Tornadoes hit Ottawa damaging homes and trees – Toronto Sun

Tornadoes hit Ottawa damaging homes and trees - Toronto Sun
We just took cover: Orléans reeling after tornado tears through region
Residents in Ottawa's east end neighbourhood of Orléans are assessing the damage from a major storm Sunday evening that saw a tornado rip through the region.

A single tornado was spotted near the Gatineau airport, just on the other side of the Ottawa River, at 5:55 p.m., Environment Canada said.

Tornadoes strike east end of Ottawa area

The weather agency later said around 8 p.m. that a possible tornado had also been spotted near L'Orignal, Ont., moving east at about 30 kilometres per hour.

"But regarding its intensity, its precise track, all these different details, we'll have to be on the ground. And these [questions] will be answered tomorrow morning."

The weather agency had placed the city of Gatineau, as well the Papineau, Que., area to the northwest and the municipality of Prescott-Russell, Ont., to the east under a tornado warning as the tornado was moving along the Ottawa River.

Knowing my family is in the area strikes a few nerves, he admitted. Everyone seemed to be distraught with the amount of damage but there was a sigh of relief that it couldve been a lot worse.

All three warnings have now been lifted, although severe thunderstorm warnings remain in place in certain parts of the region.

We still have Septembers incident in our minds, Messier said. This isnt something we see often in the Ottawa area and unfortunately it seems to be something becoming more frequent.

In Ottawa's Orléans neighbourhood, trees were uprooted and several homes were damaged by the storm, fire officials said.

The wind had torn off roofs and uprooted trees in Ottawas east end with strewn debris forcing the closure of several streets, including a major highway. But by 9 p.m., they were all reopened.

Greg Laidlaw said he was downstairs in his Balsam Drive home when he suddenly heard the wind pick up.

"We just took cover," he said. "It was kind of scary but it wasn't that bad. I'm sure people got hit worse."

Tornado warnings are being issued for western Quebec including Gatineau, as well Ontario towns Prescott and Russell, according to Environment Canada. (Mike Lagace) ‏

They said when they assessed the damage afterward, they found they had no structural damage to their home.

"The trees started to bend and the wind howled," David Robb said. "I didn't know if it was a down draft … or a tornado, but it sure wreaked its vengeance on us in a short period of time."

Ottawa paramedics said they handled a single "minor" call about a branch that fell on a resident's head while they were cleaning up debris.

While the tornado's precise track is still being investigated, many Orléans residents reported seeing it touch down, said ​​​​​​Orléans Coun. Matthew Luloff.

Luloff told CBC Ottawa that he'd seen extensive damage to trees and property, particularly in parts of the ward that sit along the Ottawa River. 

The City is aware there has been a weather incident in the east end. We are currently investigating on-site

However, the damage didn't appear as severe as what happened during the Sept. 2018 tornado strikes, Luloff said.

More viewer video of what may have been a tornado touching down in East Ottawa pic.twitter.com/aXyQz0T4ci

Highway 174 and J'eanne D'Arc Boulevard had both been closed during the worst of the storm, but they have since reopened.

The City of Ottawa said there were also reports of power outages and that first responders were performing door-to-door checks in the area.

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Resident of an Orléans neighbourhood described seeing a funnel cloud and hearing what sounded like a train Sunday before a tornado ripped trees out of the ground and damaged homes and cars.

Several residents of the Chatelaine Village neighbourhood north of Place d’Orléans said they only received an emergency alert on their phone after the storm was over — and that the warning was about a possible tornado in Gatineau.

Environment Canada said late Sunday that preliminary information indicates the tornado was a Category EF-1 and may have been on the ground for more than 30 minutes.

Firefighters, police and city workers were on-hand soon after the storm Sunday helping clear debris tossed around the neighbourhood and to check on residents.

Ottawa Paramedic Service spokesman Marc-Antoine Deschamps said the service had not received any calls to respond to significant injuries.

On Singleton Way one home had a hole punched through the roof and trees down across the front of the house. Next door, windows were broken and debris was scattered around. The street was lined with fallen trees. A trampoline was mangled around a fence.

Dana Miller surveys damage in her backyard as a reported tornado touched down in the Orléans suburb of Ottawa on Sunday evening. Wayne Cuddington / Postmedia Wayne Cuddington / Postmedia

David Redmond, whose Singleton Way house sustained structural damage to the roof, said he was in Vanier when his son called around 6 p.m. to say there had been a tornado and the house was damaged.

Redmond said he got on the highway to head home and could see “this giant tornado in the sky hovering over this area, and it lasted the whole drive here.”

Dana Miller said she was about to go for a walk when the sky got dark and “things started moving around in my room.” She looked outside and saw a funnel cloud and “it was heading this way.”

Rita Heather on nearby Burnt Ember Way said she heard a noise that her husband thought was a low-flying plane.

“All of a sudden we saw the debris flying and he hollered let’s get in the basement. It got really loud and then it started to get softer.”

At a nearby house, three cars were damaged, trees were snapped and broken and debris was scattered around the yard.

The force of the wind blew debris inside the house underneath the front door, said Mary-Jean Achtell.

A home owner surveys the damage at his home on Singleton Way as a reported tornado touched down in the Orléans suburb of Ottawa on Sunday evening. Wayne Cuddington / Postmedia Wayne Cuddington / Postmedia

A steady stream of people wandered through the streets and parks to survey the damage, some cleaning up debris as they went.

Numerous fire trucks were on the scene in an area around Place d’Orleans inspecting the damage from the sudden storm. A Ottawa First spokesman said there were no reports of anyone being trapped, but some of the damages to houses was significant.

Marc Messier, an inspector with Ottawa Fire, said his son watched what looked like a funnel cloud rip down his street in Orléans. He was driving toward Orléans when he saw what appeared to be a tornado and filmed it, later posting it on social media.

A photo of the storm that hit Orléans and other parts of the east end of the Ottawa region on Sunday evening. Matt MacDonell / Twitter

Ottawa Police Service tweeted about downed trees and property damage to some houses in the area.

“There are no reported injuries at this time,” the statement said, adding the following roads are closed because of debris: Jeanne D’Arc Boulevard between Tenth Line Road and Trim Road, Highway 174 between Cameron Street and Trim Road. “There are also several residential streets impassable due to debris and fallen trees.”

Firefighters at work clearing damaged branches on Singleton Way as a reported tornado touched down in the Orléans suburb of Ottawa on Sunday evening. Wayne Cuddington / Postmedia   Wayne Cuddington /Postmedia

Fire fighters at work clearing damaged branches on Singleton Way as a reported tornado touched down in the Orléans suburb of Ottawa on Sunday evening. Wayne Cuddington / Postmedia   Wayne Cuddington /Postmedia

Fire fighters at work clearing damaged branches on Singleton Way as a reported tornado touched down in the Orléans suburb of Ottawa on Sunday evening. Wayne Cuddington / Postmedia   Wayne Cuddington /Postmedia

Dana Miller surveys damage in her backyard as a reported tornado touched down in the Orléans suburb of Ottawa on Sunday evening. Wayne Cuddington / Postmedia   Wayne Cuddington /Postmedia

A tree on Burnt Ember Crescent in Orléans following a tornado that hit the area on Sunday, June 2, 2019. Elizabeth Payne/Postmedia.   /jpg

Ottawa Fire Services crew members start working on removing fallen tree branches at a home on Singleton Way in Orléans after a tornado hit the area on Sunday evening   Wayne Cuddington /Postmedia

David Redmond surveys the damage of his home while his son and friends install tarps over a hole in the roof of a home on Singleton Way as a reported tornado touched down in the Orléans suburb of Ottawa on Sunday evening. Wayne Cuddington / Postmedia   Wayne Cuddington /Postmedia

David Redmond suffered a hole in the roof of his home on Singleton Way as a reported tornado touched down in the Orléans suburb of Ottawa on Sunday evening. Wayne Cuddington / Postmedia   Wayne Cuddington /Postmedia

One of the homes on Singleton Way that suffered damage as a reported tornado touched down in the Orléans suburb of Ottawa on Sunday evening. Wayne Cuddington / Postmedia   Wayne Cuddington /Postmedia

Dana Miller surveys damage in her backyard as a reported tornado touched down in the Orléans suburb of Ottawa on Sunday evening. Wayne Cuddington / Postmedia   Wayne Cuddington /Postmedia

Environment Canada issued tornado warnings for Gatineau and Prescott Russell just after 6 p.m., but not for Ottawa.

A tornado was spotted near the Gatineau airport late Sunday afternoon and a tornado warning was issued for Gatineau and the area around the Lièvre River and Papineauville-Chénéville. The warning was later expanded to Prescott and Russell after a tornado was reported near Rockland.

On Sunday night, Gatineau Mayor Maxime Pedneaud-Jobin said the tornado that touched down there did no significant damage.

Ottawa Fire Services crew members start working on removing fallen tree branches at a home on Singleton Way in Orléans after a tornado hit the area on Sunday evening Wayne Cuddington / Postmedia

Ken McGrath, director of operations for the Gatineau-Ottawa Executive Airport, said there was no reported damage to the airport. “We just had a little bit of hail. Everything went south of us, toward the (Ottawa) river.”

The first alert was issued for the Gatineau area by Environment Canada at 6:01 p.m. It was lifted for Gatineau at around 7 p.m., but maintained for Papineauveille-Chénéville and Lachute.

“Persons in or near this area should be on the lookout for adverse weather conditions and take necessary safety precautions. Watch for updated statements,” the advisory said.

At 7:26 p.m., Environment Canada said a confirmed tornado was located near Alfred, moving east at 30 km/h. Locations impacted include Alfred, L’Orignal, Coins Gratton, Blue Corners, Ritchance, Evanturel, L’Ange-Gardien, Village Lanthier, Cassburn and Henrys Corner,” it said.

A second possible tornado was near Wendover, moving east at 30 km/h, it added, with affected locations including Wendover, Glenburn, Rockdale, The Rollway, Jessups Falls, Centrefield, Treadwell, Plantagenet, Senecal, Curran and Plantagenet Station.

Just past 8 p.m., Environment Canada said a possible tornado was located near LOrignal, moving east at 30 km/h. The storm was was expected to be east of the region by 8:30 p.m., it added.

“As a city, as a community, we always want to be there for anyone who needs help moving forward from events like this,” Innes Coun. Laura Dudas said, adding this is just the latest in a string of weather-related crises for the city. “We need to be thinking about how we can be proactive in handling this.”

Cumberland Coun. Stephen Blais was returning to Ottawa by train when the tornado hit. Asked what this latest weather incident might mean in terms of emergency preparedness for the municipality, Blais noted that the city was already in a state of emergency because of severe spring flooding.

After a briefing from emergency services, Orléans Coun. Matthew Luloff said only one minor injury had been reported.

“And that person is going to be taken care of and is just fine. We were very lucky,” Luloff said.

Luloff also cited the already declared state of emergency because of flooding and said the response by both city staff and residents had improved.

“Over the last year, I think more people now take  these incidents a heck of a lot more seriously.”

“I don’t believe you ever get to a point with emergency preparedness where you have everything worked out, and you can always improve.”

Residents in parts of Ottawa and Gatineau hit by tornadoes last September are still cleaning up and trying to rebuild.

Ottawa Tornado 🌪. @jenmilligan23 took this from Riverside Dr looking east over Via Rail. #onstorm @BlacksWeather pic.twitter.com/LcTaXG5ZYz

The not-yet-confirmed tornado over Ottawa just now #ottweather @BlacksWeather pic.twitter.com/O8GJayRrya

A tree on Burnt Ember Crescent in Orléans following a tornado that hit the area on Sunday. Elizabeth Payne / Postmedia