Three dead, more than 350K without power after powerful storm rips through Ontario
Three people are dead and more than 350,000 are without power after an intense thunderstorm pummeled southern Ontario Saturday afternoon.
The severe weather system left fallen trees and downed power lines in its path as emergency crews across the province were inundated with calls for help.
- Download our app to get local alerts to your device
- Get the latest local updates right to your inbox
Tragedy struck first in Brampton where police said a woman in her 70s was walking alone in the area of Belmont Drive and Birchbank Road when she was struck by a falling tree.
Mubbsher Zaman was nearby when he said he saw two feet sticking out from under the branches.
“We just kept telling the lady, ‘Don’t worry. Keep breathing. Keep breathing,” Zaman told CTV News Toronto.
The woman was transported to hospital where she was later pronounced dead.
Then, hours later, provincial police said that a tree fell on a camping trailer at Pinehurst Lake Conservation Area near Kitchener, which left one person dead and two others injured.
Police investigate after a woman dies during a severe thunderstorm in Brampton, Ont. (Corey Baird/CTV News Toronto)
The deaths are not limited to the Greater Toronto Area. Police in Ottawa confirmed late Saturday evening that one person had died during the storm, though the details surrounding their death were not immediately disclosed.
Provincial party leaders took to social media in the aftermath of the storm to offer their condolences to the friends and families of the victims.
During the height of the extreme weather event, Toronto Fire said it received nearly 150 calls from people looking for help. At the same time, the Toronto Police Service (TPS) was forced to close its non-emergency due to the influx of calls.
Const. Alex Li said that within a two-hour window, TPS received as many as 360 calls for service.
Deputy Fire Chief Tony Bavota told CP24 Saturday that one firefighter was injured after he was struck by a falling tree while responding to a 911 call and was transported to hospital in stable condition.
At least one other person was seriously injured in midtown Toronto as strong winds and rain battered the city. The details of that incident are unclear, but Toronto Paramedic Services told CP24 that a woman in her 40s was transported to a trauma centre as a result of her injuries.
A tree has been knocked down in Kitchener during a severe thunderstorm that hit southern Ontario Saturday afternoon. (Courtesy: Renee Chappell)
MORE THAN 350K WITHOUT POWER
At time of writing, and according to Hydro One, more than 350,000 people are without power following the storm.
The company said it is responding to power outages across the province and advised individuals to stay at least 10 metres back from any fallen power lines, even if they do not appear to be live.
In Toronto, the exact number of those without power is unknown as Toronto Hydro’s outage map is unavailable “as a result of the high volume of outages”
In a statement to CP24, the company said it was still assessing the extent of the damage and that equipment broken during the storm could hamper restoration efforts.
“In many cases, trees and tree limbs need to be removed first to help make the area safe for our crews to work,” a spokesperson said. “We’re reminding our customers to stay safe, especially if they come across a downed power line.”
WEATHER ALERT ISSUED
An alert by Environment Canada was pushed to phones, TV screens, and radio stations across Ontario at approximately 12:45 p.m. warning residents to "take cover" as the threatening weather approached.
The agency said the option to issue an emergency weather alert was included in their system last June, but this is the first time it has been used.
Officials said they chose to use the alert due to strong winds near Kitchener that were expected to gust at about 131 kilometres an hour.
At Toronto’s Pearson Airport, winds were gusting at 120 kilometers an hour at around 1 p.m.
A weather alert that was sent to the mobile phones in Ontario on May 21, 2022 is seen in this image.
STATE OF EMERGENCY IN UXBRIDGE
Uxbridge has declared a local state of emergency after the town saw significant damage as a result of the storm.
Officials said widespread power outages are ongoing and many roads have been forced to close in the face of downed power lines and fallen trees.
Images captured by CP24 show the destruction on the ground with parked vehicles all but totalled and surrounded by nearby destroyed structures.
Although unconfirmed by Environment Canada, there have been reports online that a tornado touched down in the area and nearby Whitchurch-Stouffville.
Residents who spoke with CP24's Bakari Savage said they expect the cleanup to take months.
With files from Katherine DeClerq
The wreckage left behind from a powerful thunderstorm in Uxbridge, Ont. is seen in this image. (CP24/Bakari Savage)
Toronto Top Stories
CTVNews.ca Top Stories
Canada pledged $50 million to prevent Ukrainian grain from going to waste on Sunday as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau committed to work with G7 nations on further measures to halt the famine caused by the Russian invasion of the embattled country.
Behind prison walls, National Indigenous People's Day was celebrated this month, with inmates at a Manitoba federal prison granted access to music, drumming and sharing circles — positive steps forward to reconnect Indigenous inmates with their culture and rehabilitate a group that is incarcerated at a disproportionate rate.
Hundreds of thousands of people lined the streets of downtown Toronto on Sunday as the city's Pride parade returned for the first time in two years.
Colorado Avalanche win the 2022 Stanley Cup, beating two-time defending champion Tampa Bay Lightning 2-1 in Game 6.
Canada's chief of defence says Russia's invasion of Ukraine is going to change the course of history.
A Dalhousie University team of scientists — in a joint venture with a company called Planetary Technologies — is now in the next phase of their research to use the power of the ocean to one day reduce the world’s carbon levels.
David Cohen has been the United States' Ambassador to Canada since November 2021, and in the time since, both Canada and the United States have experienced a series of shared challenges. In an interview at his official residence in Ottawa, Cohen opens up about the state of the relationship.
The abortion decision in the U.S. marked the apex in a week that reinforced former U.S. President Donald Trump's ongoing impact in Washington more than a year and a half after he exited the White House.
Russian President Valdimir Putin was a target of mockery by leaders of the Group of Seven, as they sat around a table Sunday, commencing their three-day summit in Bavarian Alps, Germany.
A man in crisis stabbed several people Sunday morning in downtown Montreal, leaving one dead and three injured.
The Montreal fire department (SIM) is advising citizens to avoid the intersection of Sherbrooke St. East near Durocher Ave. as a major building fire is blazing.
McGill University medical students are trying to help treat people who are addicted to opioids. They say many aren't equipped to handle the withdrawal.
You may not know his name, but he’s performed alongside some of the all-time music greats.
'We were able to cool the propane tanks in time': Two families displaced after morning fire in London, Ont.
Residents were able to safely escape a house fire Sunday morning in London.
After being delayed over two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the air fest took off this weekend at the St. Thomas Municipal Airport.
The latest developments for encampments in Waterloo Region, field trips being paid for, and a new hospital for the area round out the top stories of the week.
An essential caregiver in Waterloo Region is looking to remind the community that the COVID-19 pandemic is not over and the protections in place for the most vulnerable may not be enough.
Norfolk County OPP are asking for the public's help with an arson case from three years ago.
OPP Tweet: Highway 17 closed at Sand Bay Road at the Spanish River bridge.
A person was taken to hospital after a shooting on the Sheguiandah First Nation on Manitoulin Island Friday.
The Holistic Healing Fair is back in Sault Ste. Marie following a two-year absence.
Students at Hillcrest High School in Ottawa took part in a walkout after some students say they have been victims of racist treatment. Allegations of racism have been swirling at the school for months and now the Ottawa Carleton District School Board is investigating the incidents.
There were approximately 36,260 reported Criminal Code of Canada offences in Ottawa in 2021, up eight per cent from 2020. Police reported 7,116 violent crimes and 29,146 non-violent crimes in Ottawa last year.
A Good Samaritan jumped into action on Saturday to help four people who were on paddleboards and heading towards rapids in Ottawa’s west end.
Amateur organizations are doing whatever they can to shield players from the effects of inflation, as travel costs reach record highs.
A 24-year-old man from Ottawa is facing impaired charges after failing to remain at the scene of a crash in Chatham.
Thousands of people flocked to Lakeside Park in Kingsville Saturday for the return of the Highland Games.
City staff have notified council that transit won't return to full operation this year, frustrating several residents.
The Midland Public Library has unveiled a new space for teens to reach out to an age group that often loses touch with the local library.
Emergency crews were notified of the collision around 10:40 a.m. Sunday.
As HMCS Kingston and Summerside pulled away from Halifax Harbour and deployed for Operation Reassurance, there was no shortage of emotion from family members who came to see them off.
The inquiry into Nova Scotia’s 2020 mass shooting, says four pages of handwritten notes that sparked a political firestorm in Ottawa this week, weren’t immediately submitted when subpoenaed by its investigators.
'It’s in shambles': RCMP 'architects of own demise,' says criminologist after complaints in N.B. and N.S.
After a week of criticism and anger at the Mass Casualty Commission in Nova Scotia, and outcry in a rural area of New Brunswick, there are questions about the RCMP’s role in community policing.
Organizers of a central Alberta rodeo and its parade committee are calling for calm after a float in this weekend's parade, which possessed a racist theme, was seen in the procession.
Police are looking for suspects after they say a man was injured in a shooting late Saturday.
If you are looking for some more time on the slopes even though it's already summer, you might be pleased by an opportunity at Banff Sunshine Village.
Residents in Gimli are dealing with overland flooding due to high water levels on Lake Winnipeg and strong winds.
'We can't believe it': Winnipeggers come together to throw surprise baby shower for new Ukrainian couple
A Winnipeg woman is making sure a couple from Ukraine is feeling right at home as they prepare to welcome their first child.
Lori Ann Mancheese's death is now one of five women in the span of about a month being grieved by members of the province's Indigenous community. Winnipeg police say three of those women were murdered.
While most of B.C. remains under a special weather statement as the summer's first hot weather rolls through, the advisory has been upgraded to a heat warning for the Lower Mainland.
About a hundred people gathered in downtown Vancouver on Sunday afternoon denouncing the U.S. Supreme court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, which secured constitutional protection for abortion rights in the country for nearly 50 years.
With a heat warning in effect for Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley, several cities have opened up dedicated indoor cooling centres and outdoor cooling stations. We've compiled a list of what's available and where.
People are getting ready to return to Wakamne, God's Lake, on pilgrimage when the Pope visits Alberta.
The Edmonton Police Service is searching for a 13-year-old girl that was last seen Friday morning.
Twenty-five new service dogs and their families celebrated the achievement of graduating from Alberta's only internationally accredited assistance dog agency Sunday.