Ottawa residents rescue dog trapped beneath rubble after tornado

Ottawa residents rescue dog trapped beneath rubble after tornado
Tornado aftermath: The roof fell on us — Twisters leave residents awestruck and in the dark
Two people remained in critical condition in hospital and tens of thousands were still without power Saturday, a day after a tornado ripped through parts of the Ottawa and Gatineau, Que., area.

The two individuals were among six taken to hospital after a twister touched down in Dunrobin — a rural community in Ottawa's west end — where multiple homes were severely damaged before it headed east across the Ottawa River toward Gatineau Park, according to Environment Canada.

On Saturday morning, Hydro Ottawa reported that 171,462 customers were still without electricity, and more than 80 poles were damaged or torn down. As well, 38,909 Hydro-Québec customers were without power as of 9:22 a.m. ET.

Meanwhile, officials said firefighters are going door-to-door to determine whether structures are safe to re-enter. Officials warned people not to re-enter their homes until they had been deemed safe.

It is unclear when power will be fully restored. Traffic lights were also out in several spots across Ottawa. They should be treated as a four-way stop.

Video: Ottawa mayor warns it could be days before power returns

As of 7 a.m., six people from the Ottawa area had been taken to hospital, according to the Ottawa Hospital. As well as the two in critical condition, one person was in serious condition, two were stable and one was in fair condition.

City designates storm emergency reception areas

A dozen other minor injuries were reported, according to Ottawa's general manager of emergency services. 

According to the Red Cross, 48 families are being housed in a hotel, while over a hundred people slept in the emergency shelter at CEGEP de lOutaouais on Friday night.

Early reports from Gatineau said five people sustained injuries and were taken to hospital, while hundreds were left to seek shelter.

Conrad added that a knocked out Hydro One generator is giving them the most trouble and that it could take several days to restore it because of debris in the way.

Tornado Knocks Out Power For More Than 145,000 Ottawa-Gatineau Residents

Anthony Di Monte said earlier there were reports of 30 to 40 damaged homes in the community, and indications some people could be trapped in buildings. 

There are no casualties or missing people reported and all four major hospitals in Ottawa are experiencing power outages and are currently running on generators.

Its like a war zone: Ottawa power outages could last for days

In these situations, we kind of have to go house to house. Power's down. Communication is problematic. And in a couple of areas, fire [department] is indicating that some people are trapped and we're attending to them," he said. 

"My thoughts and prayers are with the people that were affected, and my thanks goes out to the first responders who are doing an amazing job," said Merrilee Fullerton, legislature member for Kanata-Carleton.

"I would have to say there are about 20 houses severely affected, probably more," Fullerton said.

The power loss "is not concentrated anywhere. It is just spread across the city, from Kanata all the way to Orleans," said Joseph Muglia, director of distribution operations with Hydro Ottawa. 

Tornado damage from earlier tonight around 5pm in the Dunrobin, ON area. Just North West of Ottawa. Many roads covered in debris and large trees. Many are in passable. #ONstorm #onwx pic.twitter.com/cf2fZjUASx

The power company is in "damage assessment stage," said Muglia, and there are hopes efforts to restore service will start Saturday morning.  

"We hope to gain some control of that overnight and certainly by morning we will start to see those numbers come down." 

Four people are in serious condition after Ottawa Paramedics say they suffered traumatic injuries in Friday’s storm, which ripped through Dunrobin.

What you should know in the hours and days after the tornado

"This is the worst storm that we have dealt with in the history of Ottawa … at least since 1998."

Friday's storm "tracked for quite a significant distance," said Peter Kimbell, a warning preparedness meteorologist with Environment Canada. 

Tornado just went through Dunrobin, ON about 10 minutes ago. #Onstorm lots of damage. #onwx pic.twitter.com/aOZKy4kJy4

"We know for sure that there was a tornado in Gatineau because we have colleagues of mine who actually saw it."

A tornado warning was issued for Ottawa and the surrounding areas late Friday afternoon. It has since ended.

Based on damage reports, the tornado was likely an EF-2, meaning it had sustained winds of 179 to 218 km/h. The tornado caused considerable damage, dozens of roofs were blown off homes, many trees were snapped or uprooted, and electrical transmission towers continue to be affected.

"We weren't home, thank goodness. We weren't far from home, but when we finally did make it back to the house, the foundation is what's left — we've pretty much lost everything," he said. "I have got a beer fridge that's sitting in my garage — that is about the only thing that is untouched — but everything else has gone."

Local Coun. Eli El-Chantiry, speaking from the corner of Dunrobin and Thomas Dolan roads, said there are at least 20 damaged homes nearby. 

"I'm still in shock. I saw it face to face, it blew my window and it exploded. I almost died because the wind came through my window and it almost took me with it," Luclaire Loutanjou, a resident of the district, said in an interview Saturday. "I've seen it on TV and movies in America but I'm like, wow, how can this happen in Canada?"

"In 30 years, I've never seen anything like this. It's devastating, the way it is now."

10 notable tornado-related events from Canadas history

He said West Carleton High School, where the Red Cross is setting up, and the Dunrobin Community Centre are open to residents seeking shelter. 

In addition to destroying some of the city's electrical infrastructure, the tornados sent five people to local hospitals — two are in critical condition, one is in serious condition and the other two are stable. Others in neighbouring Gatineau, on the Quebec side of the Ottawa River, were also transported to hospital with injuries.

Second tornado confirmed by Environment Canada

El-Chantiry said emergency calls should go to 911, while people seeking other help should call 311. The city has asked people not to tie up those numbers unless the need is urgent. 

"Literally it looks like some bomb was dropped from the area, and the aerial footage I saw, the paramedics have provided a drone … it looks like something you'd see in a movie or in tornado alley in Oklahoma," Watson said of Dunrobin, a small community on the western reaches of the city, where residents were hardest hit.

Judi Varga-Toth, who is running against El-Chantiry in the Oct. 22 municipal election, said her home, in the same area, is literally the only one standing on her street. 

There were also a number of fires reported late Friday and into early Saturday morning in Ottawa-Gatineau as a result of people burning candles for light, putting additional pressure on the already stretched first responders. Authorities urged people without power to use battery-powered devices, rather than an open flame.

"I'm looking at where my next-door neighbour's house is and it looks as if there was never a house there."

"On behalf of the government of Ontario, I want to tell the people of Ottawa that my thoughts are with them as they work to recover from the tornado and storm that impacted the Ottawa area yesterday, especially to the people of Dunrobin who saw immense damage to their homes and community," he said in a statement.

Videos Showing Tornado Touch Down In Quebec

Her husband was home when the storm hit and their neighbour was badly hurt, she said. He brought the neighbour's child home when the woman was taken to hospital.

WAR SCENE: Capital region still reeling after intense tornado rips through

Varga-Toth was at a local rural fair when, shortly before 4:30 p.m., everyone was told to get into the hockey arena or curling club. As the storm passed, arena-goers began getting texts about the devastation in Dunrobin.

Late Saturday afternoon, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sent out a tweet thanking municipal leaders on both sides of the Ottawa River for their efforts in the aftermath of the violent storm, saying the federal government stands ready to offer assistance as required. "We're with you," he said.

There were also reports of heavy damage in the Hunt Club and Greenbank Road areas in south Ottawa, including downed power lines. Kimbell, the meteorologist, said damage is likely the result of a downburst — another kind of violent wind disturbance, and not the tornado. 

There have been numerous reports of power outages, damaged property and fallen trees. Due to the high volume of calls, Ottawa residents are asked to remain patient as workers respond to calls on a priority basis. Forestry Services has been clearing roads of fallen trees from high winds and Building Code Services staff are visiting buildings to assess damage and safety of the buildings affected.

The National Capital Commission tweeted out that Gatineau Park would be closed until further notice. 

It is a priority for CBC to create a website that is accessible to all Canadians including people with visual, hearing, motor and cognitive challenges.

Residents in the Hunt Club/Riverside area can go to an emergency reception centre at the Canterbury Recreation Centre, 2185 Arch Street, says a city spokesperson.

More than 100,000 homes and businesses were still without power Saturday after stunned residents of Ottawa and Gatineau spent the day cleaning up, helping neighbours or simply gazing awestruck at the damage wreaked by two powerful tornadoes that tore through the region Friday night.

Tornado warning ends for Ottawa, Gatineau

Power was gradually restored throughout the day Saturday, but officials with Hydro Ottawa and Hydro One warned it could be several days before all the lights were back on. At its peak, the outage affected more than 300,000 customers in Ottawa, Gatineau and Eastern Ontario.

To report fallen trees to the City of Ottawa, you may call 3-1-1. However, if you do not require immediate assistance, please consider calling later.

Injuries, damage reported after confirmed tornado blows through Dunrobin, Gatineau

Six people in Ottawa were admitted to The Ottawa Hospital, two of them listed in critical condition. In Gatineau, 14 people were taken to hospital and two were admitted for observation. There were no fatalities and no reports of missing people.

Approximately 25 residents were injured in the severe weather episode and at least six residents were taken to hospital for treatment.

Investigators from Environment Canada confirmed Saturday that the fierce thunderstorm on the last day of summer had spawned two tornadoes. The first twister touched down in Kinburn and tracked east north east, striking a direct hit on Dunrobin just before 5 p.m. Friday, before skipping across the Ottawa River and through Gatineau Park before causing more destruction in the Mont Bleu region of Gatineau.

Damage to some properties is severe, with reports of some houses collapsed and some roofs gone. About 100 buildings were affected.

The tornado was rated to a high EF3 on the Enhanced Fujita scale, said Environment Canada meteorologist Peter Kimbell, who visited the devastated area Saturday. The massive twister cut a swath a half kilometre wide, with winds of between 240 and 250 km/h, moving forward at an estimated 80 km/h. The twister travelled at least 40 kilometres and perhaps as far as 70 kilometres before dissipating east of Autoroute 5 in Gatineau.

The situation is complicated by widespread power outages and downed wires throughout Ottawa, affecting thousands of residents.

60 homes destroyed as tornado touches down in Ottawa and Gatineau – 680 NEWS

The second tornado touched down about 90 minutes later near Highway 416, Kimbell said. It moved eastward across Arlington Wood , Craig Henry, demolishing a key Hydro One transmission station on Merivale Road near Viewmount Drive, then through Hunt Club. That tornado was likely a “high EF2” with wind speeds of 220-230 km/h, he said.

Houses on Dunrobin road in Dunrobin are destroyed by the tornado that hit the region yesterday. Photographed on Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018.  James Park/Postmedia

It was eerily quiet inside the police perimeter of one of Dunrobin's most-damaged neighbourhoods — and only a few trees were still standing. Personal items were strewn everywhere — a baby blanket, a life jacket, mattresses, lawn mowers, a fridge, a kitchen sink lying on the grass and even a love seat wrapped around a telephone pole.

TIMELINE: Canadas most notable tornado events over the years

Deli and grocery store at Dunrobin Plaza in Dunrobin is destroyed by the tornado that hit the region yesterday. Photographed on Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018.  James Park/Postmedia

On the north side of the Ottawa River, Gatineau Mayor Maxime Pedneaud-Jobin said more than 700 of his citizens were impacted by the storm and about 100 people took refuge in a shelter Friday night at a local college. More than 215 buildings suffered damage or were destroyed in his city — affecting a total of 1,686 housing units, he added.

Tornado rips through eastern Ontario (VIDEO & GALLERY)

Deli and grocery store at Dunrobin Plaza in Dunrobin is destroyed by the tornado that hit the region yesterday. Photographed on Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018.  James Park/Postmedia

Chris Fischer, the founder of Ocearch and the expedition leader, said white sharks are known to mate around Nantucket, Mass., and give birth off the south shore of Long Island, N.Y. But, he said Hilton and a female tagged shark named Lydia didn't go to those areas, indicating they may be spending their time mating in other areas.

People collect personal effects from damaged homes following a tornado in Dunrobin, Ontario.  Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press

The August reading stayed above the mid-point of the Bank of Canada's target range of one to three per cent. The bank, however, has described the hotter readings in recent months as temporary and has predicted inflation to fall back towards two per cent in early 2019 once the effects of past increases in gas prices fade away.

A child's blanket and building materials are tangled in a tree in a neighbourhood destroyed by a tornado in Dunrobin, Ont., west of Ottawa, on Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018. The storm tore roofs off of homes, overturned cars and felled power lines in the Ottawa community of Dunrobin and in Gatineau, Que.  Justin Tang/THE CANADIAN PRESS

"We believe he's showing us a second aggregation site and if we can find other mature males and other mature females, that might lead us to believe there's some mating going on here," he said on the Ocearch vessel, a former Bering Sea crab boat that now serves as the group's main research boat.

Wind gusted to 83 km/h in the Sault, yesterday: Environment Canada

Damage from a tornado is seen in Dunrobin, Ontario west of Ottawa on Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. A tornado damaged cars in Gatineau, Que., and houses in a community west of Ottawa on Friday afternoon as much of southern Ontario saw severe thunderstorms and high wind gusts, Environment Canada said.  Sean Kilpatrick/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Christine Earle's farmhouse on 3207 Stonecrest road is destroyed by the tornado that hit Dunrobin region yesterday. Photographed on Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018.  James Park/Postmedia

The federal cabinet has ordered the NEB to return with a new recommendation within 22 weeks on whether the pipeline expansion should proceed after taking a look at the environmental impact of having more than three dozen oil tankers shipping diluted bitumen through the Burrard Inlet every month.

Ottawa residents could be without power for days after tornado devastates Hydro One station

Kyle Tully walks along beams from a barn that was destroyed by a tornado at his home on his cousin Christine Earle's farm, as his boyfriend Colt Webber looks on, in Dunrobin, Ont.  Justin Tang/The Canadian Press

A beagle named Charlie is rescued after being found under a pile of debris after a tornado touched down in Dunrobin, Ont., west of Ottawa, on Friday, Sept. 21, 2018.  Sean Kilpatrick/THE CANADIAN PRESS

"We're up here trying to solve the puzzle of the North Atlantic white shark population," Dr. Bob Hueter, chief scientific advisor for the Ocearch expedition, said Thursday just outside the mouth of Lunenburg harbour on the first day of the team's three-week expedition.

A man climbs through the wreckage of a storage facility in Dunrobin. Wayne Cuddington/ Postmedia  Wayne Cuddington/Postmedia

The storms bite continued to be felt across a wide swath of the region many hours later, with more than 150,000 customers still without power Saturday afternoon. Hydro Ottawa CEO Bryce Conrad compared the magnitude of the damage to the power grid to the debilitating ice storm of 1998.

Christy Jarvis outside the home of her cousin before learning that the people inside had been rescued and taken to hospital as a reported tornado touched down in Dunrobin in the far west end of Ottawa.  Wayne Cuddington/Postmedia

Houses on Porcupine trail and Casey Creek lane neighbourhood in Dunrobin are destroyed by the tornado that hit the region yesterday. Photographed on Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018.  James Park/Postmedia

The tornado inflicted heavy damage late Friday as it churned across pockets of Ottawas west and south ends, as well as densely populated sections of the neighbouring Quebec city of Gatineau.

Houses on Porcupine trail and Casey Creek lane neighbourhood in Dunrobin are destroyed by the tornado that hit the region yesterday. Photographed on Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018.  James Park/Postmedia

Destroyed buildings and cars are seen in Mont-Bleu, Gatineau, Quebec, close to Ottawa after a tornado shattered Canada's capital on September 21, 2018. – A tornado sparked chaos near the Canadian capital Ottawa on Friday, injuring dozens as homes were damaged, cars flipped over, and over 130,000 people left without power, local media said. Meteorologists reported gusts whipped up to around 120 miles per hour (190 kilometers per hour), with the city of Gatineau, about five miles north of the capital, taking the brunt.  VINCENT-CARL LERICHE/AFP/Getty Images

Houses on Porcupine trail and Casey Creek lane neighbourhood in Dunrobin are destroyed by the tornado that hit the region yesterday. Photographed on Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018.  James Park/Postmedia

Destroyed buildings and cars are seen in Mont-Bleu, Gatineau, Quebec, close to Ottawa after a tornado shattered Canada's capital on September 21, 2018. – A tornado sparked chaos near the Canadian capital Ottawa on Friday, injuring dozens as homes were damaged, cars flipped over, and over 130,000 people left without power, local media said. Meteorologists reported gusts whipped up to around 120 miles per hour (190 kilometers per hour), with the city of Gatineau, about five miles north of the capital, taking the brunt.  VINCENT-CARL LERICHE/AFP/Getty Images

Hundreds of thousands without power in Ottawa after tornado hits

A rainbow comes out after a possible tornado hit Dunrobin on Friday, Sept. 21, 2018.  Jim Bagnall/Postmedia

Houses on Porcupine trail and Casey Creek lane neighbourhood in Dunrobin are destroyed by the tornado that hit the region yesterday. Photographed on Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018.  James Park/Postmedia

Watch TERRIFYING moment a TORNADO rips through car SMASHING out windows in Ottawa

Environment Canada had issued a tornado watch Friday afternoon, later issuing a tornado warning when radar images showed the storms had begun to rotate as it approached Calabogie. The warning probably saved lives, Kimbell said.

Investigators from Environment Canada confirmed Saturday that the fierce thunderstorm on the last day of summer had spawned two tornadoes. The first twister touched down in Kinburn and tracked east north east, striking a direct hit on Dunrobin just before 5 p.m. Friday, before skipping across the Ottawa River and through Gatineau Park before causing more destruction in the Mont Bleu region of Gatineau.

“In my opinion it worked extraordinarily well,” Kimbell said. “And I know that because I talked to many people today who told me they heard the warning and they took shelter.”

Tornado rips through Ottawa-Gatineau region

Yvon Plouffe, 73, and his wife, Louise, 67, heard the tornado warning as they watched TV in their Dunrobin home.

About 15,000 Hydro Quebec customers in the Outaouais were without power as night fell Saturday. Despite the devastation in Ottawa’s west and south ends, much of the downtown and eastern regions were unaffected by the storm. Stores and gas stations remained open and attracted shoppers from across the city looking to stock up on ice, food, batteries and flashlights.

“I tried to go downstairs and, bang, everything happened. The rear window, the door, flew right at us, right through the house. I grabbed my wife, put her on the ground and I jumped over her. Then the roof fell on us,” he said.

One of the people whose home was destroyed in Dunrobin was Todd Nicholson, a para athlete and the chair of Canada’s Own the Podium medal drive for this country’s Olympic and Paralympic athletes. A few kilometres away in Kinburn, his brother Jason’s house was destroyed by the same twister.

The second tornado touched down about 90 minutes later near Highway 416, Kimbell said. It moved eastward across Arlington Wood , Craig Henry, demolishing a key Hydro One transmission station on Merivale Road near Viewmount Drive, then through Hunt Club. That tornado was likely a “high EF2” with wind speeds of 220-230 km/h, he said.

“We have an amazing community. We will pull together,” Todd Nicholson said. “I have already had calls from all over the world. We have a close-knit family. We’re four brothers and we live within 30 minutes of each other. It’s unfortunate, but we’ll be OK. Things can be replaced.”

Gatineau's Mont0Bleu neighbourhood appeared to take the full force of the storm, which Environment Canada confirmed Saturday was a "high-end" EF-3 tornado — meaning wind speeds were as high as 265 km/h. Roofs were blown off several homes along Boulevard Cité-des-Jeunes.

In Arlington Woods, giant century-old white pines were toppled or snapped off like twigs by the second twister, their huge branches piercing homes and crushing cars.

“It is like a war zone,” said Parry Patton, who lives in the neighbourhood and was looking in on a hospitalized friend’s damaged home.

Firefighters and police are inspecting damaged areas. Due to the clean-up, Boulevard Saint-Joseph is closed to all traffic between Boulevard Mont-Bleu and the Jean-Proulx roundabout.

Those displaced by the storm gathered at emergency shelters that were opened at West Carleton High School, the Canterbury Recreational Centre and, in Gatineau, at Cégep. In Barrhaven, some 3,000 people came to Larkin House, which was serving hot meals throughout the day for those without power.

Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard was in Gatineau on Saturday morning to survey the damage. He announced he would suspend campaign activities to address the aftermath of the tornado.

Photos and video: Massive damage after tornado rips through Ottawa and Gatineau

Fifteen Ottawa Housing buildings with some 5,000 tenants were still without power Saturday night and running on backup generators, said CEO Stéphane Giguère. The generators kept the elevators working and maintained water pressure to the upper floors, while extra staff and volunteers came to assist tenants in need.

Crews in Gatineau are beginning to clean up after a powerful tornado touched down there Friday, damaging dozens of buildings and knocking out power to tens of thousands.

Ottawa Housing will meet with service providers, including the Ottawa Foodbank, on Sunday to work out a plan to help tenants who faced food spoilage as the blackout drags on, Giguère said.

Ottawa Public Health tweeted guidelines about what to do about food spoilage, with tips about how to prolong food chilled in the fridge or freezer and warning that food should be discarded if it spent more than two hours at room temperature. “If in doubt, throw it out,” the health unit advised.

Tornado damages homes, sends cars flying west of Ottawa

Much of the power outage was due to “catastrophic” damage to the Hydro One transformer station on Merivale Road, through which much of the city’s power supply passes.

Loutangou is staying in the emergency shelter set up by the municipality, but with a three-day limit she's not sure where her family will live long-term. 

“It will take multiple days to restore that station,” Hydro Ottawa CEO Bryce Conrad said during a briefing at city hall. “When that station comes back online, power will flow. In the meantime, we are working to try to redirect power to try to restore power where we can, but that transformer station is a problem for us at the moment.”

Quebec has contributed $1 million to the Canadian Red Cross for short-term aid, he said, and more money is on the way. He is urging citizens to donate as well.

The twisters also snapped between 80 and 90 hydro poles in the city, downing many others an leaving some poles dangling wrecks in mid air.

Hydro One said it had “every available resource” at work across the province, said spokeswoman Alicia Sayer.

“This our biggest challenge and it could be several days before power is fully restored to Ottawa and surrounding communities,” she said. “Our crews are still assessing damage and looking at what needs to be done to make the repairs.”

About 15,000 Hydro Quebec customers in the Outaouais were without power as night fell Saturday. Despite the devastation in Ottawa’s west and south ends, much of the downtown and eastern regions were unaffected by the storm. Stores and gas stations remained open and attracted shoppers from across the city looking to stock up on ice, food, batteries and flashlights.

Tornado destroys houses near Canadian capital Ottawa

The roof of an apartment building on Georges-Bilodeau St. is photographed Saturday, September 22, 2018, in the Mont-Bleu community in Gatineau, after a tornado touched down late Friday.  Darren Brown

Tornado batters area near Canadian capital Ottawa, damaging homes and injuring dozens

An apartment building on Rue Charles-Albanel is severely damaged Saturday, September 22, 2018 after a tornado touched down late Friday.  Darren Brown/0922 gatineau 1

Environment Canada Alert: Tornado Watch Issued For Quebec

An Gatineau Police car is stationed at the corner of Rue Jumonville and Rue Charles-Albanel, in the Mont-Bleu community in Gatineau, which is in clean-up mode Saturday, September 22, 2018 after a tornado touched down late Friday.  Darren Brown/0922 gatineau 1

Gatineau Fire officials walk along Rue Étienne-Brule in the Mont-Bleu community in Gatineau, which is in clean-up mode Saturday, September 22, 2018 after a tornado touched down late Friday.  Darren Brown/Postmedia

Destroyed buildings and cars are seen in Mont-Bleu, Gatineau, Quebec, close to Ottawa after a tornado shattered Canada's capital on September 21, 2018.  VINCENT-CARL LERICHE/AFP/Getty Images

Destroyed buildings and cars are seen in Mont-Bleu, Gatineau, Quebec, close to Ottawa after a tornado shattered Canada's capital on September 21, 2018. – A tornado sparked chaos near the Canadian capital Ottawa on Friday, injuring dozens as homes were damaged, cars flipped over, and over 130,000 people left without power, local media said. Meteorologists reported gusts whipped up to around 120 miles per hour (190 kilometers per hour), with the city of Gatineau, about five miles north of the capital, taking the brunt.  VINCENT-CARL LERICHE/AFP/Getty Images

Ottawa, Gatineau reeling after tornado rips through region

Destroyed buildings and cars are seen in Mont-Bleu, Gatineau, Quebec, close to Ottawa after a tornado shattered Canada's capital on September 21, 2018. – A tornado sparked chaos near the Canadian capital Ottawa on Friday, injuring dozens as homes were damaged, cars flipped over, and over 130,000 people left without power, local media said. Meteorologists reported gusts whipped up to around 120 miles per hour (190 kilometers per hour), with the city of Gatineau, about five miles north of the capital, taking the brunt.  VINCENT-CARL LERICHE/AFP/Getty Images

'Just back from the #tornado zone in #Gatineau. This car is my sister-in-law's car. She was in it with her son'  Philippe L. Denault (@phldenault)/Twitter

People walk along Rue Georges-Bilodeau in the the Mont-Bleu community in Gatineau, which is in clean-up mode Saturday, September 22, 2018 after a tornado touched down late Friday.  Darren Brown/Postmedia

Canadas capital region reeling after intense tornado rips through communities

Destroyed buildings and cars are seen in Mont-Bleu, Gatineau, Quebec, close to Ottawa after a tornado shattered Canada's capital on September 21, 2018.  VINCENT-CARL LERICHE/AFP/Getty Images

Firefighters survey damaged apartment buildings in Gatineau, Que.  Fred Chartrand/The Canadian Press

It Looks Like a War Zone: Rare, Powerful Tornado Injures Dozens, Levels Homes Near Canadas Capital

Drummond’s Gas on Bronson Avenue near Carling Avenue was one of the few west end gas stations still open Saturday morning. Cars began lining up as soon as it opened at 6 a.m., including Bijan Sulaimany of Barrhaven. It took him an hour to make his way through, since blacked out traffic signals turned the roads to chaos. Sulaimany’s Nissan ran out of gas, just as he pulled into the station, forcing him to ferry fuel to his car in a portable container.

Lineups for that other life essential — coffee — were equally long in parts of the city where cafés and restaurants with power attracted customers like a desert oasis.

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson praised the city’s first responders for their efforts and said the city would pull together to get through the disaster, just as residents did during the flood of spring 2017 and the 1998 ice storm. He has not asked for help from other levels of government, though Premier Doug Ford and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau both expressed their support for the city on Saturday.

With files from Norm Provencher, Elizabeth Payne, Jon Willing, Kelly Egan, Joanne Laucius, Megan Gillis, Alison Mah and Taylor Blewett

Canadas capital reeling after tornado hammers communities

Cleanup continues following a tornado in Dunrobin, Ont., west of Ottawa, on Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018. The storm tore roofs off of homes, overturned cars and felled power lines in the Ottawa community of Dunrobin and in Gatineau, Que. Justin Tang / THE CANADIAN PRESS