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

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

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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