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Friday, September 24, 2021

City of Barrie picks up the pieces after devastating tornado plows through neighbourhood

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BARRIE, ONT. — On Thursday, a south-end neighbourhood in Barrie, Ont. was devastated as an EF-2 tornado ripped through homes, injuring 11 people.

The twister left a trail of destruction in the Prince William Way area five kilometres long and up to 100 metres wide in the city north of Toronto.

Officials say 11 people were injured, 10 were sent to the hospital, two with serious injuries. No one was killed.

The powerful winds shifted homes from their foundations. In some cases, second stories were thrown clear off. Trees were uprooted, windows blown out, and vehicles flipped.

Mere hours later, as many shocked residents walked the debris-filled streets, the community came together to begin the cleanup.

More than 100 people were displaced as dozens of homes were deemed unsafe.

Within 24 hours Premier Doug Ford toured the neighbourhood, offering the province’s support if needed.

“We’re going to pull out all the stops, whatever it takes, we’re going to get people supported any way we can,” the premier said.

Barrie Mayor Jeff Lehman credited the fast work of emergency responders and the strength of the city’s residents.

“The character of a community is defined by its response to its most difficult days, and this is one of them,” he said.

HOW TO HELP

The city had to pause physical donations as a school gymnasium filled with mass amounts of donations, from deodorant to diapers and food.

The Salvation Army stepped in to manage all the contributions from the community.

Monetary donations marked tornado relief can be made at the Salvation Army’s 16 Bayfield Street Barrie location or on its website.

Online financial donations can also be made to the News or by calling 1-800-418-1111.

Additionally, the City of Barrie created a Tornado Recovery page on its website that will be updated regularly with information and links.

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