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Central Ontario

1500 Views 1 Reply 2 Participants Last post by  TrailLeadr
It was fast.

It was furious.

And the clean-up will take a lot longer than the actual event itself.

Welcome to the GTA, the day after the big storm.

The big thunder and wind event that passed through the area on Monday afternoon lasted less than half an hour.

But it brought big troubles we're still paying for 24 hours later.

Trees were toppled into houses, shingles were blown off roofs, roofs were blown off houses and garbage was strewn everywhere. Winds whipped up to 100 kilometres an hour during the height of the disturbance.

But the worst hit areas were in the cities above Toronto, with Markham, Vaughan and Richmond Hill bearing the brunt of the storm's brief but fierce fury.

Power lines toppled like toothpicks along a stretch of Woodbine Ave. north of 16th Ave. that forced the temporary closure of the road. Similar problems plagued Bathurst, Keele, Bayview and Yonge near Highway 7, along with Kennedy Road.

"I can't believe the devastation," marvels Vaughan resident Erica Morton, looking around a plaza parking lot where vehicles were crushed by hydro poles. "Some of these cars are trashed. Unbelievable. You hear about these things elsewhere. You never think it will come so close to home, something like this."

Power was out to a large area for a time, and some of the 20,000 affected didn't get the juice back until Tuesday afternoon. Traffic lights were gone, too, creating further havoc.

Langstaff Road and Yonge was a write off for a while, delaying commuters trying to get to the GO Station near the area.
But it wasn't just motorists and commuters who experienced the misery.

In Vaughan, an incredible nine millimetres of rain fell in just ten minutes - nearly a millimetre every 60 seconds.

A piece of plywood came off a roof and scratched up the brick above a garage door.

And those people were lucky - some garage doors were smashed in by the debris.

On Ramona Blvd. near Markham Rd. and 16th Ave., the top of a roof - with a ceiling fan still attached - landed in a neighbour's swimming pool.

Paul Francis received a frantic call from his wife about what was going on in their backyard.

"She says, 'I don't want you to get a big surprise when you get home but we've got somebody's roof in our pool,'" he notes dryly.

A construction worker toiling on a house a little farther west was trapped in wreckage after the winds blew the frame over. He was stuck for almost two hours before a crane lifted the debris off him.

He was sent to hospital but suffered only a sprained ankle.

Trees that had stood old and gnarled for years were toppled, as crews with chain saws turned them into firewood.

"I think somebody came and pulled them from the roots," laments Aldo Kos, who lost three trees that were all more than 50 years old.

Many seemed certain that a tornado touched down in the area, a possibility in those kinds of conditions.

But Environment Canada experts aren't so sure.

"Looks like a strong wind gust, a downburst from this particular storm," suggests Geoff Coulson.

"Wind gusts perhaps up to 110, 120 kilometres an hour. This is a very significant event. Even if it doesn't turn out to be a tornado, still a very dangerous storm."

He adds there was only one report of a funnel cloud - and it came from a weather spotter in Kleinburg. But nothing's been confirmed.

The good news is that the big blowhard is gone for good. Much cooler weather has replaced it and while it won't be feeling summer-like for some time, the rest of the week should be close to or above normal, with only a chance of rain - and nothing like what happened on Monday.

I was out in this storm turning our cable power supplies on, all nite...
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Sounds like a good time was had by all.
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