1 dead after EF2 tornado rips through Montreal suburb

·3 min read

At least one person was killed and two others were injured after a severe thunderstorm produced a tornado just outside of Montreal, the largest city in the province of Quebec, Canada.

The victim, a 59 year old man, reportedly tried to seek shelter in his shed after initially spotting the tornado. He was killed when the twister passed over the Montreal suburb of Mascouche, according to CTV News.

Meteorologists from Environment Canada surveyed the damage on Monday evening. Their preliminary findings estimate that the tornado reached EF2 strength with the twister's maximum wind speeds reaching 112-124 mph (180-200 km/h), according to CTV News.

Residents told CTV News that the damaging weather unfolded in a matter of seconds.

The storm left a trail of destruction as it swept over the town. A home under construction was blown off of its foundation and large trees were snapped like twigs, CTV News reported.

Residents in a northern suburb of Montreal, Canada, watch a tornado in the distance on June 21, 2021. (Storyful)

"I saw this cloud in front of me, everything up in the air flying, swings, chairs. I tried to close the door, but the pressure was too high, wind went in, blew out the windows," resident Alexandre Levesque said in an interview with CTV News.

The death was confirmed after Geneviève Guilbault, the Minister of Public Safety, shared her condolences for the family on Twitter.

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Philippe Meunier, a resident of Mascouche, told CTV News his daughter spotted a tornado in the area around 3:45 p.m., local time, before capturing swirling clouds on video.

Environment Canada spokesperson Peter Kimbell confirmed a tornado touched down nearly 30 miles (46 km) north of Montreal around 4 p.m., local time.

According to CTV News, photos on social media showed extensive damage across certain streets that sustained damage from the twister.

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Urgence Quebec urged residents in Mascouche to use caution with debris and the potential for live electrical wires in the streets after the tornado caused "significant damage."

By late afternoon, local time, over 50,000 customers were without power across the Quebec province, according to CTV News.

The Red Cross announced that 50 people have been supplied with food, shelter and clothing, CTV News reported.

"The ingredients were ripe for severe weather in southern Quebec with an unusually strong storm passing to the north of the area," said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Brett Anderson, who regularly issues forecasts for Canada.

The storm drew very humid air, marked by dew point temperatures in the low 70s F (21-23 C). Coupled with significant wind shear, which allowed thunderstorms to develop and strengthen, it created an environment for tornadic thunderstorm cells, Anderson added.

"Looking at the resulting damage videos this looks like EF1-EF2 damage (86-135 mph gusts), but that is just an estimate as local experts will have to go on site to get a more accurate storm rating," added Anderson.

Tornadoes are not uncommon in southern Quebec, said Anderson. "Since 1980 there have been dozens of tornadoes and a handful of those were as high as EF3," he added.

"Tornado Alley" in eastern Canada is located across portions of southwest Ontario. In the United States, Tornado Alley is located in the central and southern Plains where tornadoes typically occur most frequently.

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