Langis Boudreault, who often takes bike rides on Sunday afternoon, thought his Father’s Day excursion would be no different — but his heart ended up pumping harder than usual.
The sky was dark and overcast, the resident of Lac Saint-Jean recalled, but since there was no rain, he didn’t worry.
Then everything changed.
“All of a sudden, I heard a bizarre sound, which made me a think it was an [all-terrain vehicle] coming toward me” Boudreault told CBC News.
He stopped his bike on the side of the path and waited for the ATV to appear and drive past him. The vehicle never arrived, but the sound intensified.
Boudreault kept pedaling, and that’s when he encountered the source of the noise — a tornado in the making.
“I saw a wall of wind arriving in front of me,” Boudreault said. “I realized it was the tornado coming toward me.”
His experience came on the same day that several tornado warnings were issued by Environment Canada.
The federal agency could not immediately confirm that a tornado actually formed in the area where Boudreault was biking. Investigators are expected to gather more information at the site of the storm this week.
Strong winds destroyed a home in Hébertville, just a few kilometres from Mont Lac-Vert, the region of Lac Saint-Jean where Boudreault lives.
‘I’m going to die today’
On his bike, Boudreault saw trees about 100 metres away being torn apart by the approaching winds.
That’s when his survival instinct kicked in.
“I have to get out of here, I have no choice,” he remembers thinking.
Boudreault found a small hole about a foot deep on the side of the path and curled himself into the fetal position.
With the wind howling, Boudreault braced himself for the worst. He grabbed onto some nearby branches, hoping he wouldn’t get swept up.
“I thought, ‘I’m going to get carried away by the…