Balsam Lake, ON (DONE)

Tornado at Balsam Lake leaves damaged cottages, destroyed trailer park, injuries

Touching down at 2:35am, this probable tornado developed at the south end of the lake and struck the Balsam Lake Trailer Park. Trailer homes were flipped over and thrown, one of which was reportedly tossed more than 250m. Five trailers were torn apart and demolished with only a a few walls remaining. Two cars were also destroyed, one of them crushed by a trailer that was blown onto it, and another picked up, flipped onto its side and smashed into the base of an overturned trailer. Throughout the park, trees and power poles were snapped and the debris of destroyed trailer homes blanketed the area. Damage here approached F2 intensity, and ten people from the park were sent to hospital to be treated for minor injuries.

Balsam Lake tornadoes

It tracked through fields for about 2km to the east of the trailer park, then struck a farm on Omega Road where it tore the roof off of a barn and scattered debris. It likely dissipated shortly thereafter, however, a second narrow and concentrated area of damage was occurring about 3km to the north at the cottage community of Long Point. Although damage there is officially classified as being the result of straight line winds, it is the author’s opinion that this too may have been the result of a separate tornado.

Located on a large peninsula emerging from the south end of the lake, Long Point experienced devastating damage that was particularly concentrated in a 200m wide swath at the north end of the point. There, at a cottage that was owned by the Williamson family, almost all trees on the property – dozens of them – were snapped and in some case thrown. Windows were blown in, antennas twisted, furniture thrown and the cottage crushed by falling trees. The family survived the tornado huddled in the kitchen of their ruined cottage, emerging with only minor injuries. Their cottage and another across the road were splattered in mud and cached with the leaves of shredded trees.

Long Point tornado damage 1

Long Point tornado

Long Point tornado damage 3

Long Point tornado damage 4

Long Point tornado damage 2

This was one of four tornadoes that touched down in Cottage Country as a violent derecho swept across Central Ontario. The others: