July 12, 2019 9:53 am
Updated: July 12, 2019 5:20 pm

Cleanup begins after tornado strikes Quebec

WATCH: A category EF-1 tornado touched down at the Horizon Campground in Saint-Roche-de-L'Achigan, overturning cars and toppling trailers. As Global's Phil Carpenter explains, it's a miracle no one was killed.

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Environment Canada has confirmed a tornado touched down in a campground north of Montreal as a powerful summer storm swept through Quebec Thursday evening.

The tornado knocked over trailers, tore down power lines and damaged several buildings in Saint-Roch-de-l’Achigan in Lanaudière, located about 50 kilometres north of Montreal.

READ MORE: Summer storm leaves thousands without power in southern Quebec

As the storm descended on the area, resident Robert Desnoyers says he closed his home’s door just in time. As he waited out the rain, he heard trees fall around him.

“All hell broke loose,” he said. 

Environment Canada says the tornado checked in as an EF1, with winds between 135 and 175 kilometres per hour. One person was injured after strong winds caused the trailer he was in to roll over.

“We are seeing a lot of damage, caused mainly by winds,” said meteorologist Simon Legault.

The tornado touched down in Saint-Roch-de-l’Achigan in Lanaudière, located about 50 kilometres north of Montreal.

Phil Carpenter/Global News

The Camping Horizon campground, which houses 180 seasonal sites and 35 weekend sites, sustained the heaviest damage in the area.

Alex Caron, who owns the campground, says this weekend’s reservations are cancelled as a result.

“People were scared, now they’re looking at the damages and people are pretty distraught because it’s part of their life, these trailers, it becomes their residence in the summer and some people have lost them completely,” he said.

WATCH: Some residents of NDG were left to clean up after a powerful storm blew through Montreal Thursday night. As Global’s Brittany Henriques reports, tree limbs fell and some cars were damaged.


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Power outages across the province

Neighbourhoods across southern Quebec are cleaning up following a powerful summer storm that downed trees and knocked out power for thousands.

Heavy rain and strong winds hit several regions, including Montreal, the Montérégie and the Outaouais.

Hydro-Québec reported more than 105,000 clients were in the dark at the height of the thunderstorms on Thursday evening. Geneviève Chouinard, spokesperson for the public utility, said broken tree branches came into contact with wires.

As of 2 p.m., nearly 6,400 clients are still without power.

READ MORE: How to prevent basement flooding after a heavy rainfall

In Montreal, residents in the Notre-Dame-de-Grâce neighbourhood are picking up after the storm swept through the area. Trees come crashing down on Prince-of-Wales Street — but the branch that fell on Bill Irwin’s lawn narrowly missed the vehicle in his driveway.

“I knew that that side of the tree was a little weaker,” he said. “We made a mental note not to park under it my wife’s car, it was parked immediately adjacent to it. It missed the car by a couple of feet.”

A spokesperson for the Côte-des-Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce borough says crews have been cleaning up damaged trees around homes and parks since the storm.

The summer storm also led to flight delays. The Montreal Trudeau International Airport said a lightning alert disrupted aircraft flight schedules, ground operations and baggage deliveries.

WATCH: Strong winds and heavy rain hit Montreal

— With files from Global News’ Phil Carpenter, Brittany Henriques and The Canadian Press

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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