Environment Canada confirms tornado touched down in Saint-Julien
Several communities across the province were cleaning up on Thursday after violent storms swept across much of southern Quebec on Wednesday afternoon.
In Montreal, downed branches caused widespread power outages. At its peak, about 100,000 Hydro-Québec clients on the island of Montreal were without electricity.
In Saint-Julien, a small community near Thetford Mines, one home was completely flattened at around 2:15 p.m. on Tuesday.
There were no reports of injuries, as no one was inside the home at the time.
Officials with Environment Canada were on site Wednesday morning to assess the situation.
Alexandre Parent, a meteorologist with the weather agency, confirmed the destruction was caused by a tornado.
“There’s a mobile home that was moved by approximately 20 to 30 metres and completely destroyed near the centre of the path of the tornado,” Parent said.
“We have concluded that it is an EF2 tornado that touched down.”
Tornadoes are rated according to the Enhanced Fujita scale, which measures the intensity of wind damage. The scale goes from zero to five.
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An EF2 tornado has wind speeds reaching between 180 and 220 kilometres an hour.
“An EF2 tornado is relatively rare in Quebec,” Parent said, adding that EF0 and EF1 tornadoes are more common.
Environment Canada said the tornado had a swath of around 100 to 200 square metres and while a few buildings in the town sustained damage it was the surrounding forest where the wind really wreaked havoc.
“It’s pretty impressive to see trees with diamteres of 25 to 30 centimetres completely snapped or broken,” Parent said. “In some areas, there is five to 10 per cent trees remaining. All the other trees are down.”
“It’s quite impressive to see how nature can be powerful in these events,” Parent concluded.
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