“Catastrophic” Tornado hits Barrie

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Damage caused by todays tornado in Barrie - Mitchell Harris Facebook

At approximately 2:30 p.m. this afternoon, the first tornado in over 30 years struck Barrie, Ontario, approximately 1 hour north of Toronto.

Barrie Police Corporate Communiciations Coordinator Peter Leon shared this with local media.

A shot of today’s tornado taken by Barrie resident AJ Hearn

“Just after 2:30 the city of Barrie was struck by a very violent weather system, that weather system came in across the south end, into the southeast portion of the city, that is an area that borders on to the town of Innisfil,” said Leon. “Substantial damage has been seen and observed by first responders who have merged into the area, the Barrie Police Service has responded with a very significant police presence into the area and we are currently being assisted by Ontario Provincial Police.”

Leon also reported they were presently going door to door with their emergency services partners checking on people in the area. Multiple people have been sent to hospital due to what they believe to have been tornadic activity in the city of Barrie.

An aerial shot of the damage in one section of Barrie today – Facebook

It has been almost 30 years since a serious tornado went through the city. In 1985 an F4  tornado which started well outside the city left 8 people dead and hundreds more in hospital.

Pictures from today’s incident show large damage to many homes and multiple emergency services on scene.

SaultOnline shares our thoughts and prayers with those affected by today’s events in Southern Ontario and we will bring you more information as it becomes available.