A family welcomes 10 strangers stranded in the blizzard
A Blenheim, Ont., man and his family took in 10 strangers overnight after they were trapped in the blizzard that hit Ontario last Friday.
The winter storm that hit Ontario last weekend caused power outages in some areas, hundreds of flight cancellations and dangerous driving conditions. And the weather was so brutal that a family received unexpected guests on December 23 and made new friends.
Denny Vervaet, who lives in Blenheim, Ont., was checking a pot of chili he was making for himself, his wife and three children for dinner when he heard a knock on his door. It was around 5 p.m. on Christmas Eve, he told CTV’s Your Morning Thursday.
« I hear a tapping at the window…I open the front door and there’s a six-foot drift, and there’s a woman standing there, shivering and hyperventilating, » he said. he says.
Vervaet led her inside and she told him that her family’s car was stuck in a ditch. The family had traveled from Toronto to Windsor for the holidays. He told her to bring her family, which included a baby.
He said the storm was so powerful there wasn’t much visibility when he looked outside. He said to the woman, « Let’s get out of the cold and you’re going to have a place to stay tonight. »
There were two other vehicle bombs with the woman’s family of five, he said. All of them came to Vervaet and in total 10 guests stayed with them for the night.
« I hope anyone would do the same, they were stuck in ditches. I didn’t want them to stay in their car, the emergency services couldn’t reach everyone…and I’m doing a good chili,” he said.
The guests’ children spent the evening playing Uno with their own children.
The next day, Christmas Eve, Vervaet’s father-in-law grabbed his tractor and pulled the families’ cars out of the ditch because he was unsure if towing services would be available, he said.
When asked if her family would keep in touch with her new friends, Vervaet said « definitely. »