Cleanup continues after severe storm sweeps through Ontario, Quebec
Published Friday, July 19, 2013 4:54PM EDT
Last Updated Saturday, July 20, 2013 10:58PM EDT
Cleanup efforts are underway in Quebec and southern Ontario following a violent storm that left thousands without power and is being blamed for one death.
Officials with Environment Canada are expected to visit some of the worst-hit communities Saturday, a day after the severe thunderstorm swept through both provinces.
A 21-year-old municipal employee in Boucherville, Que. was struck and killed by a falling tree branch in a park and two others were also injured there.
In the community of Prevost, Que., eight children were injured at a day camp when their tent collapsed.
The storms toppled hydro wires and trees across the two provinces, leaving hundreds of thousands of people without power and prompting numerous tornado warnings.
Hydro Quebec crews worked through the night to fix power lines downed by fallen trees and snapped branches.
About 205,000 customers remain without electricity Saturday evening -- down from more than 500,000 on Friday.
Hydro One reported Saturday that 900 employees are working to restore power to close to 93,000 customers in Ontario. At the height of the storm, the utility reported more than 195,000 in the province were in the dark.
Environment Canada sent investigators to check reports of funnel clouds near Barrie and Bradford in Ontario.
The national weather agency said other hard-hit areas in Ontario include Pembroke and Petawawa on the Ottawa River, and Callander outside North Bay.
Tornado warnings were also issued for the Ottawa area, the Niagara Region, Hamilton, Brantford and the GTA. All the warnings were later after 8.p.m., however severe thunderstorm warnings and watches remained in place for virtually all of southern Ontario.
In Quebec, many parts of the province were under severe weather warnings, including Montreal and the Laurentians.
In Petawawa, a 20-minute storm that arrived after 1 p.m. downed trees, wires and toppled over some vehicles.
Petawawa Mayor Bob Sweet said no injuries were reported, but power was out and he didn’t know when it would be restored.
Sweet said his own home was damaged when a tree fell over his bedroom roof. The gazebo in his yard was also damaged.
“Very hard and heavy winds went through this community,” he told CTV News Channel. “It’s quite a scene to see all of this devastation.”
Area resident Jamie Bramburger told News Channel that he was stunned by the damage to many homes as he drove through some residential areas.
He said “every second or third house” appeared to have been struck by a fallen tree.
In Hamilton, Ont., a driver had to be taken to hospital with minor injuries when a tree crushed a car.
In Gravenhurst, Ont., there were numerous reports of downed electrical wires and trees. People posted images to Twitter of flipped trailers and cars on the roads, but it was not immediately known if all accidents were weather-related.
Provincial police in Orillia and the surrounding area say they are responding to numerous calls about property damage caused by falling trees.
With files from The Canadian Press