Warning: Some of the videos in the article contain graphic language.
As residents in a south Barrie neighbourhood begin the work of fixing their properties after a tornado ripped through the area, pictures and videos posted on social media Thursday afternoon vividly illustrate the damage left behind by the storm system.
The storm moved through the region before 3 p.m., prompting Environment Canada to issue tornado warnings for many communities near Lake Simcoe. Nine people were reported to have received minor injuries.
Here are some of the most compelling images shared so far:
Instagram user splendahearn captured the moment power was knocked out at a building before briefly looking outside and getting a clear image of the twister.
“Oh my God I’ve never seen anything like this in my life,” the person recording can be heard saying before the video ends.
On Facebook, user Sophie Vienneau posted a video appearing to show the moment she got surrounded by the storm while in a vehicle.
“I always wanted to see a tornado, but never in my life did I want to be in it!” the post said.
“I’m safe — a little shook up, but I’m OK.”
Twitter user @Ray4Eternity posted a video filmed from inside a home showing the storm from a distance.
After realizing that a tornado was nearby, the person recording runs into the basement along with other people in the house.
After the storm passed through the city, images were posted online showing the damage that was left behind.
Twitter user Edward Loveless posted a wide image of a neighbourhood that had homes with damaged roofs and debris scattered throughout yards and a road.
“Long swath of damage,” the tweet said.
On Facebook, Natalie Harris, who is also a city councillor, recorded the immediate aftermath after the storm hit a home that she was in.
“The roof is gone!” she says.
Debris is seen throughout the home and after Harris opens the front door, houses along the street could be seen with severe damage.
Wood, bricks, insulation are seen scattered throughout the driveway and road.
“We went in the basement and probably 30 seconds later, not even, we could hear it was hitting the house and we just held on to each other,” Harris later told Global News.
“A whole bunch of dust and everything started coming down the stairs so I knew the house was probably hit pretty hard, but I had no idea that I was going to walk upstairs and see the sky and the entire second floor is pretty much gone.”
A picture posted by Twitter user Ayres appeared to show a trailer flipped upside down on a driveway.
Brandon Vieira posted photos showing a flipped-over vehicle and partially collapsed homes.
Emergency crews continue to respond to the damage in Barrie.
For those who need assistance, officials encouraged people to go to St. Gabriel the Archangel Catholic School on Prince William Way where a command centre was established.
— With files from Nick Westoll