Possible tornado hits several New Brunswick towns
Vehicles, buildings damaged as reports of sightings pour in
Posted: Jul 21, 2013 5:49 AM ET
Last Updated: Jul 21, 2013 5:20 PM ET
People in several communities east of Oromocto, N.B., are assessing the damage after they say a tornado pushed vehicles and destroyed a garage Saturday night.
Environment Canada is investigating the possibility that a tornado hit several small communities in the Grand Lake area around 7:30 p.m.
A spokesperson from the weather centre said the first report came from a fire department in Cambridge Narrows. People reported hearing a whistling in their ears.
A dump truck, barn and vehicle were blown the length of a football field and giant trees were uprooted.
Witnesses saw a funnel cloud take shape just before high winds tore the roof off a nearby barn.
“We saw that get lifted about 1,000 feet into the air and blown to pieces. We knew it was pretty serious then,” said Matt Rideout. "Not a regular windstorm is going to lift a 60 by 40 roof up into the sky 1,000 feet and demolish it."
Rideout and friend Alex Hache filmed the twister touching down on Washademoak Lake, about 30 minutes outside of Fredericton.
"Well it was just kind of amazing that we had a chance to see it happening, really,” said Rideout.
In Jemseg, police reported to Environment Canada that there was a possible sighting of a twister that left minor damage.
Environment Canada said New Brunswick's Emergency Measures Organization is investigating a third report in the Grand Lake area.
CBC also heard from a woman in Whites Cove who said her neighbour's barn and garage were destroyed by a tornado.
"It was wild to see what had happened with buildings destroyed and huge trees in pieces," said Carol Dixon, who has a cottage in the area.
There were no reports of injuries.
Environment Canada meteorologist Steve Hatt says Hideout and Hache's video is pretty persuasive.
"It kind of confirms that it was a tornado but we're not willing to confirm it from Environment Canada at this time," he said.
Environment Canada said it will send a team to New Brunswick early this week to assess the damage and determine if the severe storm was a tornado. If so, they'll also be able to confirm its intensity on the Enhanced Fujita tornado damage scale.Video courtesy of Alex Hache