Hurricane Hazel Personal Accounts

A letter from Joan

(From a letter received by TRCA October 6, 2004)

I picked up my copy of The Compass, October 1, 2004 and read the article entitled They Called the Wind Hazel.

Is it coincidence?

My Mum died this past week. We are having a celebration of her life service this coming Friday. While putting together words I wanted to speak, I recalled our early days in Canada.

We were living on Mortimer Avenue in East York, Toronto, at the time of Hazel. My sister and I were given paper tickets to take the bus home from school if the rain got too heavy. We were aged nine and six at the time. The rain became heavier and the winds grew fierce during the day. I cannot remember if school was dismissed early or not. I had lost the tickets. After finding my sister, I told the bus driver that we needed to get on. The kindly driver agreed and we got home. When the bus stopped across from our house, the street was flooded with water. By the time we got across the road, we were thoroughly drenched. I suppose I was too young to understand the ferocity of the storm. We were in tears of disappointment, as we were to have attended a birthday party that afternoon.

I came to Milton as a young bride. Our children were born and raised here. Until reading the article, I don't think I had realized the devastation of Hazel or how wide an area her destruction had hit.

Our middle daughter, who lives in London, UK, chose to be married at a cottage in Muskoka on September 18, 2004. We had visitors from all parts of the world at the wedding. All of their flights were delayed as a result of the hurricanes hitting the east coast over the Atlantic.

Thankfully we do have flood warning systems in place. They all arrived safely and we had a grand day!


Joan Woodall
Milton, Ontario

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