Fear, Awe, and Insurance — reliving the tornadoes of September 2018

Mark MacDonald outside his home in the Craig Henry neighbourhood. Photo by Simon Gardner

Mark MacDonald, a retired businessman, and his wife, Karen, a dentist, are among the many people who narrowly escaped injury when tornadoes swept across the region last September 21.

The couple live in the Craig Henry neighbourhood, between Greenbank Road and Woodroffe Avenue. That day, they arrived at their house around 4:45 p.m. By some twist of fate, they could not get into their home — neither of them happened to be carrying door keys. Usually they would just get in through the garage, but the garage door would not open because the power was already out.

“We decided, well, let’s go get a pizza,” says Mark.

Thunderstorms were forecast, so they decided to take their dog Bailey with them instead of leaving her in the backyard. While they split a small pizza at the nearby Big Rig restaurant, feeling guilty about leaving Bailey in the back seat as the rain pummelled down, they started hearing reports of tornadoes. Then they got a call from a neighbour saying they needed to come home right away.

When they got to their cul-de-sac, the sight was shocking. “It was just simply ‘Wow, are you kidding me? What happened to our beautiful home on our beautiful street?’ ”

As Mark got a closer look at their house on Craigmohr Court, he saw that the force of the tornado had sent an evergreen tree crashing through their front window — the exact spot where, Mark says,…

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