Microburst causes damage, power outages in Sudbury

Work is ongoing to clean up after a powerful storm hit Sudbury on Monday afternoon.

Sudbury Hydro says other utilities assisting

Strong winds caused damage in Sudbury, including to homes, vehicles and hydro poles. The storm caused extensive damage in New Sudbury, including along Lasalle Boulevard. (Supplied/Devin Arthur)

Work is ongoing to clean up after a powerful storm hit Sudbury on Monday afternoon.

However, a meteorologist with Environment Canada says despite the damage, it wasn't a tornado.

Ryan Rozinskis says the the thunderstorm originated just north of Elliot Lake, brining heavy rain and winds estimated at 100 km per hour.

That system resulted in property damage.

High winds caused branches and trees to topple down in Sudbury on Monday. (Martha Dillman/CBC)

"Including uprooted trees, snapped branches, hydro poles [and] uprooted trees were falling onto cars and some property damage," he said.

"Most of this damage seemed to be the worst in the New Sudbury area."

He says Environment Canada doesn't' believe at this point it was a tornado that hit the area.

"[We] have not seen enough evidence and the radar didn't look that convincing that it would have been a tornado."

So what was it? Rozinskis says it was a system called straight line wind damage, or a microburst.

Crews are working to clean up and restore power in Sudbury. (Guy Chamberland/Supplied)

"Which can be and is in Ontario quite often as strong winds as what we would see with a tornado," he said.

"The rain, along with the strong winds at the same time with these thunderstorms is quite often what you see in microbursts."

The storm knocked out power to about 4,000 people. According to Sudbury Hydro, 1,800 people are still without power, down from 3,400 customers earlier on Tuesday.

As for when power will be restored, Wendy Watson, the director of communications with the utility, said the public is asked to be patient.

"We don't have any estimates on restoration," she said.

Several trees were pulled out by their roots in New Sudbury during a storm on Monday. (Martha Dillman/CBC)

"We do expect it could be a few days until we get everything energized again."

Watson says other utilities have been brought in to help.

"Damage is fairly widespread in New Sudbury, with about 150 reports of downed lines or trees fallen over lines," Watson said.

"Safety is a primary concern during the cleanup. We ask that people stay at least 10 metres away from a downed line [as] touching it can be fatal."

Sudbury Police are asking motorists to avoid Lasalle Boulevard, as traffic lights along that road remain down. Those intersections are to be treated as four-way stops.


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