Skip to main content

Snapped trees and down power lines lay on the ground in Uxbridge, Ont., on May 24.Jon Blacker/The Canadian Press

Environment Canada says a tornado touched down in Uxbridge, Ont., during the destructive storm that swept across province over the weekend.

The weather agency says Western University’s Northern Tornadoes Project team, which it has a relationship with, confirmed an EF2 tornado hit Uxbridge around 1:15 p.m. on Saturday with a maximum wind speed of 195 kilometres per hour.

The same team confirmed that maximum winds of 190 kilometres per hour hit southern Ottawa.

Environment Canada says the tornado in Uxbridge was embedded in the edge of a derecho – a widespread windstorm associated with a line of thunderstorms – that developed near Sarnia, Ont., and moved northeastward across the province.

At least 10 people died and three communities – including Uxbridge – declared states of emergency after the storm felled trees, brought down power lines and damaged property.

Peter Kimbell, a warning preparedness meteorologist with Environment Canada, said the “vast majority” of the damage seen on Saturday was caused by the derecho.

“The damage started in Sarnia, went across the GTA, into eastern Ontario, including Ottawa and then southern Quebec,” he said in an interview.

“All along that track, that very long track, the damage was extensive.”

Kimbell said derechos are “fairly unusual” in Canada, with the last significant one in 1999.

“They’re very rare,” he said.

More than 98,000 Hydro One customers are still without power and Hydro Ottawa says it is working on restoring power to approximately 65,000 customers.

In Ottawa, a local school board reopened schools that had power this morning, though dozens remain closed. The Ottawa Carleton District School Board had closed all schools on Tuesday as the city dealt with the aftermath of the storm.

In Durham Region, three schools remain closed due to the impact of the storm while five others reopened today after power was restored.

Our Morning Update and Evening Update newsletters are written by Globe editors, giving you a concise summary of the day’s most important headlines. Sign up today.