'Like a war zone:' Tornado shown touching down in Uxbridge in new video footage
Published Friday, May 27, 2022 11:57AM EDT
Last Updated Friday, May 27, 2022 4:38PM EDT
New video has emerged showing the moment a tornado touched down in Uxbridge over the weekend, ripping the roof off a local brewery in the process.
The footage was captured by several cameras attached to a Tesla that was parked outside the Second Wedge Brewery on Victoria Street.
It shows the sky quickly darkening as the EF2 tornado first touched down in the area on Saturday afternoon.
A camera positioned at the rear of the vehicle initially shows heavy winds pummeling a tent that had been set up outside the brewery, tearing up the canopy and bending the metal frame.
Then within seconds a stream of debris, including what appears to be lumber and insulation from the brewery’s roof, starts to fly through a shot captured by a front facing camera.
The whole thing unfolds over about two minutes of footage and by the time it is done you can see another parked vehicle with at least two broken windows and a mound of debris in the foreground.
The Toronto resident, whose vehicle captured the footage, told CP24.com that he had just arrived at the brewery with his wife and seven-month-old son when the rain started falling.
He said that he did get the emergency alert warning of approaching thunderstorms on his phone but was seated inside and wasn’t particularly concerned at first.
The situation, however, quickly changed.
“The rain started to pick up quite heavily and as the staff was closing the bay doors at the front of the building I looked over at my wife and said ‘Wow, it is coming down really heavy.’ A second or two later it had picked up to the point that it wasn’t a ‘oh wow’, it was an ‘oh no.,’” Chris Kreasul said. “We were going to relocate to the back off the bar. We got two steps away from the table we were sitting at and then there was a really loud cracking sound. My wife turned around to protect our seven-month old son from the glass shattering from the windows and I bear hugged them, covered them up and covered my head. I just waited it out as all the debris from the roof fell on top of me.”
Saturday’s storm caused widespread damage throughout Uxbridge, prompting the town to declare a state of emergency.
Environment Canada has previously said that the tornado was embedded within the leading edge of a derecho, which is a widespread and long-lived windstorm associated with a line of thunderstorms.
At one point a maximum wind speed of 195 kilometres per hour was recorded.
“It was like a war zone,” Kreasul said of the scene outside the brewery after the storm passed. “There was downed tress everywhere, debris of all kinds all over the place, the roof from the brewery was missing and across the parking lot on top of two vehicles. It just didn’t look like the same place as it was when we got there.”
Kreasul said that he didn’t actually think to check the video footage from his Tesla until a few days after the tornado, as he was pretty shaken up by what transpired.
He said that while his car was “beaten up” with a cracked windshield and a damage roof, he was able to drive his family home to Toronto following the storm.
More importantly, he said that nobody was injured.
“It is a miracle we got away as well as we did. Looking at the video I can’t believe nobody was seriously hurt,” he said.
The co-founder of the brewery told CTV News Toronto earlier this week that the business could be closed for upwards of a year due to the damage
The brewery is one of at least 35 properties in Uxbridge that was heavily damaged as a result of the storm.