Lightening Strikes Again –The Storm of 1972




Photo from the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum


I posted this picture months ago wondering if it was the storm of 1976 or 1972 that downed this tree by the Willis House on Lake Ave West. Thanks to the collection of Wanda-Lee Morrison and the late Joan Kehoe I have found out.


The storm happened on my birthday, July 24, in 1972 and I would like to say now I had nothing to do with it. High winds and heavy rain caused widespread damage dropping power lines and uprooting trees. The storm of sudden intensity left Carleton Place residents without power for more than two hours with wind gusting more than 60 miles an hour toppling hydro poles. It also uprooted century old trees like the 100 foot Elm tree on High Street in the photo below. An estimated two inches of rain fell in less than 30 minutes.


Photo from the collection of Wanda-Lee Morrison and the late Joan Kehoe– Ottawa Journal

The town’s largest industry Leigh Instruments Ltd. spent most of the afternoon in the darkness when its main power line sagged. The storm that began at 2 pm did have a fatality. A dog out for a stroll along Beckwith Street was electrocuted when struck by a hydro wire. Trees were blown down in the town’sparks with what Mayor Arnold Julian called the storm’s funnel.

Some have been quoted that God moves in a mysterious ways and he plants his footsteps in the sea, and rides upon the storm. Well, a religious gathering in Carleton Place’s Riverside Park was broken up that day in July when a 50-foot tent was ripped to shreds and blown away. No word if someone had made God angry that week in Lanark County, but the storm had actually been predicted to hit Ottawa and somehow that sucker just went south and hit Carleton Place.



Whatcha’ Talkin Bout Willis? — This Old House in Carleton Place

The Day The Wizard of Oz Came to Carleton Place

Storms of Carleton Place- Which One?

To All the Snowmageddons I Have Loved Before

About lindaseccaspina

Linda Knight Seccaspina was born in Cowansville, Quebec about the same time as the wheel was invented and the first time she realized she could tell a tale was when she got caught passing her smutty stories around in Grade 7 at CHS by Mrs. Blinn. When Derek "Wheels" Wheeler from Degrassi Jr. High died in 2010, Linda wrote her own obituary. Some people said she should think about a career in writing obituaries. Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa from 1976-1996. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off she finally found her calling. Is it sex drugs and rock n' roll you might ask? No, it is history. Seeing that her very first boyfriend in Grade 5 (who she won a Twist contest with in the 60s) is the head of the Brome Misissiquoi Historical Society and also specializes in local history back in Quebec, she finds that quite funny. She writes every single day and is also a columnist for Hometown News and Screamin's Mamas. She is a volunteer for the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum, an admin for the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page, and a local guest speaker. She has been now labelled an historian by the locals which in her mind is wrong. You see she will never be like the iconic local Lanark County historian Howard Morton Brown, nor like famed local writer Mary Cook. She proudly calls herself The National Enquirer Historical writer of Lanark County, and that she can live with. Linda has been called the most stubborn woman in Lanark County, and has requested her ashes to be distributed in any Casino parking lot as close to any Wheel of Fortune machine as you can get. But since she wrote her obituary, most people assume she's already dead. Linda has published six books, "Menopausal Woman From the Corn," "Cowansville High Misremembered," "Naked Yoga, Twinkies and Celebrities," "Cancer Calls Collect," "The Tilted Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place," and "Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac." All are available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle. Linda's books are for sale on Amazon or at Wisteria · 62 Bridge Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada, and at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum · 267 Edmund Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada--Appleton Museum-Mississippi Textile Mill and Mill Street Books and Heritage House Museum and The Artists Loft in Smith Falls.

2 responses »

  1. It was my second year teaching in town and I believe this storm took down a couple trees in Riverside Park or did severe damage. I think the weather specialists finally declared it a F1 tornado.


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