'Significant progress' being made in Barrie, Ont. tornado cleanup and recovery, city says

The city of Barrie said it's made 'significant progress' in cleaning up the tornado that hit a neighbourhood in the city's southeast. Help remains available for affected residents as emergency crews clean up the roads.

Devastated area remains restricted to residents as work continues, the city says

Residents, city crews, and emergency personnel have been cleaning the tornado-affected neighbourhood in Barrie all weekend. (Martin Trainor/CBC)

The city of Barrie says "significant progress" is being made on the cleanup and recovery of a neighbourhood devastated by last Thursday's tornado.

The EF-2 tornado tore through a neighbourhood in the city's southeast end, wrecking several homes in the Mapleview Drive and Prince William Way area.

As a result, 10 people were sent to hospital, around 150 homes were damaged, while at least 71 homes were deemed unsafe to enter due to the extent of damage.

In a news release on Sunday, the city said all public lands — roads, sidewalks, boulevards, and parks — in the affected are will be cleaned by the end of Sunday.

Barrie police will "release" the tornado-affected site at 12 noon on Monday, July 19. That means that restrictions on entering the neighbourhood will be lifted.

Entrance into the area remains restricted to property owners. The cleanup of any private property requires consent of the owner, the city said.

The Ontario Ministry of Labour is at the site to ensure working conditions are safe because several buildings remain hazardous.

Residents who want to help in recovery must wait until the area has been released by police. There is a no parking order in place for the affected area to enable overnight street cleaning.

More donations, volunteers not needed, city says

Tow trucks are being brought in to remove damaged vehicles.

The city's information centre is located at a trailer at Saint Gabriel the Archangel Catholic School and it will remain on site for the time being. 

The community received an outpouring of support through donations and volunteers over the weekend. The city sought the assistance of the Salvation Army to coordinate donations.

Donations and volunteers are not required at this time, the city said. The Salvation Army will scale down the resident resource centre over the next few days.

Donating through the Salvation Army best way to help affected communities, the city said.

Anyone in need of help can contact the tornado assistance line at (705) 728-8442. A map of the affected area and other information is available at