Environment Canada has confirmed a tornado touched down during a severe storm that swept across Trois-Rivières, Que., on Sunday night.
The F-0 tornado uprooted trees, shattered car windows and damaged roofs when it ripped through the Saint-Therese neighbourhood in the city, located about two hours northeast of Montreal, just after 7 p.m.
An F-0 tornado is considered the weakest on the Fujita scale, which measures a storm’s intensity. However, winds can still reach between 120 and 130 km/h.
"There were a few clues indicating it was in fact a tornado," André Cantin, a meteorologist with Environment Canada, told a press conference Monday morning.
Residents described seeing rotating clouds that developed quickly. The mud left against the houses and the pattern of downed trees also pointed to a twister, he said.
More than 70 homes were damaged in the storm. No injuries were reported.
"People were responsible – they took action," said Trois-Rivières Mayor Yves Lévesque.
"People were outside having barbeques, some were working on their houses. When they saw the black cloud coming in, they decided to go inside the house."
The city spent Monday cleaning up debris scattered by the tornado and verifying that homes remained structurally sound.
The mayor said the government has a program set up to assist residents with damages not covered by their insurance companies.