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Goderich residents heartbroken by tornado destruction


Click on the photo for reaction from Goderich residents
Click on the photo for reaction from Goderich residents

Alexandra Pope, staff writer

August 23, 2011 — Residents of the town of Goderich are beginning to pick up the pieces following Sunday's devastating tornado.

Goderich residents began cleaning up their streets and yards Monday
Goderich residents began cleaning up their streets and yards Monday

Victims of the F3 tornado, which killed one person and injured dozens of others, said they're shocked and heartbroken by the devastation around them.

The twister flattened trees and ripped apart buildings. On Monday, the air was filled with the drone of chainsaws as people began to clear away the debris.

One woman choked back tears as she surveyed the wreckage of the building supply store where her husband worked.

“My husband's worked here since he was a teenager,” she said. “Everyone in town knows John Jeffery & Son. It's just very heartbreaking.”

Another woman said much of Jeffery's stock ended up on her property.

“We got (the) lumber yard in our front yard, all the neighbours' trees in our back yard ... we can't even get in the front door,” she said.

“We've been living on this street for 60 years. You never think this will happen.”

The worst was over in a matter of minutes, eyewitnesses said
The worst was over in a matter of minutes, eyewitnesses said

Many residents said they were surprised by how quickly the storm came through.

One young resident, Jada, was playing outside with her older sister Paige when the storm hit.

“Our dad told us to go down to the basement. We saw all the power go out,” she said.

The sound of the wind rushing by was “really loud,” Paige added.

Another eyewitness, Jenna, told The Weather Network's Chris Mei that she rushed to shut her windows when fist-sized hail began to pound her house.

“In the time it took me to battle with the window to get it closed, this one got blown out,” she said, gesturing to her home.

“There was about 10 seconds of wind and debris rushing in. It was done in what seemed like a minute.”

Walking outside to see chaos on her street was “surreal,” she added.

“It was so strange to take that in and wonder how your family is.”

The tornado was the strongest to strike in Canada so far this year, and marked the first time since 1996 that an F3 tornado has struck in Ontario.

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