Angus tornado reaction: 'Imagine the top half of your home in your backyard'
Thursday, June 19, 2014, 8:50 - Clean-up and recovery continues as Angus residents pick up the pieces from Tuesday's severe storms.
An EF-2 tornado, with wind speeds up to 220 km/h, ripped through the small community about 100 km north of Toronto Tuesday evening.
A state of emergency was declared and about 100 homes were damaged.
"I saw like a white puff in the sky and then my heart started racing. And when everything was all over I started to cry, " said Logan Keating, a child of the Angus neighbourhood.
Roof and second story off. Major damage here in Angus pic.twitter.com/uXik3A2aUo— Mark Robinson (@StormhunterTWN) June 18, 2014
The Weather Network's Rachel Schoutsen was covering the storm's aftermath Wednesday and says children were still playing soccer on the streets and couples still enjoyed an evening walk with their dog; even though their neighbourhood was filled with media and police tape.
"Roofless homes, ripped open bedrooms and scattered debris was the scene on Stonemount Crescent," Schoutsen said. "And with conditions like these evacuations could be a while."
Essa Township Mayor Terry Dowdall says officials are working as quickly as possible to assess the damage so people can enter their homes to get needed belongings.
Police officials say the priority right now is to ensure homes are safe enough for residents to return to pick up necessary items like medication.
Residents are expected to get another update from officials on the status of their damaged homes Thursday afternoon.
"Having some time to think and reflect upon what happened, I think reality is finally hitting the residents of Angus," Schoutsen says. "Many commented about their fear as the tornado touched down and how awful it is for their neighbours who are left with only half a home and are forced to evacuate."
"I knew I had to get into the basement, one woman said. "We were actually watching The Weather Network, and when the watch turned into the warning, I looked outside, the sky was actually green. I grabbed my son and ran."
"We were terrified," said Taylor Clarke, another Angus resident. "We could hear debris flying around. Our patio furniture was all thrown around and we still can not find our backyard trampoline."
When asked to describe what the tornado was like, many said it made a distinct "wooshing" sound as it approached.
"I was in my bedroom fixing a ceiling fan and all of a sudden mine and my buddies ears popped," said resident Buzz Scotch. "It was unusual. And then minutes later the tornado hit."
"The sound was incredible. It actually hurt our ears," adds Candice, a home owner on Stonemount Cres. "It was also astonishing to see perfectly untouched homes next to ones that were completely demolished."
Despite being shaken by this extreme weather event, no serious injuries were reported.
Many residents remain positive and are thankful for neighbours helping to restore fences, sift through debris and keep an eye on evacuated homes for security purposes.
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The storm also cut power to thousands of residents in southern and eastern Ontario as heavy downpours, gusty winds and frequent downpours were reported.
Hydro crews are asking people to stay away from downed power lines as they could be live and dangerous.
"There were also reports of funnel clouds from trained spotters in the Highway 401 and 402 areas near Woodstock Tuesday afternoon," EC adds. "Another trained spotter reported a possible tornado north of Walkerton and Hanover early Tuesday afternoon, but to date, no damage reports have been received."
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Earlier in the day, four golfers were struck by lightning on a course near Stouffville, north of Toronto.
A 60-year-old man sustained critical injuries while officials say the other three victims are in stable condition.