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Violent storms tear through Ontario, Quebec


Extensive damage reported in the Ottawa area
Extensive damage reported in the Ottawa area

Andrea Stockton, staff writer

July 22, 2011 — Severe thunderstorms brought damaging winds and heavy rain to parts of Ontario earlier this week. And in Quebec, an F1 tornado was confirmed.

Stormy dark clouds blanket the sky.
Stormy dark clouds blanket the sky.

ONTARIO

Violent thunderstorms tore through parts of eastern Ontario on Sunday night and into Monday.

Environment Canada warned of the potential for heavy downpours, large hail and damaging winds for several areas including the city of Ottawa.

Ottawa Police say they responded to almost 300 calls between 7 and 9 pm ranging from stranded boaters to extensive wind damage and power outages. Hydro One said about 55,000 customers were without electricity and 2,000 were still in the dark as of Tuesday morning.

Ottawa Fire Services were also called to the city's Bluesfest to deal with a dangerous stage collapse on Sunday night. Festivals are popular through the summer months, but event organizers agree that weather can affect attendance and scheduled performances.

The stormy conditions caused flight delays at Ottawa's International Airport as well. While power outages delayed a few arrivals, officials say they managed to avoid widespread disruption.

The severe thunderstorm risk continued into the early hours on Monday. At around 5 am local time, several clusters of intense storms developed near the Peterborough area where one of The Weather Network's Facebook fans describes what he saw.

“We just got slammed for a good 30-40 minutes by the strongest and most intense storm I have seen in the area in a long time. Lots of lightning, heavy rains and strong winds.”

Damaged car from F1 tornado. Photo credit: <a href=http://patrouilleursmedias.com/>Patrouilleurs Media Quebec</a>.
Damaged car from F1 tornado. Photo credit: Patrouilleurs Media Quebec.

QUEBEC

Meanwhile, the staggering heat and humidity were the perfect ingredients to spark severe thunderstorms in the Eastern Townships of Quebec Wednesday. Environment Canada confirmed an F1 tornado spawned from the system that moved through.

The powerful wind gusts were able to pick up a car driving between Saguenay and Quebec City and launch it across the road. The driver managed to survive the incident unscathed.

For a closer look at the weather in your area, head to the Ontario Cities Index. You can also tune into The Weather Network on TV.

With files from Jill Colton

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