Toronto wind storm sends construction debris flying from top of tall building
Toronto is waking up to some serious storm damage this dreary Monday morning after a nasty wind storm ripped through the city, blowing planks from high-up construction sites into the sky and, eventually, into buildings.
One of the worst wind storms to hit Ontario this year so far, Sunday's extreme weather event saw gusts as high as 118 km/h recorded at the Toronto Island Airport.
2020 Bingo. Who had Toronto Lumber Storm? https://t.co/vu3X67inA5— major_Ray🧢⚔️ (@major__Ray) November 15, 2020
In nearby St. Catharines, winds were clocked at a record-breaking and truly scary 141 km/h per hour.
Several areas recorded their strongest November wind gusts today. St Catharines had it's windiest day on record, Port Colborne had its 2nd windiest day on record. #onstorm #onwx pic.twitter.com/ZEsUh5Qaqa— Matt Grinter (@matt_grinter) November 15, 2020
So fierce were the winds that they actually shook the ground on Sunday evening, as evidenced by data from seismographs placed along the Leslie Street Spit.
Ground shaking in downtown Toronto from the ongoing #ONStorm.— John Cassidy (@earthquakeguy) November 15, 2020
Seismic data from the CNSN TORO, data plot from @IRIS_EPO
Stay safe #Toronto.
Wind gusts to nearly 120 km/h@50ShadesofVan @RyanVoutilainen pic.twitter.com/sLfqveJX4b
Damage from the storm has been widespread throughout Southern Ontario, where some 179,000 homes are without power as of 9:30 a.m. on Monday, according to Hydro One.
Large power outages were reported in East York on Sunday, but Toronto Hydro says that service has now been restored to most customers.
Environment Canada had warned about potential damage from wind and falling trees ahead of yesterday's storm, caused by a "potent Colorado low," but many in the city either missed the memo or couldn't batten down enough to save their stuff.
Beyond the typical patio furniture damage, entire glass balcony panes were shattered to smithereens.
And in the downtown core, huge pieces of plywood and/or insulation could be seen flying all over the place.
Witnesses estimate that at least 40 pieces of debris came down from the top of a building near Yonge and Wellesley on Sunday just after 5 p.m.
As is often the case when storms get this nasty, many trees were also taken down by the wind.
And anyone who was caught outside when the winds were nearing peak speeds hurried fast to seek shelter.
Driving conditions were, obviously, poor on Sunday afternoon as heavy rains pelted local highwways.
Peel Police said that a "sheet of drywall" could be seen blowing across Highway 401 near Hurontario Street around 4 p.m. on Sunday — and, believe it or not, damage was even more extreme outside the GTA.
Fortunately, no injuries have been reported to date.
As one Toronto Instagram user surmised, however, someone is likely in pretty big trouble after failing to prevent all of that construction stuff from raining over the downtown core.
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