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GODERICH, Ont. - A tornado ripped through here Sunday afternoon, lifting roofs off houses and businesses, blowing out windows, toppling trees and knocking out the power.
Buildings in the historic square of this town on the eastern shore of Lake Huron were damaged by the twister that touched down around 4 p.m. "It like an atomic bomb hit it," Greg Rau said.
The powerful winds blew out windows in the Goderich courthouse in the centre of the square so "you can see right through it," he said.
The town declared a state of emergency, Mayor Deb Shewfelt said. A command post is being set up at the Knights of Columbus.
"Police are on scene at the square, which is devastated from what I hear. We had a storm like in '95, but the damage is far worse today," he said.
Sgt. Dave Rektor confirmed people were injured, but he didn't know how many or the extent of the injuries.
Originally posted by masqua
It's now apparent that the tornado cut a path from the Sifto Salt mine at the harbour and up the steep bluffs to the southeast. It tore through the oldest section of the town, destroying century old homes and churches before tearing through the town square.
The mayor said that most of the businesses in the downtown are either destroyed or severely damaged.
So far, the only fatality was a worker at the salt mine and I hope that it might be the only one. The core has been closed off and accessable only to first responders. The fear is broken gas lines which may ignite fires. A state of emergency exists at the moment.
On a personal note, as you might have [caught] in my first post in this thread, I'd noticed the severe weather ahead on the highway, turned off and headed east to the village of Ben Miller where we'd stopped at the Inn to ride out a fairly good hailstorm. When the hail stopped, I got back on the road and once again headed east. Now, I hear that the Ben Miller Inn was also damaged, meaning that I'd dodged that tornado a second time.
We drove the appoximately 60 miles back home at a reasonable clip, getting a fair distance ahead of the storm. Once inside our house, we watched shredded leaves falling out of a calm cloudy sky.edit on 21/8/11 by masqua because: (no reason given)
Originally posted by masqua
Deb Shewfeld, Goderich mayor has just announced the first fatality on CKNX AM.
As yet, Environment Canada has not confirmed that it was a tornado.
Update: It was a tornado and has now been tentatively assesed as an F2 and F3
edit on 21/8/11 by masqua because: (no reason given)
Originally posted by VeniVidi
reply to post by Wyn Hawks
The problem with Reed is that he gets so excited he screams, and matters not if he is the only one around to hear it.