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
Patrick Brown is alleging political corruption played a role in his disqualification from the Conservative Party of Canada's leadership race, a move that came following allegations that his campaign violated election financing rules.
Despite being disqualified by the Conservative Party of Canada from becoming its next leader, ousted candidate Patrick Brown's name will still appear on the ballot.
Video has emerged showing a worker dangling in the air above a Toronto construction site after accidently getting entangled in a tagline attached to a crane.
Air Canada and Toronto's Pearson airport again claimed the top spots for flight delays on Tuesday, marking at least four days in a row where the country's biggest airline has placed No. 1 of any large carrier worldwide.
Air Canada said on Wednesday it will not allow animals in the baggage hold until Sept. 12 due to 'longer than usual' delays at airports, as carriers and airports wrestle with complaints over lost luggage and long lines.
As gas prices slightly trend down this week after some of the highest national averages seen in recent months, some Canadians may be thinking twice before planning their usual summer road trip plans. CTVNews.ca looks at how drivers can save at the pumps while travelling.
Prices have been easing slightly recently, but affording a mortgage is still a very difficult task for many Canadians. How much of a mortgage can you afford? Contributor Christopher Liew breaks it down in an exclusive column for CTVNews.ca.
Canada's immigration department is restarting all Express Entry draws for immigration applications Wednesday, after pausing the program 18 months ago during the pandemic.
A federal judge Wednesday sentenced Jerry Harris, a former star of the Netflix documentary series 'Cheer,' to 12 years in prison for coercing teenage boys to send him obscene photos and videos of themselves and soliciting sex from minors at cheerleading competitions.
WATCH LIVE @ 9 A.M.
WATCH LIVE @ 9 A.M. | With another COVID climb, Quebec health minister calls news conference for Thursday morning
With COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations on the rise in Quebec, public health officials have called a news conference for Thursday morning.
'Not a time when Quebec can afford to lose young doctors,' province's opposition leader says of ER exodus
The leader of Quebec's Liberal Party paused her vacation briefly on Wednesday to react to the news that two young emergency room doctors have quit their jobs in their hometown of Montreal to work in Toronto.
The Montreal Alouettes have fired their head coach and their defensive co-ordinator, the team announced Wednesday afternoon.
Once again due to staff shortages, the emergency departments at both Listowel and Wingham hospitals will be closed overal several upcoming dates.
Provincial police have identified the victim of a deadly motorcycle collision that occurred earlier this week.
The victim of a fatal head on collision earlier this week in Blandford-Blenheim has been identified as a 41-year-old man from Plattsville.
Break-ins targeting restaurants, salons, dress shops and cannabis stores have been reported in Kitchener, Waterloo and Woolwich.
'There’s no great answer': Low-income tenants weigh options in Cambridge as renovations push them out
Tenants of the Tiger Lofts, an affordable apartment building in Cambridge, say they’re being “renovicted” and won’t be allowed to stay after extensive renovations.
Police are looking for a man who allegedly grabbed and sexually assaulted a woman in a Kitchener park.
Weengushk International Film Festival returns to in-person events this coming weekend. The festival will highlight stories and voices of Indigenous women.
Many post-secondary institutions are vulnerable to cyber attacks, according to CyberCatch, a firm tasked with getting small- to medium-sized organizations up to date with Canada's new standard for cybersecurity.
Bavarian Meat Products in North Bay has been closed since fall of 2021. While the business has closed, flies are thriving and the odour of rotten meat gets worse.
An Ottawa senior citizen says he lost his life savings after investing with a real estate development firm that has been charged with fraud.
Ottawa police are on the scene of a shooting that injured one person in the city's west end.
The penultimate day of the public hearings into Ottawa’s light rail transit system saw some sharp words from the train manufacturer.
Emergency crews were on scene after a pedestrian was struck by a train late Wednesday afternoon in east Chatham.
Shawn Lippert received a scary call Monday morning. “I got a guy on the other end and said, ‘Hi this is Enwin. We're giving you a courtesy call.’” Lippert was told his Scareshouse Windsor business account was in arrears and service was about to be cut off.
'Is your urgency an emergency?': Windsor-Essex hospital officials appeal to public to reduce hospital and EMS wait times
With the hospital system in Windsor-Essex continuing to operate under tremendous pressure, healthcare leaders are asking residents to reserve calling 911 for emergency situations only, and to seek alternate care for non-medical emergencies.
Farmers in southern Ontario say they are fed up with a selfie fad that has caused thousands of dollars in damages.
School buses may be parked for the summer, but come fall, they will be equipped with a new lighting system to catch drivers' attention.
Strawberry pickers at Barrie Hill Farms saw more than fresh berries when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visited.
A person has been taken to hospital with serious injuries following a shooting in Halifax Wednesday night.
The ex-boyfriend of Cassidy Bernard has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for manslaughter and a consecutive three years for child abandonment in connection with the young mother's death.
Families of victims of the Nova Scotia mass shooting are considering whether to continue participating in the public inquiry into the tragedy because key witnesses are being shielded from cross-examination.
Ward 2 councillor Jennifer Wyness asked council to consider referring veteran colleague Gian-Carlo Carra's disclosure investigation findings to both the minister and police for further review.
Calgary drivers might be asking why the price of gasoline is more expensive in their energy rich province where oil is refined and extracted than in Ontario, but one retail expert claims to have the answer.
City officials have announced two more downtown buildings that will see vacant office space repurposed into residential housing.
A political breakup at Winnipeg City Hall is creating intrigue in a council race.
There is a chance that severe thunderstorms could hit parts of southern Manitoba.
Residents in a southern Manitoba town are asking questions as to why they are facing a summer with no emergency room.
The large logs that have lined the water’s edge at many Vancouver beaches have been a favourite lounging spot for sun worshipers for over 50 years.
Health professionals are hoping the rollout of the pending COVID-19 vaccine for children under five will have better uptake than the one approved for children aged five to 11.
Homicide investigators have shared the identity of the man killed in a brazen afternoon shooting in a hotel parking lot in Surrey Monday afternoon.
Emergency crews were called to a Mill Woods school on Wednesday after a security guard reportedly experienced irritation on their hands after finding a white powder.
Wade Stene, who admitted to kidnapping and sexually assaulting an eight-year-old Edmonton girl, was sentenced to 15.5 years behind bars Wednesday afternoon.
The City of Edmonton is moving ahead on a new bylaw aimed at reducing the number of single-use items, like plastic cutlery and bags, that end up in city landfills and on city streets.