Damage reported across the GTA after storm hits southern Ontario
Joshua Freeman and Codi Wilson, CP24.com
Published Saturday, August 13, 2016 12:26PM EDT
Last Updated Sunday, August 14, 2016 12:05AM EDT
Flooding, damage and some power outages have been reported after a powerful summer storm drenched the GTA and much of southern Ontario.
A series of severe thunderstorm watches and warnings were issued by Environment Canada for the GTA and the rest of the province as the system moved through the region Saturday.
Thousands of hydro customers in the GTA were without power for several hours Saturday night following the storm.
Around 6,800 customers were initially without power in Toronto, Toronto Hydro said. In the Kleinburg area in Vaughan, close to 3,000 customers were without electricity, PowerStream said. However power was restored to all but a handful of customers in the GTA within several hours.
Heavy flooding was reported in some parts of the city as well and officials warned people to stay away from low-lying areas and water systems that may have swelled due to the heavy rains.
Images shared on social media from around the province showed localized flooding, downed trees and some damage.
There were also reports of tornadoes in some areas, including Oshawa and Brampton.
All severe thunderstorm watches and warnings ended for the GTA and most of southern Ontario by around 9:30 p.m.
Officials investigating possible tornadoes
While Environment Canada could not officially confirm that any tornadoes had touched down, one man told CP24 that his Brampton home near Dearbourne Boulevard and Deerfield Crescent was heavily damaged by the weather.
“When I came (home) I saw the roof was off, my whole patio set was gone,” the man said. “Right now my whole house is completely flooded inside with the rain. It’s coming down from all three levels – all the rooms are soaked.
“The shingles are all gone from the roof. My BBQ is in the neighbour’s yard. All the trees are down on the side of my neighbour too.”
In Oshawa, scattered mud and debris surrounded damaged homes and vehicles in one neigbourhood.
Environment Canada said it is investigating the scene to determine whether the damage was consistent with a tornado or a downburst.
No injuries were reported and all tornado watches and warnings had ended for the province by around 7 p.m.
Arnold Ashton, a meteorologist with Environment Canada, said the humidity over the past few days has played a role in the active weather.
“Partly from the humidity and warmth that we’ve had in the last few days has just built up to this intensity," he told CP24 Saturday. “North and northwest of the city, anywhere all the way from Brampton all the way to Grand Bend and Goderich have received some pretty significant rainfalls today.
“There has been a couple of bands of thunderstorms go through. We’ve had reports of up to 65 millimetres of rain in a couple of these swaths around Mount Forest, Goderich."
Heat warnings lifted:
The storms came as the GTA saw another sweltering day. A high of 30 C was predicted for today but temperatures felt closer to 40 with the humidity.
However a heat warning that had been in effect for Toronto and much of southern Ontario for several days was finally lifted by Environment Canada Saturday night.
Temperatures are expected to ease off to highs below 30 C for the next few days, the agency said. A high of 26 C is in the forecast for Toronto Sunday.