re in trouble.
I realize thunder storms can pop up almost in an instant, but living in the thunderstorm capital of the country, Florida, you get used to looking at the skies and get an instinct for when they are about to form, and keep away from them at all costs. As a pilot he should have been aware of the bad weather approaching.
If his trawler was tied to a dock, and he was 400 ft. away and in 8 ft. waves, I would think his trawler would have been damaged. If it was on the hook it probably would have dragged anchor, in that storm, if it was that severe. Most times thunderstorms are the worst at the outer rim but that rim blows by very fast.

I don`t think he can blame his Whaler, I think he just screwed up, which is unusual for an experienced boater, who is also an airline pilot.


jimh posted 10-11-2006 09:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
To clarify, the winds were clocked at over 120-MPH. The incident occurred in a remote wilderness anchorage. There are no docks.

I am afraid I lack the knowledge to offer any judgement of Bob's skill at small boat handling. I found his account to be quite amazing and his insight into the way a MONTAUK handles in those conditions to be worth passing on.

Buckda posted 10-11-2006 09:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Thanks for posting the recount of Bob's story.

Binkie -

I got the impression that Bob was in a more exposed area of the anchorage, perhaps out in the bay a bit further.

If the accounts read in the Manitoulin Island and Little Current newspaper later that summer were correct, many, many experienced mariners were caught by that storm. Buildings were pushed into the lake, and more than a few sailboats were dis-(de?)masted. My impression from Bob's recounting of the story was that the mariner who rescued him was a sailboater who had suffered somewhat severe damage to his craft as well (dis-masted).

Perhaps Kingfish will chime in here, a relative of his was up at Neptune Island in the same system and was apparently caught out in the Parker - perhaps he has relayed that story to John by now.

I also did not get the impression that Bob was BLAMING the design of the MONTAUK. Indeed, he credited it with providing his party something to hold onto in the turbulent waters.

I believe that the problem described in his narrative was that the MONTAUK was simply too small of a boat for the conditions generated that afternoon. He did mention that a larger vessel may have weathered the storm better.

What worried me about the story was that I generally erect my canvas when I see weather approaching. That kind of wind would have likely damaged the canvas, and most likely would have made maintaining a course line into the wind very difficult, possibly resulting in a capsizing due to being blown sideways into the wind. I shall have to rethink that option when the weather is expected to be extreme.

Also, given the location - pretty remote - it is unlikely that his trawler was tied to any dock, it is more likely that he was anchored in a more sheltered area.

home Aside posted 10-11-2006 10:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for home Aside  Send Email to home Aside     
Buckda and I observed the results of some blow overs of timber from that storm while in the North Channel in August, Kingfish related the story of his brother in the Parker during the storm. In 2004 while in the North Channel with Buckda, GEP, LHG, and the rest, we encountered some wind and rough water on the way to Manitoulin Island, nothing like the windspeed mentioned here and more like 5 to 6-foot waves, I was in my Montauk and slowed down quite a bit to trudge through the waves which I took at an angle instead of straight on. The few waves I took straight on put a lot of water over the bow. It was definitely an experience even in a much smaller scale. As much as I loved that Montauk that was the trip when I seriously started thinking of a bigger Whaler. Now I have an 1985 Revenge 22 WT.


Kumiega posted 10-12-2006 12:09 AM ET (US)     Profile for Kumiega  Send Email to Kumiega     
I ran jack lines from the back of the boat to the front of the boat. I mounted pad eyes so the lines are secure. Jack Lines are flat nylon webbing made for tethering to the boat. On rough weather days I tether myself to the boat. I tether my kids to the boat. This way if the boats flips we all will not be need to swim to the boat. If I hit a rogue wave no-one can be thrown from the boat. The jack line and tether will not trap you under the boat since it is designed to be safe if you flip.

This set up is standard on all off shore racing boats to insure the crew stays with the boat. I don't know why everyone with a whaler does not run jack lines. If you have an inflatable life vest with a harness and you are tethered to the boat you should be able to survive until the coast guard comes and gets you when you turn on your EPIRB.

Also, without a tether adding lines to hang onto is just stupid. When a person gets knocked of a sail boat most times the person has bad sprains or broken bones. A close friend broke is shoulder. Try hanging onto a line with a broken shoulder. His tether allowed the crew to get him back on the boat since they used the tether to hoist him back on the boat.

I keep being amazed by people who pay extra for a boat that does not sink but apparently do not invest in gear to insure you stay with the boat. Jack lines ($100), an inflatable life vest with a tether ($300) and an manual EPRIB($600). I keep reading these types of articles and keep thinking to myself why don't people rig their boat for a storm? Everyone at this site talk about how their great Whaler that wont sink but they are not attached to the boat. Try swimming after a boat with a broken shoulder. Can anyone explain to me why power boaters don't own tethers and have jack lines on their boats?

kingfish posted 10-12-2006 12:25 AM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
That was quite a storm, and my cousin Frank was out in our Parker on the North Channel between Wells island and Neptune Island when it hit that area. He said they were beating their way West, with the full 100 miles fetch of the North Channel in front of them, in 2-3 footers and sporadic thunder showers, heading back to Neptune island from the Bay of Islands. Frank said it cleared a little, enough so they could see what looked like the squall line of another thunder storm coming, and when it arrived the waves instantly went to 6-8 footers. He said it was so rough that he and his wife couldn't even get into the cuddy to grab life jackets; all they could do was hang on to something solid while Frank kept up enough power to keep the bow into the wind. In 20 minutes it was over.

It was a straight or shear wind, and there was a photo in the Manitoulin Expositor a couple weeks later taken by a sailor anchored in the Benjamins, of his anemometer reading 120 knots at the peak of the storm. The cruising partner of this sailor, also anchored in the Benjamins, had his inflatable out on a tow line when the storm hit, and the winds lifted the inflatable right out of the water so it was blowing around like a kite at the end of the tow line. They were unable to get back to the stern of their boat to cut it loose, and the upshot was the wind drag on the inflatable pulled that sailboat and its anchor up on the rocks. They were able to get freed with minimal damage after the storm blew past.

We lost a number of trees to that storm on Neptune Island, and it blew the mast off our Hobie Cat. There must have been just a little bit of South to the wind, because the leading edge of the tree line all along the North Shore of the east end of the North Channel was decimated. Beth Ferguson who along with her husband Stan own Harbor Vue Marina, told me the story Jim related when I was up there a week after the storm. Harbor Vue had 4 buildings blow down and 8 boats blow over that were on jacks up on shore. No one was killed or even badly injured, although a lady was out in a canoe with her dog when the storm hit and the winds capsized them. They were in the water for a number of hours, but were rescued and weren't much worse for the wear.


towboater posted 10-12-2006 02:35 AM ET (US)     Profile for towboater  Send Email to towboater     
This is about the eight time that I recently heard Montauk boats are "flyers." Because of those comments, I bought an Outrage.

Kumiega--thanks for the advice. My 17 does seem easy to fall out of, I worry that a tether may be worse that going in. I will think about a tether as I get better aquatinted with the boat's handling. On the river use of a tether is nota much a safety concern as on open water. Weather can change quickly but there are plenty of lees nearby.

logjam posted 10-12-2006 09:53 AM ET (US)     Profile for logjam  Send Email to logjam     
Quite a few years ago I was aboard an 18' guardian that had its bow blown around and downwind while underway in high winds. After I took over the helm we did not experience the same loss of control, but even with the bow trimmed fully down I can not say that we were not at more risk of a blow over by maintaining a heading than we were by losing the heading downwind.

Two weeks ago I drug anchor in a 32'non whaler. I spent the next 7 hours jogging in winds and seas so violent that it was at many times impossible to see anything but white water and impossible to maintain any kind of a heading bow into wind and seas. I almost lost the boat several times and was unable to let go of the wheel to secure different things that came loose on deck and were banging the pilothouse windows(one broke) at four or five cycles/second. At times I was being driven towards rocks, unable to run before seas and unable to run into seas. During the gusts 630hp and twin engines full into reverse were losing ground and I was within feet of losing the works.

I guess my point is that conditions are highly variable and I hate to see information given as what a person should do or should have done in a given circumstance. I fully understand why someone would hesitate to give a first hand account of what they did or what they experienced.

While a knowledge of seamanship is helpful it will not prepare you for every situation and when you are "in it" you do what you have to do or what you can do. What saves you might not be the generally accepted rules of seamanship but maybe God's mercy.

andygere posted 10-12-2006 11:35 AM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
jimh, Buckda, Kingfish and others, thanks for relaying this frightening story. I agree that the fact Bob was in a Whaler and not some other 17 foot skiff may well have saved his life.

I don't agree that the trawler would have necessarily dragged her anchor. Such vessels often use large claw style anchors and all-chain rodes, which can provide incredible holding power when properly set. In addition, Bob may have set multiple anchors, and likely chose a sheltered anchorage, where perhaps there was some protection from the storm.

Kumiega, I am interested in seeing some photos of your jack line system. I sometimes troll for salmon alone on my Outrage 22, and my biggest fear is falling out of the boat. I have thought about jack lines, but have always been concerned that they would be a hazard, giving me something to trip or get tangled in. In theory, they make a lot of sense to me, particularly for solo boating.

Binkie posted 10-12-2006 12:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for Binkie  Send Email to Binkie     
Estimated winds of 120mph? I think doubtful. that's a cat 3 hurricane, similar to Charley, and Katrina and I`m sure his trawler would have broken loose and washed ashore, even if set with 3 anchors and chain rode, and even in a sheltered anchorage. As far as the Montauk and its occupants, they would be toast.

You have to see and hear 120mph wind to believe it. But of course that's just my opinion.


Buckda posted 10-12-2006 12:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Binkie -

120 MPH wind is not unbelievable, and we're not talking about sustained winds, as in a hurricane, we're talking about blustery gusts, as in a thunderstorm or a Tornadic event.

In fact, 120 MPH is rather slow when speaking in tornadic terms. A fully formed F-5 tornado can produce wind speeds in excess of 300 MPH.

Also, you have obviously never been to the North Channel. Depending on WHERE he was anchored, he very well could have weathered a Category 5 hurricane winds, at anchor (minus the storm surge), for 20 minutes. I can think of a few anchorages off the top of my head (Pothole Portage, Covered Portage Cove, etc) that are very seriously guarded on nearly all sides by towering granite formations.

Of course, you are entitled to your opinions, and like me, you often make them public - but I have to disagree with you on this one. (By the way, having survived a nearby tornado as a teenager, I have heard 180 MPH wind before, mixed in with the sound of an angry storm trashing a's not pleasant).

The North Channel has many protected anchorages, but it also is on a very large scale - you can be caught out in the middle with a fast moving storm front and a Fountain Powerboat wouldn't get you to shore in time to avoid it. Depending on what Bob and his party were up to, they may have seen the storm early and had already made significant progress toward shelter when they were caught in it. A MONTAUK with 3 elderly people on board, a 70 HP engine and 3 foot Great Lakes chop is not going to make fast headway, even with the urgency of impending storm clouds.

Finally, unless you've experienced a far north thunderstorm, there's not a lot to compare. In mid-July in the South, a thunderstorm brings relatively cooler temperatures - but usually warm rain, and no hail (but spectacular lightning displays). Northern thunderstorms often bring less spectacular lightning (although from time to time that is pretty spectacular as well), but they bring COLD rain and often sleet or hail. The water temperature probably dropped 10-15 degrees as well as the cooler water from under the thermocline was frothed to the top in the large chop. This is a deadly combination and can add to the chill of the situation that comes from the primal reaction/fear when dealing with such a scenario.

It is probable that Bob and his crew were suffering from the early stages of hypothermia and were most certainly in shock after this event.

sternorama posted 10-12-2006 01:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for sternorama  Send Email to sternorama     
jimh-thank you for writing and sharing this story. I'm glad there was a happy ending.

Kumiega-I'd like to hear more about the jack lines, very interesting. How long are your tethers and how far back do the jack lines go? I'm concerned with being fixed to the boat near the propeller... in a flip maybe not so much, but if a passenger bounced out of the boat it seems like in a split second they could be in more danger from the prop..

The Judge posted 10-12-2006 02:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for The Judge  Send Email to The Judge     
Been caught in a few myself and without being there nobody can bench test his driving abilities. Sometimes you are better off going straight into it or riding the back of a wave and going with it. Really depends on the situation and if you are going to wash up on shore or not...sometimes that is not a bad alternative either. I think in a small vessel you might be safer just running her up on the beach and worrying about getting it off later, especially in cold weather.
alfa posted 10-12-2006 02:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for alfa  Send Email to alfa     
Storms and cyclones are very dangerous.
Search Google for Kalunde.
I was there when kalunde hits Rodrigues Island in indian ocean. That was in march 2003.
The horror. 30' Waves on the corral reef.
Kalunde devastated the island during 2 days.

Last year, we returning from a 55 nm trolling offshore in indian ocean on the 42'. Whe saw a tornado behind us. We have to hit the throttle and change direction.
Rare sight, sure.
But you have really to kick off.

kingfish posted 10-12-2006 02:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     

There were measured winds of 120 knots (135 mph +/-); nothing estimated about it. You can have "opinions" that the sun sets in the east if you want but all it does is erode your credibility with everyone else.

RJG posted 10-12-2006 04:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for RJG  Send Email to RJG     
With seas running 8ft. and winds at 120mph it is a wonder they didn't get blown off the lake and into the woods. Sometimes you just get stuck in a bad place at a bad time. If he hits the throttle he ends up launching off the wave into the high winds. If he keeps a steady speed the wave breaks onto the boat. Doesn't sound as though he had much of a chance either way. The thought of being on a boat that is sliding backwards down the wave is un-nerving to say the least. Did the Suzuki lack the low end punch needed to get over the wave? Would a lighter yet less powerful engine have made a difference?
Plotman posted 10-12-2006 04:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for Plotman  Send Email to Plotman     
I have no knowledge of this particular storm, but about 10-12 years ago, did have a similar experience while anchored at Stockton Island in the Apostles. We were anchored on the east side of the island, in about 15 feet of water over a sand bottom, The anchor we had on that boat was a 45 lb plow with 50 feet of chain followed by 3/4" nylon. We had set the anchor, as we always did, by backing down hard on it.

In our case, there was no warning whatsoever that we were going to experience the cataclysm that we did, and really only a few minutes warning that we were getting a change in weather at all. We had been hanging out on the beach, enjoying a fine summer day. It clouded up, and as it was approaching dinner, we decided to head back to the boat. It was only when we got the dingy partway out to the boat and could see over the top of the island that we realized there was a significant line squall coming our way--and fast. The winds, until they hit, were never more than about 5 knots. They hit just as we reached the stern of our anchored boat, and it was like someone threw a switch.

We didn't have any instruments on, but another boat in the anchorage did, and said that their analog anemometer simply rotated around and sat on the peg at 80. Friends over at Raspberry who had a digital gauge said that they registered 96 before the wind carried away the spinner atop the mast. So we don't know what the actual wind speed was - just that it at least approached 100mph, and was likely higher. What I do know is that the initial blast of wind was high enough to lay our boat, a 53 foot, 38,000-lbs Frers designed aluminum sailboat with an 8-foot-deep fin keel over so that the lee rail went into the water and stayed there until the boat nosed around into the wind--just based on the wind resistance of mast and rigging alone, no sails. We started dragging the anchor, and I must say that the 30 seconds you had to hold the switch for the glow plug down before you could start that engine seemed an awful lot longer. The waves that line squall kicked up were easily 5-feet inside the anchorage. The 3/4-inch nylon anchor rode was as taught as an iron bar. It all passed in about 20-minutes, and apart from being wet and a little shaken, we were fine. Two boats (out of probably 20 ore more in the anchorage) had dragged enough to have grounded, but given the sand bottom were pulled off by neighboring boats with no damage. A couple other had dinghies that were tethered off of their sterns picked up and flipped over.

So I guess what I am saying, Binkie, is that having been caught in a similar storm myself, I don't doubt a word of it. The great lakes can be as placid as a mill pond, and can also be some of the meanest water anywhere, and curiously will often be both in the same day.

The following is an excerpt from the NWS website about a storm that hit 5 or 6 years after the storm that I mentioned, on July 4, 1999. "Moving through a wilderness area, no wind speeds were measured. However, 478,000 acres of forest, in a swath 12 miles by 30 miles, was leveled and completely destroyed. Access to the area was blocked by tree trunks, many stripped of their bark, blown into drifts 15 to 20 feet high. Twenty people were injured, and had to be air-lifted to hospitals." What kind of winds "level" a forest?

This summer a storm hit a marina in the apostles and caused the damage recouned here: aspx?cID=5GxcKy5Jwfg%3d&f=t , causing several hundred thousand dollars in damage to a marina's docks.

Plotman posted 10-12-2006 05:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for Plotman  Send Email to Plotman     
Pictures and maps from the '99 storm:
poker13 posted 10-12-2006 05:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for poker13    
Given the wind gusts and the size of the waves, I don't think that you can blame a little 17-foot boat or its skipper for what happened. Thank God they're alive to tell the story.

I do wonder, though, about the wisdom of lowering your power to 50-HP. It may reduce the weight on the rear, but if he couldn't climb the face of the wave with 70 horses, how is he going to do it with 50? And with winds like the ones he encountered who's to say it wouldn't have flipped anyway after cresting the wave and the bow catching the wind?

Buckda posted 10-12-2006 06:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Agreed Poker,

I also questioned, in my mind, the wisdom of downsizing the engine, but upon reflection later that night, had the same thought as you - it is likely that they would have been dumped into the lake no matter what they did that day. The 17' MONTAUK simply isn't designed to handle those conditions. I suspect that some of his other modifications, however, would help in a future similar circumstance.

But then again, what is the likelihood of that happening again in his active boating lifetime (probably 20 good years or so). Not very high.

I still think your best bet is to leave a line attached to the boat and wear your PFD. If you get dumped into the water, you can do your best to hang onto the hull.

In this area, I don't think running the boat onto the beach (all solid granite, or else pulverized granite boulders) was a very good option when you're trying to save your boat as well as your crew. By the time he realized it was bad enough that he should/could do that for the wellbeing of the crew, it was probably too late to do anything about it.

Binkie posted 10-12-2006 06:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for Binkie  Send Email to Binkie     
I guess you guys would know about Great Lakes storm, better than I would, since I`V never been on any of the Great Lakes, so I strand corrected, although that type of weather sounds very unusual to me. I have been through a tornado, though. In the mid eighties, I was building a custom home in Cape Coral, and a tornado came through the neighborhood, and tore about 1/4 of the roof and trusses off the house, while I was working on it. It tore a swath through the neighborhood about 200 ft. wide and totaled over 20 homes, although Fl. doesn`t get the big twisters like the Midwest, and apparently our thunderstorms are`nt as bad either, but we do have a lot of deaths by lightning. On the bright side, gators and sharks aren`t a problem on the Great Lakes, and with the short boating season, I hear the place is a mecca for vintage freshwater outboards.
Buckda posted 10-12-2006 07:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Binkie -

Dont' get me wrong.

Better tornadoes and freak thunderstorms such as the one mentioned which while devastating, are fairly "focused" in their destruction, than the Hurricanes you guys get and the earthquakes out West. Those phenomena are much less discriminatory in their paths of destruction.

And like I said, while I heard and witnessed a tornado before, I never want to do it again, and I would not be sane if I had to listen to that wind for hours on end such as in a Hurricane.

But warm rain would be nice for a change, especially since we just had cold snow showers this morning.


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