Submitted by Fred Hauck
Last week I explored two myths relating to the June 25, 2015 Redcliff Cyclone, this week I will explore two more.
One myth I found in print was written by Senator F.W. Gershaw in his book “Shortgrass Country.” The Senator wrote a few paragraphs on the Cyclone, and in them he mentioned that a building in Redcliff had its whole second storey ripped off.
“The second storey,” he wrote, “landed so square and clean that it became a whole other building and was useable as it was.”
This is virtually impossible to have happen. You could win the lottery several times before you would see a wood-frame, two-storey building cut in two by a tornado and both halves survive. This extraordinary occurrence would have been photographed by somebody, and no photographs even close to this exist.
Another wind-blown over myth was found in a Redcliff Oldtimers personal recollection. This person wrote that there were newly built Redcliff truck factory trucks loaded on a CPR flatcar. This person also stated that the Cyclone’s wind knocked the trucks off the rail cars onto the ground. She goes on to say the trucks were not damaged, and reloaded onto the rail cars and shipped out.
This could not have happened, and did not happen.
The only photo we have of any CPR rail cars knocked over by the Cyclone is of a string of box cars standing together with one knocked off its wheels; and that’s all.
Some of the Redcliff truck factory trucks produced had wood-spoked wheels, and all had sheet metal where the cabs and fenders were. They had wood bodies and brass radiators. To knock one off a six foot high flatcar, and have it survive intact— again, buy a lottery ticket.
Those trucks would have had extensive damage. If not written off, they would have been salvaged and returned to the factory for necessary repairs before being sent off again for eventual delivery.
I have found some of these Redcliff Cyclone myths amusing, if nothing else. And I hope this clarifies a few things for today’s readers about this important event in Redcliff history.