Watch video: Some Essa residents affected by the tornado are still learning to learn the fate of their home. Mark Carcasole reports.
TORONTO – Angus is still under a state of emergency Thursday afternoon after a tornado ripped through the small Ontario town on Tuesday.
The EF-2 tornado damaged over 100 houses, leaving frustrated residents unable to return home.
Town officials are still unable to say how much the cleanup will cost but estimate it will be in the millions. Angus Mayor Terry Dowdall said Wednesday he hopes the province will pay for some of the cost.
A local recreation centre was converted to a shelter for families while cleanup continues.
— Mark Carcasole (@MarkCarcGlobal) June 19, 2014
Amanda Leal lives in Angus and was given only minutes to go through her house Thursday and get whatever she needs for her family.
“You don’t know what to grab;you want to grab it all but you can’t. You’re worried about if it rains tomorrow, everything’s going to get wrecked. Stuff you don’t want to get wrecked, you grab and you don’t have enough hands, and you’re only given 15 minutes, so you’re pretty pressured.”
The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) have set up “extrication teams” to go into homes – it’s too dangerous for homeowners – and get anything left behind, including medicine, clothes or pets.
“We got in, got their pets and medications so we we’re able to appease them,” OPP Constable Kelly Daniels said. “We believe we finished up that process up to about noon today.”
Leal’s house isn’t condemned, but it’s badly damaged.
“It’s bad. It stinks, I guess it’s sewage and gas and everything. There’s people’s fences in my living room, stuff that’s not ours in my living room.”
Leal joked that at least she has some new skylights in her bedroom. She says a lot of people in the town have remained good-humoured about the situation despite the tremendous blow dealt to the town.
“I’m here, my kids are here. I’ll never forget this but this can be rebuilt and stuff can be replaced and I’m just glad that we’re all here, too. We’re safe and that’s all that matters. This really sucks that it happened but it can all be rebuilt.”
The tornado left some people with minor injuries, but no deaths have been reported as a result of the storm.
Insurance officials continue to survey the damaged town to determine which homes can still be lived in and which ones need to be completely rebuilt.
© Shaw Media, 2014