A confirmed tornado carved a path of destruction through an east-end Orléans neighbourhood, late Sunday, ripping shingles off of roofs and snapping trees.
Residents near Jeanne D'Arc Boulevard and Tenth Line Road were alerted to the twister by a rumble that grew louder, before seeing the tornado headed for their homes.
"I could see things flying above the houses over here, and I said 'whoa, that looks like a tornado,'" said Jamie Porteous. She yelled to her boyfriend, who was in the basement at the time.
"We grabbed the dog and kind of huddled together until it was over," said Porteous.
Nearby, Steve Scharfe was out with his dog when he heard what he describes as the sound of a large turbine starting up. He then saw debris flying in the air, and got inside just before the tornado moved past his house.
"It tore the window right out -- hanging out," said Scharfe, describing the rear-facing window of his bedroom. "So all of the hinging and attachments were all bent, the bottom crank thing was driven right into the window frame."
Around the corner, the tree in Shauna Davidson's front yard came crashing down, badly damaging her and her neighbour's cars, and destroying her tent-trailer.
"My brother and I had just done the mud run, and he was in here having a nap," said Davidson, pointing to her now-destroyed trailer. "So he got out of this maybe 20 minutes before this happened."
There is widespread amazement and relief through the neighbourhood that no one was seriously hurt. In a statement, the City of Ottawa said one person was treated for a minor injury.
Within an hour after the tornado passed, neighbours with chainsaws cut up and removed fallen trees from the roadway and damaged vehicles, while others climbed onto roofs to laydown tarpaulins, covering sections of plywood, exposed by the ferocious winds ripping off the shingles and underlay.
Environment Canada confirmed the tornado, Sunday evening, with its preliminary estimate pegging the tornado as a low-grade EF-1, with peak winds of 135 kilometres per hour. Damage survey teams will examine the tornado's effects in-person, Monday.
A second tornado was reported in western Quebec, amid a small but powerful storm that included damaging winds, hail and intense rainfall.
Sunday's twister comes less than a year after the capital region was hit by several tornadoes, last fall, which flattened neighbourhoods and did severe damage to the power grid.
A state of emergency is still in effect in Ottawa over the floods that began earlier this spring.
- OttawaMatters.com/Rogers Media