A mini-tornado may have been responsible for the roof-top damage to an empty silo at the Willemscrest Farm in East Hawkesbury Township. Early Friday evening the Prescott-Russell region was deluged with rain as the last remains of Tropical Storm Fay passed through the area, bringing high winds and heavy rainfall with it. The rain is expected to continue over the July 11 weekend with a chance of flash-flooding in low-lying areas of the region.
A mini-tornado may have been responsible for the roof-top damage to an empty silo at the Willemscrest Farm in East Hawkesbury Township. Early Friday evening the Prescott-Russell region was deluged with rain as the last remains of Tropical Storm Fay passed through the area, bringing high winds and heavy rainfall with it. The rain is expected to continue over the July 11 weekend with a chance of flash-flooding in low-lying areas of the region.

Friday windstorm leaves trail of damage and power outages

Gregg Chamberlain
EAP
High winds Friday blacked out Hawkesbury and took the roof of a silo at a farm in East Hawkesbury Township.

Peter Willems is certain that he had a tornado visit his farm in East Hawkesbury Township early in the evening July 10. He just has to look outside and see part of the dome roof missing from one of the 60-foot silos attached to his barn.

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Plusieurs dommages à la suite d'une tempête vendredi soir

“When I came home, that was what I saw first,” Willems said during an afternoon interview July 11.

The Willemscrest Farm is located on County Road 10, near St-Eugène. Tropical Storm Fay passed over Eastern Ontario and Western Québec late in the afternoon July 10 and deluged the region with torrential rain. Power went out in several areas and a number of trees were blown over in various parts of Prescott County.

Willems was away visiting his brother when the storm hit his area. He waited out the rain inside his vehicle before finishing the trip back home.

When he arrived, he first saw the damaged silo dome, then he found about half a dozen downed trees in his yard and across his driveway. He’s certain a mini-tornado touched down on the farm.

“My son was home,” Willems said. “He told me he could hear the wind howling outside.”

The downed trees were cut up and cleared away. Willem is waiting now for his insurance agent to come out and inspect the silo. The silo has been empty for years as Willem’s farm operation focuses on cash crops of soybeans, corn, and hay.

Hawkesbury Fire Chief Daniel Gascon reported the station was “flooded” with calls Friday about storm-related damage, including several large trees blown over. A few roadside and rooftop business display signs were also either blown over or damaged by the high wind.

Environment Canada’s forecast for the weekend predicted between 50 to 70 millimetres of rainfall possible for the Prescott-Russell region by July 12, and creating a risk of flash flooding in low-lying areas. The rain continued through Saturday and overnight until late Sunday morning but the weather then cleared in the afternoon, prompting an adjustment in Environment Canada’s forecast for the rest of the weekend.