Tornado confirmed near Petrolia

A barn damaged in a storm Sept 11/19 (Submitted photo)

Environment Canada has confirmed the formation of a tornado in the Petrolia area during severe thunderstorms Wednesday evening.

The weather agency said the Northern Tornadoes Project investigated the damage in the area and concluded that an EF1 tornado with winds estimated up to 140 kilometres per hour did occur along Rokeby Line, southeast of Petrolia.  The damage path of the tornado is estimated at around five kilometres long and 200 metres wide.

The tornado caused damage to a barn and several sheds, and also bent a number of antennae. As well, the winds of the tornado downed trees and broke off branches.

Judy Krall lives on Rokeby Line and tells that she had just enough time to take cover. “I was standing at the bay window with the grandkids, and there it was in front of us,” said Krall. “We ran to the basement. We were scared, of course, but we had the grandkids here with us too. Safety was the big thing, and that we were all going to be ok.”

“You don’t know what the outcome is going to be, right? Like I said, you have to wonder how safe your house is. When you get powerful winds like that, you do have the fear of windows blowing out from the pressure from things like that. We were very fortunate that none of that happened.”

Threatening thunderstorm Sept 11/19 (Submitted photo)

An area of damage from northwest of Petrolia to southeast of the town was also investigated. Environment Canada said that damage was not from a tornado but rather an EF0 downburst with winds estimated at 130 km/h. The winds snapped a hydro pole, overturned a trailer, and damaged several trees. The storm caused damage in an area that’s estimated at 20 kilometres by five kilometres.

The storm on Wednesday caused several flooded streets and power outages across Sarnia and Lambton County.