10 years ago, a deadly F3 tornado tore through Goderich, Ont.

·2 min read
10 years ago, a deadly F3 tornado tore through Goderich, Ont.
10 years ago, a deadly F3 tornado tore through Goderich, Ont.

This Day In Weather History is a daily podcast by Chris Mei from The Weather Network, featuring stories about people, communities and events and how weather impacted them.

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On Sunday, Aug. 21, 2011, at 4 p.m., an F3 tornado hit Huron County, Ontario. Environment Canada issued a tornado warning at 3:48 p.m., but Huron County doesn't have sirens, so some residents didn't receive the information.

Right before the tornado, witnesses heard a loud noise like a roar from a freighter's engine.

Dayna Vettese (Tornado)
Dayna Vettese (Tornado)

The Goderich tornado. Courtesy of Dayna Vettese

Witnesses first saw the tornado tear through storage domes a the Sifto Salt mine located on Indian Island. The tornado continued to tear through the area including a boom, killing the machine's operator.

Church
Church

Church destroyed by the Goderich tornado. Courtesy of Mark Robinson

The tornado travelled into a neighbourhood near Goderich's downtown core. Waterloo Street and St. Georges Crescent were heavily impacted. The twister snapped trees and power poles and ripped rooves from homes.

The tornado severely damaged a church built in 1878 located at Kings Highway 21 and St. David Street. A nearby carwash also received significant damage. Three people at the carwash were injured. Two people were in a van and flying debris broke the vehicle windows. Another person on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle was injured with a wall collapsed onto him, pinning and breaking his legs. Other people had already taken shelter from the golf ball- and baseball-sized hail.

Jeremy Cohn
Jeremy Cohn

Courtesy of Jeremy Cohn

The twister moved to the easternmost residential areas of Goderich, damaging more homes and structures. The tornado's path continued to widen as it continued into a predominantly rural area.

It also passed through Benmiller, causing significant damage to the Benmiller Inn. The tornado started to weaken as it moved through another rural area. It destroyed a final set of trees and flattened cornfields before dissipating between Base Line and London Road.

Jeremy Cohn
Jeremy Cohn

Courtesy of Jeremy Cohn

The tornado travelled for a total of 15 to 20 kilometres. There was one fatality reported and 37 injuries. The twister caused around $130 million worth of damages.

To learn more about the 2011 Goderich, Ont., tornado, listen to today's episode of "This Day In Weather History."

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