One second, Paige Smith was looking out her living room window at the thunderstorm raging through her Upper Beaches neighbourhood, the next, there was a tree falling onto her house.
“It happened really fast,” the 16-year-old said of the damage to her home in Wednesday’s storm. “Just suddenly, the whole lawn came up and just started coming up towards the house.
Paige’s mother, Laura, was on her way home from work after the thunderstorm rolled through Toronto, ravaging parts of the city. She was initially worried about the backyard garden — then she turned onto her street.
“I looked down further and I’m like, ‘Oh my God!’ My front yard is ripped!”
Luckily, no one was injured.
The Smith’s front yard was completely uprooted during the storm Wednesday evening that left other parts of Toronto and the GTA with scattered power outages and damage from fallen trees. The storm even flooded part of Toronto’s Eaton Centre.
Toronto Hydro said the storm left about 16,500 residents without power in “scattered pockets” of the city and aimed to restore power overnight to 90 per cent of the customers. As of early Thursday morning, approximately 2,100 residents were still without power.
The thunderstorm began at about 3:50 p.m., pushing its way from the northwest corner of the city to the southwest in about an hour, though Environment Canada meteorologist David Rodgers said in any given spot in the city, the storm would have lasted around 30 minutes.
Environment Canada had issued a severe thunderstorm watch Wednesday for all of the GTA and a large portion of southern and eastern Ontario.
The main threat was wind gusts of 90 to 100 km/h.
At Avenue Rd. and Edmund Ave. Toronto Police had to rescue two people after the storm caused a hydro pole to fall onto their car at 4:26 p.m., trapping them inside. Toronto Fire Services helped them out and there were no injuries reported.
The storm’s damage wasn’t limited to the outdoors.
The south side of the Eaton Centre became a waterfall on Wednesday. Water poured from the third floor near the Apple Store down to the second floor, where it pooled and then made its way to the first floor, near Richtree Natural Market Restaurants.