Extensive damage reported after two tornadoes touch down in LaSalle, Windsor
Two powerful tornadoes rocked the town of LaSalle and Windsor Essex on Wednesday night, but fortunately, no one was seriously hurt.
Shortly after 7 p.m. first witness reports of a tornado came across social media. The City of Windsor also says they received reports of a Tornado around 7:10 p.m. Environment Canada issued a tornado warning for the region at 7:28 p.m.
Strong winds and rain hit an area at Front Road and Victory Street in LaSalle and further north to an area around E.C Row and Central Avenue to Lauzon Road in Windsor.
LaSalle resident Tina Beneteau says the powerful storm came through very quickly, and uprooted several trees in her yard.
Another resident, Tom Greer, says he was on his back porch watching the storm when he saw funnel clouds forming, “something he’s never seen before. “
After the storm hit, residents walked around the neighborhood to assess the damage and shared stories about running into the basement to take shelter.
An assessment team from Environment Canada says preliminary data suggests two tornadoes touched down in the area after surveying the damage and speaking with eyewitnesses on Thursday.
Team Leader Mitch Meredith suggests at least a F1 tornado hit LaSalle, near Victory Street and Front Road, and a F2 tornado hit Windsor near E-C Row between Walker Road and Central Avenue.
Arnold Ashton at Environment Canada says the storm gave “zero warning” as it hit a marina first before moving through LaSalle and into Windsor.
Damage is extensive. Trees were uprooted, tree branches and hydro lines were knocked to the ground. Several homes, businesses and vehicles were damaged. Guardrails along E.C Row were twisted metal and lifted a hundred metres away. There was even a transport truck lifted off its side at Lauzon and Hawthorne, and was left leaning on a van and light standard.
LaSalle Fire Chief Dave Sutton says there were no injuries.
Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens quickly called a news conference Wednesday night and announced three residents were sent to hospital with minor injuries.
The mayor also announced 15 homes in Windsor sustained damage, and most of the damage occurred around North Service Road South between Howard and Lauzon Parkway.
The city actually had to close a section of EC Row overnight to allow public works crews to clean up debris after the storm, it has since reopened.
As for those Windsor residents without electricity, the mayor reports Enwin anticipates having power restored to most customers by 8 a.m. Thursday.
Transit Windsor was without power at the central depot, and the mayor was concerned it would affect rides for up to 48 hours. But Dilkens tweeted just before Midnight that power had been restored.
The area around Front Road and Victory Street in LaSalle remains blocked off as crews clean up debris and also restore electricity to the neighbourhood.
The areas that sustained the greatest damage were near the EC Row Expressway, including Riberdy Road, Kautex Drive, Deziel Drive, and North Service Road.
According to stats from Environment Canada, the last recorded tornado in Windsor Essex was an F0 tornado that hit Amherstburg on July 23rd, 2010. There were no injuries reported.
An F1 tornado that hit Leamington in June 2010. It caused major damage. One person was injured.
The same stats show the last deadly tornado to hit the region was April 3rd, 1974. Eight people died, and a ninth victim died days later in hospital 30 people were injured. The damage was estimated at $1.8-million.