ANGUS, Ont. — The mayor of a central Ontario community says it’s a miracle no one was hurt when a tornado ripped through the area Tuesday.
Essa Township Mayor Terry Dowdall says about 100 homes were damaged in Angus, which is located in the township about 100 kilometres north of Toronto.
Dowdall, who joined other emergency officials this morning to give a brief update on the situation, says he has never seen such devastation in the community.
The tornado blew out windows, tore up fences and sheared off the tops of some homes when it hit about 5:30 p.m. but caused no serious injuries.
OPP Const. Kelly Daniels says the priority now is to ensure homes are safe enough for people to go back inside and retrieve needed personal items like medication.
She says residents who have been displaced from their homes will be escorted by police and fire officials when they go inside and it will be done home by home.
Emergency officials will also be holding a meeting with residents this afternoon at the Angus recreation centre to discuss what happens next.
“It was really a miracle that no one was hurt at that time of day,” said Dowdall.
But he added that today was a new day and building officials would immediately begin assessing properties.
He said efforts would be made to get people back into their homes as quickly as possible but the top priority would be to ensure the buildings are safe first.
Essa fire Chief Cynthia Tustin says police are ensuring homes are secure.
Environment Canada confirmed Tuesday night that it was a tornado that struck Angus. The weather agency had issued tornado warnings for several communities in the area as a line of severe thunderstorms with embedded tornadoes moved into the Lake Simcoe region.
The storms also cut electricity to several thousand homes and businesses but power had been restored to most by morning.