Thousands still without power after Friday storms
Sunday, July 21, 2013, 9:49 AM -
Thousands of people in Ontario and Quebec are without still without power as a result of the violent thunderstorms that swept the region and claimed one life on Friday.
Around 46,000 people still remained to be reconnected in Ontario according to Hydro One, down from a peak of more than 200,000, with some homes having to wait until Monday.
Quebec was hit even harder. From almost half a million people at the storm's worst on Friday, Hydro Quebec reports the number of outages was down to around 117,000 by 10:00 a.m. Sunday.
The rough storm system -- coming in as a cold front swept through the hot and humid air covering the two provinces -- is being blamed for at least one death, a 21-year-old woman who died when she was struck by a falling tree in Boucherville.
Severe thunderstorm warnings and watches blanketed both provinces, and several were upgraded to tornado warnings
In Ontario, more than 2.5 million people were at one point under a tornado warning of some kind, and several funnel clouds were reported.
But while very strong winds were reported in several areas -- the gusts of 119 km/h recorded at the Waterloo airport were equivalent to a low-level Category 1 hurricane -- Environment Canada investigators said the worst damages bore the hallmarks of powerful straightline winds, not tornadoes, although it said investigations continue.
The winds were powerful enough to overturn cars in the Gravenhurst area, and blow down trees and powerlines provincewide, including the historic tree that is said to have inspired the early Canadian patriotic song "The Maple Leaf Forever."
In Quebec, similar damages were reported, along with roof damage to the hospital in Chicoutimi. The strong winds were also partly blamed for a fire at the Hebertville city hall.
Like their counterparts in Ontario, however, Quebec investigators had not confirmed any tornadoes by Sunday morning.
Here's how the storms played out on social media: