Severe storms blanket Toronto, surrounding area

TORONTO [Peter Paul Media] — Tens of thousands of people are without power tonight after a severe weather system blanketed much of Ontario with severe rain, lightening, wind, and tornadoes officials confirmed Thursday.

Toronto Hydro, Hydro One and Veridian Corporation, who provide power to millions of homes across Ontario, all reported power outages affecting their customers in the aftermath of Thursday’s storm.

“At this time it is unknown how many customers are without power and it is unknown when power will be restored to all areas,” a Toronto Hydro news release said.

The company warned its customers and residents to “exercise caution around downed electrical wires and in areas of the city that are densely populated by large trees.”

Hydro One reported more than 50,000 residents without power in addition to “approximately 25,000 Veridian customers … without electricity service,” Veridian Corp. said.

Toronto Fire East Division reported several “[power] wire down” incidents in Scarborough early Friday. Along Salem Road in Pickering, darkness descended on the city – motorists navigated cautiously. Dozens of flights at Toronto Pearson were delayed or cancelled Thursday and into Friday.

Reports of a tornado touching down at the intersection of Yonge and Bloor in Toronto were false, amateur video showed. Video posted on YouTube shows a funnel cloud but no contact with the ground, which is required to constitute a tornado.

Several other funnel clouds and tornadoes were reported across Southern Ontario and Environment Canada issued weather watches for areas in Southeastern Quebec early Friday, saying “some of these thunderstorms have caused tornadoes.”

The weather watches said the approaching storms could “produce large hailstones – high winds – heavy rain and intense lightning.” Peter Paul Media could not confirm reports that one person had died near Owen Sound as a result of Thursday’s storm.

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