Ont. tornado 'a tragedy': Goodyear
Environment Canada upgrades tornado's strength
Federal Minister of State Gary Goodyear visited the tornado-torn town of Leamington, Ont., Wednesday morning but offered no emergency funding to help clean up.
Goodyear toured a damaged greenhouse, subdivision, community park and municipal marina.
|Canada's deadliest tornadoes|
|Regina, Sask.||June 30, 1912||28 dead, hundreds injured|
|Edmonton, Alta.||July 31, 1987||27 dead, hundreds injured|
|Windsor, Ont.||June 17, 1946||17 dead, hundreds injured|
|Pine Lake, Alta.||July 14, 2000||12 dead, 140 injured|
|Windsor, Ont.||April 3, 1974||9 dead, 30 injured|
|Valleyfield, Que.||Aug. 16, 1888||9 dead, 14, injured|
|Barrie, Ont.||May 31, 1985||8 dead, 155 injured|
|Sudbury, Ont.||Aug. 20, 1970||6 dead, 200 injured|
|St-Rose, Que.||June 14, 1892||6 dead, 6 injured|
|Buctouche, N.B.||Aug. 6, 1879||5 dead, 10 injured|
|Source: Environment Canada|
"It's very distressing," Goodyear said. "Some of these things won't be replaced easily and that's a tragedy.
"The good news is most of what's occurred here can be replaced."
Town officials were working on an estimate of damage, to be used to apply for emergency funding from the federal and provincial governments.
Goodyear said it would be up to the provincial government to apply to the federal government for emergency funding.
"These issues are a provincial lead," he said.
Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty is scheduled to visit the area Wednesday evening.
Many of those living in the tornado zone told CBC News they are frustrated with curious onlookers who have been treating their properties like a tourist attraction.
Experts now believe the tornado, which ripped right across Essex County in southwestern Ontario, was stronger than originally thought.
Environment Canada has upgraded the twister from an F1 to an F2, meaning it generated winds between 180 and 220 km/h.
Tornadoes are measured on a scale from mild (F0) to severe (F5).
After analyzing damage, Environment Canada says the tornado hit Leamington hard, but first touched down southeast of Harrow, Ont.
Investigators found a two-storey brick house there that had shifted on its foundation, a destroyed barn and large pieces of debris that had been tossed several hundred metres.
From Harrow, the twister likely travelled over Lake Erie, before coming on shore and hitting the south side of Leamington.
By the time it arrived there, it had weakened to an F1.
The swath of destruction stretched for 40 kilometres and was up to 250 metres wide.
|Intensity||Wind speed||Type of damage|
|F0||64-116 km/h||Damage to trees, shingles, antennas and windows.|
|F1||117-180 km/h||Trees uprooted, cars overturned.|
|F2||181-252 km/h||Roofs blown off homes, sheds destroyed, mobile homes flipped.|
|F3||253-330 km/h||Walls, roofs destroyed, metal buildings collapsed, forests destroyed.|
|F4||331-417 km/h||Well-built homes mostly destroyed, heavy objects thrown long distances.|
|F5||418-508 km/h||Homes destroyed and/or blown great distances, roofs blown off larger structures, which are otherwise heavily damaged.|
With files from The Canadian Press