Southern Ontario and Quebec are cleaning up after severe storms swept across central Canada Friday, killing one person, injuring many others and leaving thousands without power.
The thunderstorms produced strong winds, hail and reports of a few tornadoes. Trees were felled and buildings damaged across a large portion of southern Ontario, from the Niagara region to the Ottawa area, and across southern Quebec. The Montreal region also experienced some flooding after nearly 30 millimetres of rain fell in just 15 minutes.
Tornado warnings gripped both provinces, but none are confirmed to have struck. Wind gusts blew up to 100 km/h in some parts of Ontario and Environment Canada is investigating reports of funnel clouds near Barrie and Bradford, Ont.
The 21-year-old woman died after she was struck by a falling tree branch at a pool in Boucherville, Que., on Montreal's south shore. A six-year-old boy and a 40-year-old woman were also hurt and another eight children were injured in Prevost, north of Montreal, when a tent at a day camp came down on its occupants.
Hydro-Québec said more than 230,000 customers were without power as of Saturday afternoon, a lower number than the 400,000 customers without power late Friday night in the wake of severe storms.
Hydro Quebec said the area around Montreal would likely have power back by the end of the weekend, but other areas, such as the City of Laval and regions further north, could have to wait considerably longer.
The severe weather led to flight delays and cancellations at Montreal's Trudeau airport.
- Quebec woman, 21, killed as storm knocks down tree branch
- Historic tree brought down by powerful storm
As of Saturday evening, 93,000 Ontarians were without power, down from over 195,000 Friday night.
"Our crews are out in full force clearing trees and rebuilding the distribution system to get power flowing and we appreciate our customers’ patience," said Hydro One Vice-President Len Len McMillan.
Another 700 Toronto residents are still in the dark, and Toronto Hydro said on their Twitter page that large areas were restored overnight and crews were not focused on smaller streets and houses.
Environment Canada attributed the damage to a "vigorous cold front" out of the northwest.
The government agency said in a statement there were reports of significant hail, structural damage, funnel clouds and damaging winds.
Also in Toronto, the aged silver maple said to have inspired the anthem The Maple Leaf Forever was felled by severe winds.
A nearby plaque in the city's Leslieville neighborhood says the tree's falling leaves inspired Alexander Muir, a school principal, to write the song in 1867, the year of Confederation.
Quebec and Ontario had suffered intense heat and humidity over the past week, with temperatures in the 30s and humidex values easily in the 40s. But there is some relief with the temperature following the storms, as much of the humidity has dissipated.