Seven years since Canada's most powerful tornado
Sunday, June 22, 2014, 2:11 PM -
It was the most powerful tornado to ever ravage Canada. And it killed not a single soul.
The massive tornado that touched down near the Manitoba town of Elie on June 22, 2007, was Canada's first - and, to date, only - F5 twister ever observed here, with a top wind speed estimated between 420 and 510 km/h.
Luckily a series of factors contrived to make sure that no one was killed. Although the powerful tornado was 300 m wide and stayed on the ground for 35 minutes, it moved very slowly, tracking only 5.5 km.
And at the time, many residents were out of town at a high school ceremony, and those that remained were well-drilled in tornado survival techniques, quickly taking cover and staying there until it was safe.
Had things been different, it would have been worse. This look-back from Environment Canada says the twister's incredible winds were enough to pick up an entire house and carry it hundreds of metres through the air before it disintegrated. Utility poles were cut down and bark was sandblasted off of trees.
It was part of an outbreak that saw eight tornadoes in one weekend for Manitoba, including a powerful F3 near the town of Oakville.
Though not as powerful as the Elie twister, its still-strong winds did massive damage.
The outbreak snapped hundreds of hydro poles, damaged around 1,000 cottages and sent three people to hospital.
Canada switched from the Fujita scale to the Enhanced Fujita scale in 2013, but the new scale is only applied to new tornadoes.
FLASH FORWARD: The 2014 tornado season is in full swing. An EF-2 damaged several homes in Angus, Ont. on Tuesday. See it below.