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Canada's only F5 tornado destroyed areas in Elie, Manitoba

Wednesday, June 22nd 2022, 4:40 am - On this day in weather history, a tornado hit Elie, Manitoba.

This Day In Weather History is a daily podcast by Chris Mei from The Weather Network, featuring stories about people, communities and events and how weather impacted them.


On Friday, June 22, 2007, a tornado touched down in Elie, Manitoba. This is Canada's only F5 tornado. Environment Canada (EC) used to use the Fujita scale, which was introduced in 1971. In 2013, EC started to use the Enhanced Fujita (EF) scale, so the Elie tornado is the only F5 to hit Canada.

twister elie Courtesy of TWN

On that Friday, at approximately 6:25 p.m., the tornado touched down near the Trans-Canada Highway. It moved toward the southeast where it sucked in a tractor-trailer. The tornado headed south and caused $1 million worth of damage to the town's flour mill.

twister elie Courtesy of TWN

The twister raged southeast and destroyed four houses and flipped cars. It tossed a Chrysler Fifth Avenue onto a roof. The tornado continued in the same area for around four minutes before it dissipated. It lasted for about 49 minutes.

Overall, the Elie tornado travelled 6 km and was up to 300 m wide.

elie twister Courtesy of TWN

The next day, EC surveyed the damage. It was originally rated as an F4 but was upgraded to an F5 on Sept. 18, 2007. The United States had already adopted the EF scale and had recorded one EF5 tornado that season (in Greensburg, Kansas, on May 4, 2007). So the Elie tornado was one of two F5 or EF5s that occurred that year. It's also one of nine of that intensity to land in North America between 1999 and 2011.

elie twister Courtesy of TWN

The residents of Elie were ready for the tornado and were able to capture video. One video showed a two-story home ripped from its foundation and thrown 75 feet in the air before it was obliterated by the tornado.

elie twsiter Courtesy of TWN

No one was killed or injured. The tornado caused $39 million in damages.

To learn more about the Elie tornado, listen to today's episode of "This Day In Weather History."

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Thumbnail: Courtesy of TWN

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