A severe thunderstorm that rolled through southwestern Ontario Sunday night left thousands of Norfolk County residents without power.
Hydro One crews were busy working on restoring multiple outages throughout the county Monday morning. The company said approximately 5,000 customers could be without power until late afternoon.
The storm caused a stir on social media, where residents marvelled at a stretch of continuous lightning that lit up the midnight sky for several minutes.
Norfolk County OPP reported several collisions overnight as high winds and heavy rain sent trees, hydro poles and power lines crashing onto county roadways.
In an early-morning Twitter video, acting Sgt. Ed Sanchuk said his own route to assess the damage from what he called “a pretty powerful storm” was blocked by “a huge tree in the middle of the roadway” on Windham Road 9.
“If you are travelling on the back roadways, make sure you expect the unexpected. Reduce your speed and pay attention to your surroundings,” Sanchuk said.
“As the day progresses the cleanup will continue, but please be aware there may be large tree limbs and large trees in the roadway.”
The storm forced the closure of eight elementary schools in Walsh, Port Rowan, Langton, Courtland and Houghton, as well as Valley Heights Secondary School in Langton.
Local public and Catholic school boards expect classes to resume on Tuesday once power has been restored to the affected school buildings.
The storm also did damage in Middlesex and Elgin counties, with Hydro One saying over 20,000 customers in total were left without power.
“Crews are responding as quickly and safely as possible,” the company tweeted.
Check the Hydro One online outage map for updated information.
J.P. Antonacci, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Hamilton Spectator