Environment Canada confirms two tornadoes hit Ottawa area Friday

Residents embrace while looking at the damage after a tornado hit the Mont Bleu neighbourhood in Gatineau

Residents embrace while looking at the damage after a tornado hit the Mont Bleu neighbourhood in Gatineau

A tornado on Friday afternoon tore roofs off of homes, overturned cars and felled power lines in the Ottawa community of Dunrobin and in Gatineau.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford said he would be visiting the Ottawa area on Sunday.

Individuals, small businesses and not-for-profit organizations that had property damage or loss as a result of the disaster may be eligible for the Disaster Recovery Assistance for Ontarians program, the government said in a release.

"It's something I never witnessed ... it's just really quite incredible the damage it did in a very short period of time".

At one point more than 200,000 hydro customers were blacked out, but as of early Sunday morning, the Hydro Ottawa and Hydro Quebec websites reported the number had been reduced to fewer than 80,000 - 70,000 in the Ottawa area and 8,300 in the Outaouais region, which encompasses Gatineau. Many of these households could be in the dark for days. "And I'd like to thank Minister Greg Rickford and his entire team who are working to support the crews on the ground to restore power to the area as soon as possible".

"We've made tremendous headway in this effort", said Hydro Ottawa's Joseph Muglia. "This was a widespread storm ... and wreaked a lot of havoc". One clocked wind speeds of up to 265 kilometres per hour which would correspond with an EF3 category tornado.

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A second tornado was classified as an EF-2, with wind speeds of up 220 km/h, and it hit the neighbourhood of Arlington Woods in Ottawa.

Much of Dunrobin, a semi-rural community about 22 miles (35 kilometers) west of downtown Ottawa, remained cordoned off by police. He was not home when the tornado struck.

"Many of them are in shock and disbelief", he said. "They have lost everything".

Hundreds of homes in Ottawa are either partially damaged or completely destroyed, Watson said. These families are either living with relatives or at one of the two emergency shelters set up by the city. Hydro Ottawa only serves some of the people left without power because of the tornado. A lot of people have been stepping up to help storm victims with a hot meal, an outlet to charge their phone or a shower.

The tornadoes inflicted heavy damage late Friday as they churned across pockets of Ottawa's west and south ends, as well as densely populated sections of the neighbouring Quebec city of Gatineau.

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