Ontario storm leaves six dead and tens of thousands without power

Communities have been left reeling after a severe thunderstorm ripped through much of southern Ontario, leaving six people dead and tens of thousands without power.

The latest death was confirmed Sunday afternoon. Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) say a 77-year-old woman in Port Hope was struck by a falling tree “as a powerful weather system moved through the area.”

The woman was pronounced dead at the scene.

The remaining five deaths were confirmed on Saturday afternoon and evening.

In Brampton, Ont., a woman in her 70s who was walking alone in the area of Belmont Drive and Birchbank Road was struck by a falling tree. Police say the woman was rushed to the hospital, but later died.

Hours later OPP said that a tree fell on a camping trailer at Pinehurst Lake Conservation Area near Kitchener. One person died and two others were injured.

Two other deaths were confirmed in Ottawa. A 44-year-old man in Greater Madawaska and a 59-year-old man in the city’s west end were both pronounced dead after being struck by falling trees.

A fifth death was also confirmed in Quebec by Gatineau police. Investigators say a 51-year-old woman was killed when her boat was capsized in the Ottawa River near Masson-Angers.

The storm struck shortly after Environment Canada issued a weather warning and pushed an emergency alert to the phones of Ontario residents.

By 1 p.m., winds near Kitchener were busting close to 132 kilometres an hour while at Toronto’s Pearson Airport, winds were blowing at about 120 kilometers an hour.

The wind and rain caused multiple trees and live hydro wires to fall down. By Saturday evening, Hydro One said more than 350,000 people are without power following the storm.

firefighters and utility workers work among downed power lines, poles and traffic lights that came down onto the roadway and onto motorists during a major storm, on Merivale Road in Ottawa, on Saturday, May 21, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

In Uxbridge, officials declared a local state of emergency as a result of the storm damage and widespread power outages, which forced multiple roads to close. .

As of 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, Hydro One said that just over 269,000 customers in Ontario were without power.

“Additional resources have been called in to assist with power restoration, however we anticipate it will take several days to restore all customers due to the significant damage,” a storm warning on their website says.

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