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Edmonton's Storm of the Century

nerudite

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BiteMeElmo and I have been digging out from a major (1 in 200 year) storm event that rocked Edmonton Sunday evening. The storm dumped over 7 inches or precipitation (mostly in the form of hail) over a period of about 2 hours. Our neighbourhood was one of the worst hit in the City.

After an hour of hail ranging between pea and golfball sizes, we are looking at up to $100,000 in damage. The roof will likely need to be replaced, the deck has been sandblasted clean of much of the paint, the eaves are buckling with the moisture and paint on the exterior of the house is starting to bubble, attic insulation is soaked, water has streamed through all of the lighting fixtures and onto the top floor, and the sewage back up left the basement in ruins. Water is coming out of the basement walls, and we don't know how long that will last.

Elmo's at home with the work crews today, and they are trying to sort through our belongings in the basement and start sanitizing and repairing. All the carpet was pulled last night from the basement... but we have months of work ahead of us. So much for wedding planning!

Here are some of the photos of the storm from our house.

During the Storm


Directly after the Storm (from the front door)


Directly after the Storm (from driveway)


Streetscape after fog clears


Rainwater streaming between the floors of our house (from the basement)


Sewer backup


Sewer backup 2


4 p.m. Monday (Temperature is 73F/23C)... the hail is still holding on!
 

Tranplanner

maudit anglais
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Holy crap Nerudite, that's awful! I was wondering if you were alright as you haven't been around, but I didn't think your area had been hit - I forgot you live in Edmonton and work elsewhere. Hope you and BME are able to dig out okay - do you have insurance?
 

mendelman

Unfrozen Caveman Planner
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Holy Lord, that is amazingly tragic luck.

I hope you guys pull this with the minimum possible of stress.

Good Luck!
 

nerudite

Cyburbian
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Tranplanner said:
Hope you and BME are able to dig out okay - do you have insurance?
We have good insurance... or so I'm told. I have yet to find the policy, since the house is in shambles right now. We have the claim trifecta going: hail claim for the roof and deck, rain claim for the upstairs damage and damage to the attic/eaves, and sewer backup insurance for the basement. Crazy stuff to be sure!

We were going to need to re-roof the house in the next five years or so, so in the end we may end up ahead in some ways. The stress is a little overwhelming right now... trying to sort through our things and kissing most of it goodbye.
 

Gedunker

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Y 8-! I 8-! K 8-! E 8-! S 8-!

Man, that is a bummer. Hope all will yet be well. I presume you guys aren't alone in this mess?
 

nerudite

Cyburbian
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Gedunker said:
Y 8-! I 8-! K 8-! E 8-! S 8-!

Man, that is a bummer. Hope all will yet be well. I presume you guys aren't alone in this mess?
Our whole neighbourhood is in the same boat. I'll post more pics of what happened to the freeway behind our house.
 

PlannerGirl

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Wow I had not heard about this storm. That is some wild and wicked hail.

Im glad you guys are both OK, stuff can be replaced but you cant be.

Let us know if there is anything we can do.
 

biscuit

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That is simply unbelievable. I have never seen hail like that...even in photos.
If the storm caused that much damage to your house I can only imagine what it did to your vehicles.

BTW. Are severe thunder storms and hail common on the plains during the summer?
 

boiker

Cyburbian
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WOW! I hope nothing but the best for you guys! The weather guy in me wishes he could have been there.

Here's a little heat from Central Illinois to warm you up:
Greater Peoria Regional Airport
Last Update on Jul 13, 11:54 am CDT
A Few Clouds
91°F
(33°C) Humidity: 68 %
Dewpoint: 79°F (26°C)
Heat Index: 107°F (42°C) :-#
Visibility: 10.00 mi.

Biscuit
/dorky weather hat on

Hail forms when there is a very cold layer of atmosphere only a couple thousand feet up. (creating a massive temperature inversion) In Canada, this cold pool is probably way more persistant through the summer than it is here in the Lower 48. When the atmosphere gets heated at the surface, the rising air gets capped by the inversion and can't rise any hire until more potential energy is built up. Once enough has built up to bust through the cold layer, thunderstorms develop rapidly and hail is usually a result. Up there, they have more cold air in the upper layers, and therefore more hail...although this is a FREAK event.
 

Plannerbabs

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Wow, that looks like that was an insane storm. Glad you and BME made it through ok, but that's too bad about your house. We had similar issues with our roof a few years ago, the insurance company paid for almost all of it, and we got a much better (up to code!) roof as a result. Hope everything works out ok and without too much stress. Good luck.
 

NHPlanner

A shadow of my former self
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glad to hear you're all OK. Man....those are some amazing pics!
 

giff57

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Damn....... that is the worst...... I am glad you are all right. sorry about the house
 

JNA

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I liked Gedunker style of expression. So Ditto from me.

As Inspired by Boiker:

1146 AM CDT TUE JUL 13 2004
...EXCESSIVE HEAT WARNING IN EFFECT UNTIL 7 PM CDT (7 PM EST) THIS
EVENING...

THE COMBINATION OF TEMPERATURES IN THE MIDDLE 90S AND EXTREMELY HIGH HUMIDITY LEVELS WILL RESULT IN DANGEROUSLY HIGH HEAT INDEX VALUES THIS AFTERNOON OVER MOST OF THE QUAD STATE REGION. HEAT INDICES WILL RANGE FROM 105 TO 110 FROM NOON THROUGH AT LEAST 6 PM CDT.
 

Chet

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Wow that is terrible! I can just imagine the sinkning helpless feeling as you sit in your house and watch the devastation come down from the sky! Oh sorry, didnt mean to make you feel bad... :-\
 

SGB

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Those pictures are just incredible. I'm glad you and BME were not hurt.

Best of luck with the insurance claims and the repairs. Remember: this too shall pass.
 

nerudite

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Here are some photos (not taken by me) of what happened to the freeway behind our house. The 'road' is called Whitemud Drive, and is the main east-west arterial through the City and one of the only crossings over the North Saskatchewan River. Needless to say, the city came to a stand-still on Sunday.

88Whitemud4.jpg

88Whitemud2.jpg

88Whitemud5.jpg
 

mendelman

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Holy crap! Those pics of the freeway are amazing. 8-!

It became a river. I guess it's true that most freeways are just simple concrete ditches. :-\


What does the North Sackatchewan river look like?
 

nerudite

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mendelman said:
What does the North Sackatchewan river look like?
I haven't been over it since the flood. It appears to be at a high water level (from what I've heard), and there may be some mudslide problems in some areas due to the oversaturation of the soil. But otherwise, it's in good shape right now.

Here is what the freeway looks like at the same location as the above photos on a 'normal' day.

 

jmf

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I was thinking of you when I heard about the storn. Glad to hear you had no injuries but sorry about the house. This whole thing seems like it was a very wild experience!
 

Zoning Goddess

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The freeway looks like the arctic, with ice floes everywhere!

Sorry to hear about your troubles. Glad to hear ya'll are OK.
 

Dan

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Ho ... lee ... sheet.

My God ... I hope everything turns out okay, with the damage and all. Were you in the area where the hail hit the hardest? You're taking it much better than I would.
 

nerudite

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Dan said:
Were you in the area where the hail hit the hardest? You're taking it much better than I would.
Yeah, our neighbourhood was the hardest hit in city... lucky me! Although I'm a little upset, I'm trying to think about it in a more positive light. Sunday, when it happened, we were prepping the house for re-painting. Now I don't have to paint... someone else will do it for me!

The only time I *really, really* lost it is when I started hearing all the emergency vehicles trying to save people on the Whitemud (the freeway behind our house)... I kept picturing people hurt or dying and I ended up having a little breakdown. After I found out the kids were home safe with their mum, I was much better.
 

BiteMeElmo

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update

Well, it's after 4:00 and the crews are still working away. They're cutting the lower 24" away from the walls in the whole basement. They'll likely have to come back for a few more days. Tomorrow is finishing the cutting/demo, and set-up of the fans and dehumidifiers to dry the place out. Day after that (or after that) is the next inspection, where we learn if there's more stuff to be ripped out. Then, after everything is ripped out and/or dried out, there is likely another inspection where they'll "say go ahead with the rupairs".
Then we start arguing with the insurance adjuster about "how it used to look". Then we get a new basement.
Then it all starts on the ceiling/roof with the next water damage claim.

If I ever felt my insurance premium payments were just money thrown away, I no longer feel that way, I promise you. This year, insurance is my friend!
 

Hceux

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Holey Moley!

Although I had quickly heard how Edmonton got hail, I didn't have any idea of how bad this hail storm was until I came across this thread. Wow! I'm in a disbelief. :-0

I hope you two, BME and Nerudite, will be okay in the end. Just think of how you'll later think of that crazy day in the years to come. You may smile about it, be amazed or in awe about it, or laugh about how wild Mother nature has gone! I have these feelings/emotions whenever I am reminded about the Ice Storm of '98. :-D
 

Cardinal

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Yikes! I am glad you both are alright and sorry to hear to all of the damage to your new house. Like PlannerGirl said, let us know if there is anything we can do (even if it is only as simple as sending a bag of Red Vines to help you cope).
 

Rem

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Wow - that is a lot of ice and water. Glad you are both OK - heres hoping the repairs go well.
 

The One

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Ouch.....

Bummer about the home.....
New Roof- Tile or metal if the structure can handle the weight....
Good Luck....
 

SkeLeton

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Wow! that's a lot of precipitation, and specialy for such a short time frame, in Valdivia you can get that kind of rainfall in winter in a strong 2-3 day long storm, but never in just 2 hours!

While it's a bummer to hear about your house, at least it's good to know you're all ok :)
 
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Nerudite, I am so sorry to hear you are going through this! I didn't read this thread the first few days. And when I read it last night, I was too shocked to know what to say. So I cannot even imagine the emotional shock you must be feeling.


Take care.
 

boilerplater

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Eerily familiar...

I feel your pain! What is going on with this weather?! An area in NJ, about 45 min. south of me got a whopping 11 (11!) inches of rain on monday. That's like tropical monsoon quanitities. Dams gave way, lakes drained, and entire towns were flooded. Some people had water up to their eaves. We had more rain, though not nearly as severe, but still 2-3" in some places last night. Some weather people were calling it a "1000-year storm" though that may be TV news hyperbole.

Global Warming anyone? Are these the freaky weather patterns they were predicting? Some of those scenes reminded me of "The day After Tomorrow"

"Should we talk about the weather? Should we talk about the government?"
-REM
 

donk

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When I saw the pictures in teh Globe and Mail I thought of you. Like you said, some things are going to get done by others, don't stre out oo much.

Did you cars make it through or are they pretty muched dimpled to death, hopefully you have insurance for that also. I know I took collison off of mine last year and always wonder if it was a good idea to.
 

nerudite

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donk said:
Did you cars make it through or are they pretty muched dimpled to death, hopefully you have insurance for that also. I know I took collison off of mine last year and always wonder if it was a good idea to.
I made BME get one car in the garage, just in case something bad went down. Glad I did. My little truck has lots of little dimples in it. We have a year to claim any insurance, so I'll deal with the car eventually... maybe. It's a pickup truck from 1993... may not be worth it in the end.
 

Maister

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I guess I'm just adding to the chorus...but DANG! That is some freaky weather.
I'm pleased to hear you're OK, though.
 

ludes98

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nerudite said:
I made BME get one car in the garage, just in case something bad went down. Glad I did. My little truck has lots of little dimples in it. We have a year to claim any insurance, so I'll deal with the car eventually... maybe. It's a pickup truck from 1993... may not be worth it in the end.
Likely not. Insurance companies frequently total it because you may have to replace most if not all the body panels for the repair. If it is your beater anyways, don't sweat it, it just adds character. Just make sure your paint didn't crack to expose metal risking rust. Sorry to hear about your tough luck! Best wishes.
 

Hceux

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I don't know if you already know about this, but Peterborough, Ontario, a mid-size town on the Trent River, is now under a state of emergency because of flooding caused by too much rain. Streets, basements, parks, etc are submerged. People are told to stay at home! There's even a "boil water" advisory going around. Go to the www.cbc.ca website if you're curious.

I'm sure there's going to be flooding down the Trent River.

So, you're not alone...
 

Jen

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Holy Toledo, that was some hellatious storm event!!!:-c

Of course here in the USA our weather people think the weather stops at the US border and never do they enlighten us on the weather outside our borders. I had no idea you guys were digging out from that!!!

Crud, and more crud.

How did you get work crews out to your place so fast?

Does this mean your shuffleboard court is also trashed?

Good Luck!
 

nerudite

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Hceux said:
I don't know if you already know about this, but Peterborough, Ontario, a mid-size town on the Trent River, is now under a state of emergency because of flooding caused by too much rain. Streets, basements, parks, etc are submerged. People are told to stay at home! There's even a "boil water" advisory going around. Go to the www.cbc.ca website if you're curious.

I'm sure there's going to be flooding down the Trent River.

So, you're not alone...
Yeah, that's the same storm system that dumped on Edmonton... so I feel their pain! Calgary got hit with a storm last night that ended up flooding basements and streets as well... plus with the added bonus of lightning starting fires around town. A few more provinces and we'll all be in a state of emergency!


Jen said:
How did you get work crews out to your place so fast?

Does this mean your shuffleboard court is also trashed?

Good Luck!
The shuffelboard court is fine... it's all tile. We didn't even know about it until we pulled up the trashed berber. It will be something fun to distract the kids with for awhile during the summer.

I have NO CLUE how we lucked out with the contractors. I've always been lucky that way... I don't know why. We called the contractor at noon on Monday, he was in the neighbourhood so he said he'd stop by (he went to 20 houses in a 3 block radius that day). He said ours was the worst and scheduled his crew for the next morning. I guess that being the worst off can be good, since we were the first on the block to actually have our basement sanitized.

Similarly, our insurance adjustor the other day stated that we have the most damage of all the houses she has seen so far. We are looking at a whole remodel at this time. Having a lot of things brought up to code will be nice, so I just keep thinking about that... and not having to pay for a new roof and new insulation, which is something that we were planning on doing anyway in the next 5 years.

The downside: our sewer backup insurance is only covered to $40,000. Unfortunately, the damage to the basement will be much more... probably around $50,000 to $60,000. The province is looking into disaster relief for all uninsured portions of the storm damage, but it hasn't been approved yet. So we may end up using the money that we were putting towards the wedding to replace our furniture. So we'll see if the wedding is still on for March...

Overall, we feel pretty lucky, and we are trying to look at this as a temporary inconvenience. Eventually, it will all pull together.
 

Chet

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Thats a great attitude for the both of you to have through all of this. I just can't imagine how I'd react in a simlar situation. I hope the disaster relief comes through for you - that would be a great comfort!
 

Bear Up North

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Glad that you are both OK. Hang in there. (The pictures were incredible. And I saw more of the same on the weather channel. Wow.)

Bear
 
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