Tornado hits Camden East, Ont. causing severe damage

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A tornado ravaged the village of Camden East, Ont., on Sunday afternoon, leaving residents picking up the pieces.

According to Environment Canada, the tornado touched down at around 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, sparking a warning for the region.

Surveillance footage obtained by Global News shows the tornado ripping through the core of the village at 2:34 p.m. — tearing the roof off a child care centre. It landed in the McCormick’s Country Store parking lot.

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Lindsay Noyes, the co-owner of McCormick’s Country Store, says she was in her office when the tornado touched down, and she grabbed the wall as the building began to vibrate. Soon after the storm passed, she quickly looked outside and saw the severe damage the tornado left in its wake.

“Power lines were down. The roof of the Camden Daycare was up against the store, and my car was totalled,” Noyes said.

Noyes provided several photos of the damage.

Lindsay Noyes
Lindsay Noyes
Lindsay Noyes
Lindsay Noyes

The damage did not stop at McCormick’s Country store. The storm also pulled large trees from the ground. They fell on nearby cars.

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“The tree came down and damaged this whole side and ripped the door right off,” said Ken Assentine, a Camden East resident.

“I’ve never heard winds that loud before,” said Moira Sickling, a Camden East resident.

She saw the trees moving back and forth shortly after 2 p.m. and debris scattering from yard to yard. Sickling’s property was damaged by winds with branches snapping off nearby trees, she said.

“I saw all the leaves and the debris, and I thought it was a wind devil, but I realized it was a tornado.”

Peter Kimbell, an Environment Canada warning preparedness meteorologist based in Ottawa, confirmed the tornado caused damage in Camden East, northwest of Kingston, at around 2:30 p.m., just before the agency issued a tornado watch for some areas.

“There were 20 to 30 trees uprooted or damaged, a roof of the house removed or partly removed, and parts of a few other houses partly removed or partly damaged,” Kimbell said of the damage in Camden East.

According to Kimbell, Sunday’s storm was classified as an EF0, which is a low-intensity tornado with winds topping out at 130km/h.

Global News spoke to dozens of locals, and many said they had never experienced a storm quite like Sundays, but many say it has brought the community closer together, as they work to clear the mess left behind.

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Noyes said the tornado is the talk of the village.

“We’re in this Together. This is the biggest thing to happen to Camden East,” said Noyes.