The storm that tore through Barrie, Ontario has left the city with a lot of cleanups. Currently, paramedics have said eight people were taken to hospital and several others treated for minor injuries while Environment Canada rates it an EF-2 tornado at 210 kilometers per hour.
The central Ontario city of Barrie will turn its attention to clean-up today after a twister tore through a neighborhood, damaging homes and injuring several people.
Eight Torontonians were taken in for medical treatment following the storm while other individuals received aid from emergency services. Environment Canada has given the tornado’s strength preliminary ratings which show it had maximum wind speeds at 210 kilometers per hour.
The fire in Barrie has caused up to 20 homes and two or three buildings destroyed. Premier Doug Ford is heading there today, where he will meet with the first responders and local officials who are currently working on the damage of about a five-kilometer-long path within a 100-meter wide area.
Barrie’s mayor, Jeff Lehman, has reminded locals that the community started coming together soon after Sunday night’s tornado. The storm killed 8 people and injured many others in this small town of about 150 000 residents.
The 1985 Barrie Tornado is a sore spot for those long-time residents who remember their neighborhood being decimated by another nasty twister years before – it destroyed hundreds of homes in Allendale then too.
“The scenes today are reminiscent of it,” Lehman said. “I lived in that neighborhood as a boy. I mean, it’s shocking, you know, you never expected to see it again.”
Despite the bad memories, Judy Arksey reminisces about how her street was completely flooded with people coming to investigate.
Despite experiencing a terrible tornado in 1973 that took 12 of their family members and friends from them forever, 70-year old Judy Arksey recalls warmly what it felt like when she saw an entire neighborhood come together after Thursday’s dangerous storm.
“It was like deja-vu,” she said. “I got one look at the sky and I knew what was coming.”
She was in the driver’s seat of her daughter’s car when a tornado came ripping down their street. Her two grandkids, aged six and 16-years-old were with them as they watched the waterfall from above onto the side windows next to where she sat gripping tightly on her steering wheel.
“I remember the horses being lifted out of the racetrack during the other tornado, and I thought, here goes our car with my grandkids in it,” Arksey said.
“I told them to look down so they wouldn’t see what was coming for us,” she said. Fortunately, the car stayed on the ground despite taking a beating in yesterday’s strong wind and my family escaped injury.”
As soon as she saw the sky, she told them to look down so they wouldn’t see what came for them. Luckily, despite taking a beating in the strong wind and sustaining some damage on her car’s roof from flying debris; Mary Dillman was able to get out safely thanks to quick thinking that saved their lives.
The community has come together yet again at this time of need just like 36 years ago when it had been hit by one disaster after another during its first year since incorporation – wildfires scorched homes before Hurricane Elena destroyed crops two months later- but people rebuilt anyway with help from each other because there are no strangers here.”
The 85-year old woman from Arksey, Mrs. Jackson is too old to volunteer after the tornado this time around and has been praying for those affected by it instead, she told The Canadian Press in an interview.
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