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Storm damage in Chesley, Ontario

Andrea Stockton, staff writer

August 18, 2010 — A line of severe thunderstorms that swept through Ontario Sunday left its mark in Chesley where the clean-up continues.

Heavy rain creates large sinkhole in Chesley, Ontario
Heavy rain creates large sinkhole in Chesley, Ontario

It was a stormy Sunday in southern Ontario to say the least. A cold front that swept through the province this past weekend set off a line of severe thunderstorms in its wake.

At one point Environment Canada issued tornado watches and warnings that covered the Uxbridge and Lindsay areas as well as places in northern Ontario including Timmins, where a funnel cloud was reported. Several calls to our Stormline reported heavy downpours, damaging winds, large hail and frequent lightning.

Chesley, which is a small community north of Walkerton, continues to clean up from Sunday's mess. The town was flooded with 180 mm of rain that fell in only a three hour time frame.

“The rain came down like a wall of water,” says Joan Ionson, a local resident. “Our property was totally under water, not deep, but it was pretty alarming.”

The heavy rain also helped to sweep away part of an old mill leaving a 15 metre deep sinkhole. Dave Dansereau owns the mill and describes the sudden destruction.

“Because the water levels went over the side dam they formed another flow of the river in front of my building rather than behind the building where the dam actually was.” Dansereau adds that the rushing waters wiped out the under footings of one corner of the mill building.

Trees were badly damaged in Schomberg, Ontario.
Trees were badly damaged in Schomberg, Ontario.

Schomberg was another spot that faced significant damage. Strong winds were powerful enough to blow a vehicle into a ditch, uproot large trees and tear shingles off buildings.

The low later tracked east into Ottawa, where nearly 50 mm of rain fell on Sunday night. The system also pushed into southern Quebec bringing heavy downpours and localized flooding.

For some, the weekend may have brought back memories from this time last year when severe thunderstorms hit the province. You won't want to miss a special series that takes a look back at the unforgettable event on August 20, 2009. The Weather Network presents Tornado Outbreak: The Aftermath that will air this Friday.

With files from Lisa Varano

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