Tornado leaves path of destruction through Midland; $15M in damage, 15 injuries
This powerful tornado touched down at around 6:20pm near Rowntree Beach on the shore of Georgian Bay, then passed over Little Lake and travelled across the south end of Midland. After receiving reports of the tornado and damage, Environment Canada issued a tornado warning for the area at 7:04pm.
The tornado was caught on video by a number of Midland residents as it churned through town. It was a large cone tornado with a swirling plume of vapour being drawn up into the funnel. Debris from trees and buildings could be seen floating down, falling from the sky away from the twister.
On the east side of Little Lake, at Smith’s Camp Trailer Park, more than seventy trailers and mobile homes were destroyed, dozens more had significant damage and hundreds were left with minor damage. Because the tornado struck on a weekday when the park was largely unoccupied, only fifteen injuries were reported, eight of them serious; had the tornado ripped through the park on a weekend when it would have been filled to capacity, it is almost certain that the human toll would have been dire.
Exiting the park, the tornado levelled swaths of forest and then damaged over 100 factories and businesses near the intersection of King Street and Highway 12. Several had their roofs torn off, and a group of industrial buildings were demolished at a cement factory that was hit. At a nearby car dealership, Midland Honda, windows were smashed, the roof was ripped off and cars were reportedly ‘flung around’.
Throughout the south end of town, homes were damaged, trees were snapped and power poles toppled. The twister was well documented in eyewitness photos and videos, a large cone tornado with an expansive debris field as it passed through town.
The tornado was up to 300m wide and travelled for 25km before it dissipated just to the west of Waubaushene, leaving a trail of destruction that was estimated at $15,000,000.
This was one of three tornadoes that touched down in Southern Ontario on June 23. The other tornadoes: