Rare EF2 tornado leaves catastrophic damage in Barrie

Several injuries were confirmed by police after an unusual tornado tore through the city of Barrie on Thursday afternoon, leaving a trail of damage in its path.

According to the police, the tornado left several individuals injured and seriously damaged some homes.

The twister has been given a preliminary rating of an EF2 with winds of 130 mph, according to Northern Tornadoes Project. An AccuWeather Global Weather Center report says, it was on the ground for around 3 miles and was over 300 feet wide. Additional damage surveys are planned for Friday, so the rating could change before it is finalized.

“The damage is catastrophic. It is significant. It is major,” Barrie police spokesperson Peter Leon told media.

Photos of the aftermath taken on July 15 revealed homes with chunks taken from the roofs, shattered windows and debris-littered lawns. Cars, in some instances, were flipped upside down.

According to media reports the tornado struck the city around 2:30 p.m., local time.

Environment Canada’s warning preparedness meteorologist Geoff Coulson said the tornado was confirmed on Thursday by the agency’s data along with images shared to social media. Coulson said the agency does not yet have a good idea of the length or width of the path of damage.

Barrie Mayor Jeff Lehman took to Twitter to address the situation, where he thanked first responders and asked residents to avoid the area of Prince William Way and Mapleview, located in southeast Barrie, as emergency crews work to make sure those in the area are safe.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford also took to social media, thanking first responders and saying that his thoughts are with those affected by the weather.

“A big thank you to our first responders that are currently on the ground helping the situation. Please stay safe everyone,” Ford wrote on Twitter.

Lehman told reporters that this is only the third tornado in Barrie that he has seen in his entire lifetime.



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