Andrea Stockton, staff writer
June 25, 2010 — Environment Canada has confirmed that at least two tornadoes touched down in Ontario Wednesday night. In the video on the left, Midland Mayor James Downer describes the scene across his town.
It's the storm that still has people talking across the entire country.
At least TWO tornadoes touched down in Ontario Wednesday night, and crews are still looking at the possibility that there was a third in the southwestern part of the province.
Environment Canada has confirmed that the storm that swept through Midland at about 6:30p.m. was rated an F2 on the Fujita scale. That means winds were gusting between 180 and 240km/h. The storm travelled for about 25km, causing destruction in its path.
The most significant damage was reported at Smith's Camp, which is a trailer park at the south end of the town. Numerous mobile homes were completely destroyed.
“I started crying. I was shaking because this park is like a family park, we know the people that were hurt and it's just devastating,” says Midland resident Kim Raynard. She and her husband had just bought their 40 foot trailer three weeks ago.
Out of about 300 trailer units, 70 to 80 were completely destroyed.
The town's Mayor, James Downer, issued a state of emergency Wednesday night and says it will remain in place until recovery efforts are complete.
Downer says residents are still in a complete state of disbelief.
“They're walking around like they're in a dream.”
Downer adds that the fact no one was killed is unbelievable.
“I think it brings a community closer together, and there's proof in that to our neighbours that have offered to help us. It's incredible.”
Residents say if it had to happen they're glad it did throughout the week and not on the weekend when most bring their families to the trailer park.
Still, Midland wasn't the only town affected by Wednesday's severe weather. A second tornado spawned from the same thunderstorm at about 7:00p.m. This tornado began around the Maple Valley area, which is 10km west of Washago. It ended just east of Washago and was rated an F1 tornado with peak winds between 120 and 170km/h. Damage from this storm includes farm buildings, a barn and a garage.
There was also the possibility for a third tornado touchdown in southwestern Ontario as well. After assessing the damage, Environment Canada officials have confirmed a microburst event in the Amherstburg area.
With files from Lyndsay Morrison