About 300 residents remain out of their homes after a tornado touched down in Angus earlier this week and officials say it is still too early to speculate on when they may be allowed to return.

Emergency crews have temporarily condemned 102 residences as building inspectors work to assess the structural integrity of each affected property, some of which are missing entire roofs and walls as a result of the storm.

The Angus Recreation Centre has been made available as a shelter, though so far all of the impacted residents have elected to stay with family, neighbours or friends instead.

“We want our residents in their homes as soon as they want to be in there but we need to make sure they are safe," Essa Township Mayor Terry Dowdall told reporters on Thursday morning. “We are just asking for the resident’s patience.”

The EF2 tornado touched down at around 5:20 p.m. Tuesday and lasted about a minute before making its way east towards Barrie.

Though the total damage caused by the storm has not been determined, OPP Const. Kelly Daniels told reporters Thursday that it is “definitely in the millions.”

“Yesterday was the first day we got the building inspectors on the ground and they are out there again today systematically going through every home, so we may have an idea later today as far as damage,” she said. “It’s definitely in the millions.”

Information on how to make a financial donation to help those impacted can be found here

Police escorting some residents into homes

When the tornado hit, many residents were forced to leave their homes with just the clothes on their back and some of them have not been able to return. .

As a result, emergency crews have now begun the process of escorting select residents back into their homes to get important medication or pets, though they are not at this point able to escort residence for the purpose of retrieving other personal property.

That process, which began yesterday and continued up until midnight, is expected to be completed later today.

“Because of the dangerousness with many of these buildings we have to follow certain protocols, so we have created extraction teams with police and fire volunteers and they are going in with one of the homeowners,” Daniels said. “Even just removing pets and medication is a detail in itself.”

Emergency crews will provide another update to residents at 4 p.m., though the meeting will not be open to media.

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