Saturday, 30 January 2016

Video: Ottawa Storm (1942)

They say you only see what you are looking for as illustrated by this video.
As if to prove it I'm running across more items on Ottawa and Ottawa Valley weather as I prepared a talk for the Arnprior & McNab/Braeside Archives AGM on 6 February and a Gene-O-Rama banquet talk for Ottawa Branch of OGS on 2 April.
Recently post on YouTube by Library and Archives Canada is this silent video of a 1942 storm in Ottawa, or rather its aftermath.

LAC's description is "A heavy winter storm in Ottawa in 1942 showing: Bronson Avenue, Bank Street with skier, streetcars frozen in tracks on Laurier Street, Bank Street streetcar subway, E.J. McKhool, Laurier Street Tearoom sign where bulldozer frees work car with trolley derailed by ice. [Army] work force tries to clear tracks which took a few days, Byron Avenue, streetcar on Bronson has advertisement for Duke Ellington's Band. Tracks cleared at Bank Street subway, crew and passengers board streetcars. Mr. Somerville on Harvard Avenue. Rideau River barriers. Snow and ice laden trees, clearing roof of garage on Raleigh Avenue." The source is the Henry P. Sedziak fonds, 1986-0486, IDC 27583. Mr Sedziak died in Ottawa in 1999.

Environment Canada identifies this as "Eastern Ontario's Freezing Rain Storm - December 28-30, 1942. Ice "as thick as a person's wrist" covered telephone wires, trees and railway tracks. In Ottawa, 50,000 workers walked to work for five days. Because of the war, there were few men available to clear the streets and repair lines."

According to records from the Experimental Farm in Ottawa the temperature was below freezing from Christmas Day 1942 so any rain would be freezing on contact. December 27th saw 7.6 mm of rain and 12.7 cm of snow. After a one-day break the 29th recorded 15.2 mm of rain followed by 31.8 cm of snow on the 30th.

No comments: