'Supercell storm' forces evacuation, closure of provincial park in northwestern Ontario

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Ontario Provincial Police say an overnight storm knocked trees down onto campers and vehicles at Caliper Lake Provincial Park overnight Monday. (Submitted by Ontario Provincial Police - image credit)
Ontario Provincial Police say an overnight storm knocked trees down onto campers and vehicles at Caliper Lake Provincial Park overnight Monday. (Submitted by Ontario Provincial Police - image credit)

A provincial park in northwestern Ontario was evacuated and will remain closed through the week in the wake of an overnight storm that tore through the area.

Provincial police said emergency responders were sent to Caliper Lake Provincial Park, in the Sioux Narrows-Nestor Falls area, just after midnight Monday after receiving reports of a major weather event.

The Township of Sioux Narrows-Nestor Falls described it as a "supercell storm" with high winds. The municipality's Facebook post said firefighters and police are continuing to respond to emergency calls.

According to Environment Canada, most summer severe weather events are spawned by a supercell, a special type of thunderstorm where multiple strong updrafts continue to feed the storm, which can allow it to maintain intensity for hours.

Hydro One's online stormcentre page shows outages affecting about 350 customers in an area along Highway 71 north of Highway 11 that includes Caliper Lake.

At Caliper Lake park, police said, multiple trees were felled and came down on campers and vehicles while also blocking the road.

No injuries have been reported, police added.

The Ontario Parks website shows Caliper Lake park will be closed until at least Friday.

Police said it's recommended that travel in the Nestor Falls area be limited due to trees and wires being knocked down.

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