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Officials: At least one tornado hits SW Ontario

Holly Fournier
The Detroit News

At least one tornado was spotted in southwest Ontario near the Detroit River on Wednesday evening, Canadian officials reported.

“We had sufficient evidence last evening, from eyewitness accounts, videos and pictures, to say there was a tornado in the LaSalle area just after 7 p.m.,” said Geoff Coulson, warning preparedness meteorologist with Environment Canada. “In addition to that, it could have been the same tornado or a second that occurred in the Windsor area.”

LaSalle is located just south of Windsor along the Detroit River.

Both areas received “notable” damage, including damaged roofs, downed utility poles and trees from what appear to be one or two F1 tornadoes with peak winds between 84 and 109 mph, Coulson said.

“The EC Row and Central Avenue area in Windsor sustained the worst damage that we’re aware of at this point in Windsor,” Coulson said. “It’s an industrial park. It looks like good chunks of roofs were torn off.”

At least four people in the EC Row and Central Avenue area were taken to area hospitals with minor injuries, he added. There have been no reports of other injuries.

In LaSalle, most of the damage was contained to a residential area where around 15 homes were effected.

“We’re still trying to piece together what was the worst damage in LaSalle,” Coulson said. “Certainly roof damage was done to some of the homes, but what I’m unclear of is if some of the homes lost all the roof or part of the roof.”

Coulson said more information would be available later Thursday as survey teams hit the streets to assess damage and determine if the areas were hit by one or two twisters.

“I think we’re going to learn a lot more about what got damaged, and where, as our survey team starts to feed information back to me during the course of the afternoon,” he said.

A tornado was first spotted around 7:10 p.m. Wednesday near La Salle, according to a warning posted Wednesday by Environment Canada. Meteorologists had been tracking a severe thunderstorm in the area.

Representatives for the Ontario town of LaSalle wrote on Twitter that the twister around Victory Street caused damage and sparked power outages.

Meanwhile, Essex Golf & Country Club reported “minimal damage” late Wednesday. “The tornado just missed the course,” officials tweeted.

The National Weather Service did not report any similar issues in metro Detroit and southeast Michigan, although downpours were widespread across the region on Wednesday.

Clinton Township reported 1.05 inches of rain, the weather service said. Winds around 46 miles per hour were reported near Selfridge Air National Guard Base.

HFournier@detroitnews.com

(313) 223-4616

@HollyPFournier