Storm Daria - 25/01/1990

I don't remember if had been aware beforehand that a storm was coming. Probably but as a teenager I wasn't too impressed.

I remember that we were sitting in the "aquarium" classes with big windows giving out on the school's playground and that we saw cookie wrappers etc flying up tornado-wise on the school ground.  In another class, we had vision on the roof on the other side of the school and all of a sudden we saw tiles flying up.  "A hole, there's a hole, look look" we screamed as we saw the hole getting bigger.  The teacher tried to get our attention back in vein. All the action was outside, not inside!

In my memory I had to go to the music academy the same day and I remember a sunny afternoon where a couple of us were leaning into the wind. A hilarious experience as we really could lean in. But I realise now that it can't be the same storm as the daylight doesn't fit the time of year.  Nevertheless leaning in into a stormy wind is fun.

What probably really happened is that the storm was predicted and I was supposed to drive home with my parents rather than biking to school like I did most days.  I do remember wanting to cross the door giving access to the elementary school where my mom was teaching but I was blocked in the passage. The elementary playground was judged too insecure for falling tiles so I wasn't allowed cross. As a result I had to walk the detour along the road to the elementary school entrance which was just as silly as there could be falling tiles as well, but not so much along the river side. 

When we allo arrived home, we noticed with much surprise that one of the biggest trees in our garden had fallen down. The giant that was in between houses and could have easily damaged our house or our neighbour's house gravely if it would have fallen on top it it, had nicely fallen in between the houses in our garden.  Rather weird given the fact it was west of our house and that's the predominant wind direction in storms but it fell south-southeast. No damage at all for us, just an impressive giant in the grass.

In the evening news we saw all the images of severe damage coming by.  Not everyone was so lucky. It was the pre-internet era, but the radio and tv filled us in with barn roofs flying away and that kind of stories. We learned we had just survived a true hurricane with wind that had been above 160km/h...A Belgian record.   I have no recollection of the 11 victims but the fact that I've spent an afternoon in a real hurricane has survived.

typed while listening to the howling wind of the Ciara storm lashing outside at this moment, hoping for a peaceful night for all my dear and a safe journey to school and work tomorrow for everyone


Anne said…
Ik was toen net een paar maanden getrouwd. Mijn echtgenoot (toen ex) vond dat "vree wijs", zo waaien. En we gingen naar Gent. Ondanks het feit dat het afgeraden werd om buiten te komen. Ik vond dat absoluut niet "wijs", zo'n stormwind. Ik ben dan op mijn ongemak, ongerust. Maar goed, wij naar 't stad. Naar de Veldstraat. Daar was geen kat. Echt, niemand. We liepen daar alleen. En de dakpannen kletterden naar beneden. Doodsbenauwd was ik! Als ik het me goed herinner, zijn we vrij snel terug naar huis gegaan :-)

In oktober 1991 kochten we een huis, waar nogal veel werk in was. Het had wat bijgebouwtjes die we later zouden afbreken, en daarop stond een kaduuke schouw. Toen heeft het ook nog eens heel hard gewaaid. Niet zo'n zware storm als die van 1990, maar toch ook wel storm. Ik lag 's nachts in ons huurhuis te luisteren naar de wind, en te hopen dat die schouw niet zou omverwaaien, daar in het andere huis. Omverwaaien op de keuken van de buren, bijvoorbeeld. Het daagde me wat een verantwoordelijkheid het is, een eigen huis hebben :-)

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