Tornado blasts through Peterborough County, destroys hall, barns, damages church
Around 6:10pm on May 31, about 2 hours after a strong tornado touched down in Alma, the supercell storm that produced it passed east about 30km north of Toronto through Durham Region. Continuing into the southern end of Victoria County, the storm became tornadic again, with a tornado touching down in the farming community of Lifford.
This new tornado passed mainly through open fields and other uninhabited lands north of Highway 7A for the first 14km and passed over into Peterborough County. Here, a 75m wide swath of maple bush was completely flattened southwest of the hamlet of Ida.
On the west side of County Road 10, 1km south of Ida and 2km north of Cavan, the tornado roared through, taking with it most of the roof of St. Johns Anglican Church. Gravestones in the church cemetery were blown over, and the church hall across the road had its entire roof removed and most of its concrete block walls collapsed.
As the tornado continued ENE between Ida and Springville, it tore through farm properties on the south side of Sharpe Line. A new large steel shed and well-built barn were destroyed at one residence, and immediately to the east, a 40x50ft implement shed was flattened with a nearby barn damaged at a farming operation. In Springville, another farm suffered damage. There, a barn was destroyed, and the farmhouse and garage were tattered with many windows blown out. Large trees were uprooted were also uprooted along the tornado’s 150m wide path.
From there, the tornado continued on its ENE course toward the Otonabee River, south of the city of Peterborough where only damage was done to trees. After crossing the river, it carried on for another 12km over mainly fields and bush before dissipating north of the village of Lang.
This tornado was originally rated F3, but was downgraded to F2 in 2005 due to lack of specifics in regard to the church hall’s construction.