Environment Canada confirms: Essex County funnel cloud was a tornado

Environment Canada has confirmed that a tornado crossed through Essex County on Friday.

“Late Friday afternoon, a thunderstorm moved from lower Michigan across Essex County and reached Leamington near 5:40 PM,” reads an Environment Canada weather summary.

The summary, issued at 4:52 p.m. Saturday, notes that Environment Canada’s assessment was based on pictures.

“Photographs taken at that time support the confirmation of an EF-0 tornado with maximum winds of 130 km/h,” the summary reads. “The tornado damaged solar panels and a greenhouse.”

The Essex County tornado was actually one of two to hit Ontario on Friday. An EF-2 tornado travelled for about six kilometres west of Hawkesville around 7:30 p.m.

“Numerous farm buildings were damaged along the tornado’s path, including one well anchored shed that was completely destroyed,” the weather summary reads about the Hawkesville twister. “Farm equipment weighing up to a ton, including a fork-lift and metal press, were shifted and knocked over at this particular location. Trees and power lines were also snapped. Maximum winds are estimated at 180 km/h.”

No injuries were reported with either tornado.

Kaily Mack was relaxing in her Wheatley living room at 5:40 p.m. Friday when her boyfriend yelled that there was a tornado.

Mack, 23, looked out the window, grabbed her cellphone and started recording a funnel cloud forming in the sky.

A screen capture from a video shot by Kaily Zack shows the funnel cloud beginning of a tornado in Wheatley, Aug. 11, 2017.


Windsor Star

Mack lives at the end of Erie Street near Wheatley Harbour and said there was a big cloud of “white stuff” in the sky and then suddenly a funnel cloud formed and started to make its way down to the ground. She thought the funnel cloud looked like it may have touched down over the Erie Rambler’s Motorcycle Club.

“It was strange but kind of interesting to see,” she said. “It got really quiet and then all of a sudden really, really windy.”

At the time, an Environment Canada severe thunderstorm and tornado watch was in effect for the Windsor, Essex County and Chatham-Kent areas.

With files from Craig Pearson


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