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Two tornadoes touched down in northwestern Ontario: officials


Alexandra Pope, staff writer
August 19, 2011 — Officials now believe two tornadoes touched down in northwestern Ontario Tuesday -- one near Dryden, and one near Ear Falls.


Tree damage near Dryden as a result of Tuesday's tornado (Courtesy Ministry of Natural Resources)
Tree damage near Dryden as a result of Tuesday's tornado (Courtesy Ministry of Natural Resources)

Environment Canada has yet to confirm the dual touchdowns but says gaps in the damage path suggest more than one tornado hit the ground.

Officials previously said a single F0 tornado touched down west of Kenora and travelled some 80 kilometres to Sioux Falls before fizzling out.

Severe thunderstorms sparked by a cold front were passing through the region at the time, and radar indicated rotation in one cell.

A twister was spotted at both the Dryden and Sioux Lookout Airports between about 4:15 pm and 5:45 pm. People in Lac Seul watched in amazement as the tornado spun past.

If two separate tornadoes are confirmed, they'll likely be given an F1 rating on the Fujita Scale.

Video footage shot by the MNR showed numerous downed and broken trees.

“We saw trees that were scattered in every direction; that is what you’d expect to see in a tornado with a circular air flow,” explained Mitch Miller, an information officer with the MNR.

“In a straight-line wind event, all the trees would be laying in the same direction.”

About 300 hectares of forest were flattened, raising concerns that the damaged area will be more susceptible to fire.

More severe weather fired up in the region Wednesday afternoon as the cold front tracked east.

Tornado warnings were issued for both Timmins and Kapuskasing when some strong cells raced through. The area remained under a tornado watch for several hours Wednesday evening. No tornadoes or funnel clouds were reported.

To stay on top of current conditions in your area, watch The Weather Network on TV. Local forecasts come up every 10 minutes on the 10s. You can also subscribe to receive weather warnings and public alerts on your mobile phone.

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