Severe thunderstorm, large hail and destructive tornado hit Ottawa, 85 000 homes without power, Canada

Severe thunderstorm, large hail and destructive tornado hit Ottawa, 85 000 homes without power, Canada

Severe thunderstorms accompanied by large hail and a destructive tornado swept through eastern Ontario and into Quebec during the afternoon hours of September 21, 2018. The storm left widespread power outages, three seriously injured people of which one is in critical condition and more than 60 damaged homes. Several homes were completely destroyed.

The storm produced winds gusts of up to 100 km/h (62 mph), hail the size golf balls and a tornado which affected dozens of buildings, downed trees, and ripped shingles off roofs.

Widespread power outages were reported across a large swath of Ontario.

"We can confirm there are outages to over 85 000 customers across Ottawa as a result of the storm (including damage from winds, lightning and tornado activity). There is significant damage to the grid and all crews are out assessing damage and will establish a priority restoration," Hydro Ottawa said.

The tornado touched down near Dunrobin, Ottawa and tracked east across the Ottawa River to Gatineau, Quebec, leaving a trail of destruction.

"It was one storm that tracked for quite a significant distance," said Peter Kimbell, a warning preparedness meteorologist with Environment Canada.

Ottawa Paramedics said they responded to 16 tornado-related calls in Dunrobin area, from people trapped in houses and cars, power lines down, trauma from debris to secondary trauma from high winds.

At least three people sustained serious injuries and seven less severe. One person is in critical condition.

About 60 homes in Dunrobin were damaged and several completely destroyed.

"It looks like a massive bomb explosion, covering a wide area. It’s a very tense situation for people living here," Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson said.

The twister also caused significant damage in Gatineau, especially along Boulevard Cité-des-Jeunes where a number of buildings had their roofs blown off.

"Based on damage reports, it is likely the tornado will be classified as an EF-2," Kimbell said.

The Ottawa Airport suspended 'ground operations' as a precaution because of lightning in the area.

The airport lost power and is operating on a backup generator, the Ottawa Citizen reports.

Featured image credit: Maryse P

Register/become a supporter

Support us AD-FREE

Your support is crucial for our survival. It makes this project fully self-sustainable and keeps us independent and focused on the content we love to create and share. 

Monthly subscription

Subscription options

Yearly subscription

Subscription options

You'll receive your ad-free account for 20x faster browsing experience, clean interface without any distractions, ability to post comments without prior editorial check, all our desktop and mobile applications (current and upcoming) ad-free and with the full set of features available, a direct line of communication and much more. See all options.


No comments yet. Why don't you post the first comment?

Post a comment

Your name: *

Your email address: *

Comment text: *

The image that appears on your comment is your Gravatar