Tropical storm pales in comparison to freak Trois-Rivieres tornado
Published Monday, September 5, 2011 10:04PM EDT
TROIS-RIVIERES, QC. - Tropical Storm Lee brought little more than rain and grey skies to the Montreal area Monday, paling in comparison to the isolated minor tornado that briefly punished Trois-Rivieres on Sunday evening.
Environment Canada meteorologist Andre Cantin visited Trois-Rivieres on Monday to study the intense gusts of wind that hit the city a day earlier, uprooting trees and causing considerable damage.
Cantin told a press conference that the event in Trois-Rivieres was, in fact, a tornado.
He said that the event was graded as an F-0 tornado, the weakest-category of ranking. The winds that battered the city for several minutes reached speeds of up to 130 kilometers an hour.
The weak rating of the tornado did not stop it from doing some damage.
George Giroux had the walls of his car port collapse onto his neighbour's driveway, while the roof wound up in his neighbour's backyard.
"It was like a whirlwind," he said. "Then, bang!"
The tornado ripped trees from the ground, downed power lines, tore the shingles off roofs and even managed to transport a shed about 20 feet from its original home.
Remarkably no one was injured, though about 70 homes were damaged.
Quebec sees an average of six low grade tornadoes each year, and this one did about $1 million worth of damage in Trois-Rivières.
Cantin said that Tropical Storm Lee will hit areas south of the St. Lawrence River with 30 to 50 millimeters of rain Monday and early into Tuesday.
The storm is bringing little of the pain brought by Hurricane Irene which, a few days earlier, brought heavy rains and winds which unplugged 250,000 Quebec homes.
Cantin added that Hurricane Katia, which is currently squatting over the Atlantic, could hit the Maritime provinces later this week.
With a file from The Canadian Press