Montreal recovering after intense summer storm knocks out power for thousands
More than 63,000 homes in southwestern Quebec are without power after an intense summer storm pulverized parts of the province, with Montreal seeing 100-year-old trees toppled and homes damaged by fallen debris.
Environment Canada confirmed that a microburst, a powerful, isolated blast of downward wind from a thunderstorm, struck the Montreal borough of Notre-Dame-de-Grace.
The gusts reached 113 kilometres per hour, hitting speeds that felled power lines and ripped trees from limb to limb.
“Things were flying, trees were dropping, cars were whipping around … it was the most incredible thing I have ever seen,” witness Leslyn George told CTV News.
Some injuries were reported, but none were considered life-threatening. In some of the worst-hit areas, police are knocking on doors to make sure residents are alright.
The majority of the province’s 115,000 outages were reported in Montreal, with 63,000 homes affected at the peak. Outside the city, 29,000 homes were affected in the Monteregie, 14,000 homes in the Laurentians and 5,000 in Laval.
In Ottawa, another strong storm system struck the city and, for a brief time, had the community under a tornado watch. Despite some anecdotal reports of concerning cloud formations, a tornado never touched down.
Ottawa still saw its share of destruction, with trees ripped up from their roots and hailstones the size of loonies reported.
At one point, Environment Canada issued more than 20 severe thunderstorm watches and warnings across Ontario and Quebec. By 9:30 p.m. EST, those alerts were cleared.
The extreme weather was shared online as amateur storm-watchers captured the action with the hashtag #ONStorm.
The aftermath: MTL storm pic.twitter.com/KqUfPEQWyk— Genevieve Beauchemin (@CTVBeauchemin) August 22, 2017
Holy golf ball size hail batman! Armageddon hits Ottawa day after eclipse. Hail, rain, lightening and tornado watch. pic.twitter.com/Nye5Xfl6UB— Rob Mitchell (@gomitchell) August 22, 2017
Stuck in this hail storm in Ottawa. pic.twitter.com/UwGhFnVglz— Chris Hill (@ChrisLabCity) August 22, 2017