Tornado touches down in LaSalle, Ont., possibly also in Windsor

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A tornado touched down in at least one southern Ontario community Wednesday evening, Environment Canada reports.

The national weather service said eyewitnesses saw a tornado in LaSalle, Ont., shortly after 7 p.m. Wednesday. It appears to have also touched down in nearby Windsor shortly afterwards.

“We didn’t stand a chance,” said Crystal Belanger, standing across the street from her home. “It was like a freight train. You tried to close the garage door, get the door closed — there were trees in there.

“We’re all trying to figure out what we’re going to do. We’ve got to wait, the fire department’s here. But in the meantime, what are we supposed to to?” she said. “It was the most frightful moment of my life, truly.”

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Emergency crews fanned throughout Essex County in the storm’s aftermath, responding to reports of toppled trees and other damage to property. There were homes without power in Windsor-Essex, but few injuries were reported as of 11 p.m. Wednesday.

Mayor Drew Dilkens said the city has opened up its emergency operations centre. He said there were three people taken to hospital as a result of injuries sustained during the storm in Windsor.

About 15 homes in Windsor were too badly damaged for residents to re-enter, Dilkens said.

“It was insane, I’ve never seen anything like it,” Tom Greer told CBC News. “It was a real dark cloud. It rained for a while. I thought to myself: ‘That’s not a thunderstorm, that’s a tornado.'”

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Dawn Gelinas says the funnel cloud damaged houses on Jewel Street in LaSalle, Ont. (Dawn Gelinas)

Greer described the dark black cloud moving through a neighbourhood about one kilometre from his house. Tree branches, cardboard and other debris were thrown around with the cloud, he said.

“I’ve never seen tree branches [move] like that before. You could tell it was very strong,” he said.

Twitter user Mark Robinson posted photos of the storm’s aftermath.

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A tornado touched down in LaSalle, Ont. on August 24, 2016, uprooting trees and throwing branches through the air. (Dale Molnar/CBC)

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Mark Robinson posted this photo of E.C Row Expressway in Windsor, Ont., following what is believed to have been a tornado. (Mark Robinson/Twitter. )

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Mark Robinson shot this photo of the aftermath of a tornado in Windsor, Ont. (Mark Robinson/Twitter)

Environment Canada ended the tornado warning around 8 p.m.

Sgt. Anna Gillis with Windsor police says there were emergency crews at E.C. Row Expressway in Windsor, where there was extensive damage to nearby power lines.

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Tornado touches down in LaSalle, Ont., possibly also in Windsor

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