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First anniversary of Leamington tornado

Tornado damage in Leamington. Click the image for stories on the tornado anniversary.
Tornado damage in Leamington. Click the image for stories on the tornado anniversary.

Andrea Stockton, staff writer

June 6, 2011 — Monday marks the first anniversary of a tornado that hit Leamington, Ontario, on June 6.

F1 tornado hit Leamington on June 6, 2010
F1 tornado hit Leamington on June 6, 2010

An F1 tornado that hit the town of Leamington last June is still fresh on the minds of many that were affected.

In the early morning hours of June 6, 2010, thunderstorms spawned three tornadoes in southwestern Ontario, along with significant downbursts. The result was widespread damage in both Leamington and nearby Harrow.

Metal was wrapped around poles, roofs were blown off houses and massive trees came crashing down on cars. Thousands of residents were left without electricity and some were even left without a home.

“It was really scary and it was really hard because we had to move out for eight months,” recalls Grade 5 student Luke in Leamington.

Schools conduct several emergency drills to ensure students are aware of the potential dangers.

“What they learn at school about finding an interior wall and taking cover, the drill itself; they take that home with them because it isn't necessarily going to happen at school,” explains Principal Anna Mastronardi at Gore Hill Public School in Leamington.

Trees came crashing down
Trees came crashing down

Ontarians are encouraged to prepare for severe weather, especially since the province usually sees around 12 tornadoes each year. On the same night as the Leamington tornado, two other twisters -- rated F1 and F2 -- touched down in the Harrow area.

Tornado season in Ontario usually begins in May and lasts through to September. Meteorologists say it's important to have a general idea of the weather forecast at all times to know when the uglier conditions could arrive.

“There are very few days in a year when there is any real chance of danger, and our job is to make sure you’re aware of those days with tornado potential. Let’s make sure we’re ready,” warns Chris Scott, a meteorologist at The Weather Network.

To stay up to date on the weather in your area, be sure to check your local forecast. You can also sign up to have watches and warnings sent to your cell phone.

With files from Lyndasy Morrison

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