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Estimated damage from Barrie-area tornadoes increased to $100 million

Saturday, October 30th 2021, 6:30 pm - The storms injured 10 people and damaged 71 homes so badly they were considered uninhabitable.

The powerful tornadoes that rolled through southern Ontario in mid-July, including the one that severely impacted a neighbourhood in Barrie, did an estimated $100 million in insured damages, according to updated assessments.

The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) released the numbers based on data from Catastrophe Indices and Quantification Inc. (CatIQ). The new estimates are $25 million higher than previous tallies.

The storms of July 15th were very severe. The tornado that struck Barrie was one of six, all rated EF-2 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale. Other communities impacted were Innisfil, Kawartha Lakes, Little Britain, Manilla, Lindsay and Lake of Bays.

The storms resulted in 10 hospitalizations, and damaged 71 homes so badly they were considered uninhabitable. In all, the IBC says they resulted in 2,200 claims.


"We are seeing some delays due to supply chain shortages caused by the pandemic. We ask for your patience and that you work closely with your insurer," Kim Donaldson, the IBC's vice-president for Ontario, said in a release.

The past sweltering summer in Ontario fuelled its share of severe weather. Earlier in the week, the IBC estimated two storms in September, one on the 7th, the other on the 22nd, together did a combined total of $105 million in insured damages. The September 7th outbreak included five tornadoes, and both sets of storms left tens of thousands of people without power.

"More can be done to prevent damage and injuries from severe wind events, including EF-0 to 2 tornadoes, the most common in Canada, through very low-cost and effective changes to national and provincial building codes," Donaldson said.

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