Wind in Hamilton leaves thousands without power

Parts of James Baptist Church blew to the ground downtown while power failures and flying debris caused problems across the city.

Wind gusts reached 94 km/h at 6 p.m. at the airport: Environment Canada

The picture was tweeted out of a shopping cart shelter being blown onto a car at Eastgate Square. (Twitter)

Debris was strewn over many parts of the city and its outlying areas, including fences, tree branches, and a huge stained glass window from the old James Street Baptist Church as high winds hit the city Monday afternoon and evening.

Environment Canada warned of wind gusts up to 100 km/h. The agency captured wind gust speeds of 94 km/h at the Hamilton Munro International Airport at 6 p.m.

This map shows areas of power failures early Monday evening (Horizon Utilities)
As of 8:30 p.m. approximately 6,800 customers in the Hamilton and St. Catharines area were without power. Horizon had already restored power to approximately 4,000 customers. "Most of the outages related to the storm are caused by large trees or branches falling on hydro lines or striking transformers/poles," according to the utility's website.

There were are reports of roofs being blown off hangars at the Burlington airpark.

The fierce winds were driven by the arrival of a deep low pressure system over northeastern Ontario dragging a cold front across Southern Ontario. 

Horizon Utilities issued a tweet reminding people to stay clear of downed power lines and to be prepared in case they lose electricity during the weather event. 

Twitter user ScotsmanStuart posted a video of how the wind rearranged his backyard.

The heavy winds were set to calm late Monday evening or Tuesday morning, Environment Canada said.

In its place will be a far colder temperature, with a forecast high of 0 C and the possibility of flurries.

That will feel like quite the contrast after Monday, which became the warmest Nov. 24 on record as the temperature reached 16 C.

Previously, the historic high (since 1959) recorded at  John C. Munro International Airport was 15.8 C in 1999.

The lowest temperature on record for the airport was in 2005 with -11.1 C.

The record comes about a week after Hamilton set a cold record. On Nov. 18, temperatures dipped to -10.9 C. The previous record was -9.4 C set in 1959.

The next day, the city set a cold record again.

Strong winds knocked down trees on Hunter St. in Hamilton. (Bill Knott)