TORONTO – A thunderstorm that swept through Ontario on Saturday nearly packed a tornado, killing at least two people and leaving parts of Canada’s most populous province without power, authorities said.
The storm uprooted many trees, disrupted traffic and damaged homes, flooding emergency workers. Police say one died and two others were injured after a tree fell on their camping trailer in Brant County, southern Ontario, while a 70-year-old woman died after being struck by a tree during a thunderstorm.
Hydro One Limited, Ontario’s largest utility, said more than 340,000 customers were without power due to the severe storm, with additional resources deployed to recover power from the massive loss. Ontario is home to about 40% of Canada’s 38.2 million population.
Emergency operations have been activated to assess land damage and threats, said Jim Watson, mayor of the Canadian capital, Ottawa.
Environment Canada, which has issued a severe thunderstorm mobile alert, said wind gusts of up to 132 kilometers per hour were measured at the top in some parts.
Residents took to social media to post pictures of the devastating storm that had been raging for more than two hours. (Editing by Nick Jiminsky Reporting by Danny Thomas)