By Connor Lynch
PETROLIA — An EF-1 tornado – with winds of up to 177 km/h — touched down on Sept. 11 near Rokeby Line, at Petrolia in Lambton County, blowing out the side of a shed.
The wind was strong at Jim Krall’s place but it was just up the road on the family’s cash crop farm where winds went wild. Krall was preparing supper when his brother called. “You’d better get down here.”
Strong winds ripped up trees and tore shingles from his father’s house. A side wall on a drive shed was completely blown out. The shed for the pool was torn apart and cement posts in the play area had been torn right out of the ground.
The whirling winds also knocked down a barn almost one kilometre away, Krall said.
It was the ninth tornado of the year, said Environment Canada meteorologist Gerald Cheng. Ontario averages 12 tornadoes a year, typically in the tornado alley between Windsor and Barrie. The season typically runs from April to October, though Cheng cautioned that as long as conditions are right, even for a day, you can get a tornado.
Canada is actually second in the world for tornadoes, though we’re far behind the remarkable 1,200 that hit the U.S. each year, on average.
One of Ontario’s record years was 2009, when a stunning 18 tornadoes, more than half the total for the year, hit on Aug. 20 alone.
Cheng added that it’s possible there were more than nine tornadoes in Ontario this year, but Environment Canada has to receive reports of damage from the storm, since that’s how tornadoes are classified. If a storm kicked up in the middle of nowhere, didn’t damage anything, or nobody reported it, it wouldn’t get logged, he said.
Ontario’s 9th tornado hits Petrolia crop farm
By Connor Lynch