A tornado hit Ottawa suburb of Barrhaven damaging nearly 125 homes

Ottawa Tornado. Image credit Twitter @OttFire

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Toronto/CMEDIA: The tornado and a severe thunderstorm that touched down in the south Ottawa suburb of Barrhaven just before 1 p.m. Thursday caused damage to approximately 125 homes, downed dozens of tree branches and limbs, knocked over fences and damaged roofs on many homes.

Contractors and city staff are working to clear roads, sidewalks and properties of debris, while Hydro Ottawa crews are working to repair infrastructure damaged by the storm.

The majority of the damage, City officials said Thursday night, was in three areas of Barrhaven.

  •  50 homes in the Umbra Place/Watercolours Way area
  •  35 houses in the Perseus Way/Proxima Terrace area
  •  30 to 40 houses in the Jockvale Road/Exeter Drive area

125 homes highlighted by the city of Ottawa have reportedly significant damage that may mean residents need to find a different place to stay.

No reports of damage or impacts to city infrastructure in Barrhaven following the tornado were reported by the city.

Clearing of debris from roads and sidewalks is already being done by deployment of Public Works staff.

In a memo to Council Thursday night, Beth Gooding, Director of Public Safety Services, said more details about the cleanup will be shared with residents today.

“Public Works Department have prioritized debris removal today related to public safety (e.g., branches or tree limbs that are blocking roads),” Gooding said. 

“They are finalizing a debris removal plan for the remainder of the City’s clean-up work in Barrhaven.  Staff are also working on messaging to residents for tomorrow, to support resident clean-up efforts.”

This is the first tornado to touch down in Ottawa since 2018.

According to the Northern Tornadoes Project, Canada sees approximately 120 tornadoes a year.

The damage from Thursday’s storm is being investigated by the researchers from the Northern Tornadoes Project at Western University in Ottawa and they were reported to say that there are possible signs more than one tornado touched down.

A community support centre by the city of Ottawa was open on Friday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Minto Recreation Complex at 3500 Cambrian Road. 

 Information to residents would be provided by the staff from Building Code Services, Ottawa Fire Services, and Emergency Social Services, who will be on scene.