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Storm in Ontario: five dead, tens of thousands without electricity

Communities have been reeling after a severe thunderstorm tore through much of southern Ontario, killing five and leaving tens of thousands without power.

Police confirmed the deaths throughout Saturday afternoon and evening.

In Brampton, Ontario, a 70-year-old woman who was walking alone in the Belmont Drive and Birchbank Road area was struck by a falling tree. Police say the woman was rushed to hospital but later died.

Hours later, Ontario Provincial Police said a tree smelled on a camping trailer in the Pinehurst Lake Conservation Area near Kitchener. One person died and two others were injured.

Two other deaths have been confirmed in Ottawa. A 44-year-old man in Greater Madawaska and a 59-year-old man in the city’s west end were both pronounced dead after being hit by falling trees.

A fifth death has also been confirmed in Quebec by Gatineau police. Investigators say a 51-year-old woman was killed when her boat capsized in the Ottawa River near Masson-Angers.

The storm hit shortly after Environment Canada issued a weather warning and broadcast an emergency alert to the phones of Ontario residents.

As of 1 p.m., winds near Kitchener were nearing 132 kilometers per hour while at Toronto’s Pearson airport winds were blowing around 120 kilometers per hour.

The wind and rain knocked down several trees and live electrical wires. On Saturday evening, Hydro One said more than 350,000 people were without power as a result of the storm.

Firefighters and utility workers work among downed power lines, poles and traffic lights on the roadway and motorists during a major storm, on Merivale Road in Ottawa, Saturday, May 21, 2022. LA CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

In Uxbridge, authorities declared a local state of emergency following storm damage and widespread power outages, which forced the closure of several roads. .

As of 9:30 a.m. Sunday, Hydro One said just over 269,000 customers in Ontario were without power.

“Additional resources have been called in to assist with power restoration, but we anticipate it will take several days to restore all customers due to the extensive damage,” a storm warning on their website reads.

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