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09/05/2011

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Alex Eddington

Hi Jacki - thanks so much for your comment. I corrected the name of the Bedford Hotel. Silly mistake from writing too quickly.

I was being a bit facetious about the path of the tornado from Goderich to Benmiller. But I actually was a bit surprised that even immediately outside of Benmiller itself (from my viewpoint) everything looked perfectly fine. I'd never seen tornado damage before, and was struck by how specific the damaged area is.

In terms of the "Goderich is destroyed" tweets that I'm complaining about - I think that would be a very scary thing to read on the day of the disaster by people who are living elsewhere but have family there. It scared the bejeezus out of me. I think it's really important to keep language specific during a disaster, to avoid panic. You're absolutely right that recovery for Goderich will be a long road, but the town is not completely destroyed. I will not speak of Goderich or Benmiller as though they are irreparably damaged, and I wouldn't want residents to lose heart in that way either. So I was really happy that the mood in Goderich seemed so good this weekend!

Jacki

An interesting account of your travels through Goderich and Benmiller. The part that struck me was this: "First of all, driving in from Benmiller there was no evidence of tornado. I don’t know how it got there, but it wasn’t along Highway 8." Did you expect the tornado to turn and take the main roads out of town and to Benmiller?... It basically followed the river. Pretty straight path from Goderich to Benmiller.

And just a quick note: It's the Bedford Hotel on the Square that houses Paddy O'Neill's.

It's pretty surreal to see it. Pictures can tell some of the story, but no one can really know the true impact until they've been there. The notes about "Goderich is destroyed" or "Goderich is decimated" to me, are accurate. The tornado took the worst possible path it could have taken through the town. It not only destroyed a handful of homes (yes a small percentage in relation to the whole town), but wiped out many, many businesses including the main employer in town. Most of these will get going again (some won't), but that is the true impact to the town. Not only homes, but livelihoods. The Square will never be the same again. All those century trees just gone. The historical buildings. It's quite astonishing where the tornado went. It's like it had it out for the town - and then to go on and hit Benmiller straight on. Just unbelievable.

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