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Grindstone Lake, ON (DONE)


Residents film F0 cone tornado as it trashes trees & cottages on Grindstone Lake


This tornado occurred at approximately 5:50pm and caused extensive tree and property damage along the shores of Grindstone Lake, to the north of Plevna in Eastern Ontario. Originally thought to be a straight-line wind event, Environment Canada was able to confirm the F0 tornado after eyewitness video surfaced that showed the twister swirling across the water and onto the forested shoreline.

The tornado touched down in the forest on the west side of the lake, striking cottages as it tracked across the south shore of a broad peninsula. As it moved out over water, it raised a large column of spray that towered into the air, then narrowly passed between two small islands. On the east side of the lake the tornado moved back onto land, inflicting damage as it again travelled across the south shore of another peninsula. Stunned cottagers captured video of the tornado, a large cone that was fully condensed to the surface, and they described tree branches and debris falling from the sky as it passed across Grindstone.

Grindstone Lake tornado

June 29, 2003, F0 tornado at Grindstone Lake, near Plevna, Eastern Ontario
The F0 tornado is seen crossing Grindstone Lake before coming ashore and causing damage to trees, cottages and vehicles. (Walter Arksey)

Around the lake, hundreds of trees were snapped, uprooted, and sent crashing onto vehicles and cottages that were severely damaged. In one, a couple of new parents snatched their baby from the crib just seconds before a tree came through the ceiling, shattering the crib. News reports suggested that cottages had been ‘blown away’ by the tornado, but it appears that these reports may have been exaggerated.

Several cottages suffered extensive damage, mostly as a result of falling trees. One was destroyed. (Walter Arksey)
Several cottages suffered extensive damage, mostly as a result of falling trees. One was destroyed. (Walter Arksey)
The tornado snapped dozens of trees, many of which crashed down onto cottages and vehicles. (Walter Arksey).
The tornado snapped dozens of trees, many of which crashed down onto cottages and vehicles. (Walter Arksey).

A short video of the Grindstone Lake tornado is available here. This was one of two twisters to occur in Ontario on June 29, 2003. The other