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Tornado caused severe damage, injuries in Quebec town, Environment Canada confirms

Environment Canada has confirmed it was a tornado that ravaged through Lac-aux-Sables, Que., Tuesday evening, causing significant damage to the municipality.

At least three people were taken to hospital with minor injuries, and about 50 dwellings in the municipality north of Trois-Rivières were damaged by the strong winds.

Winds reached 160 kilometres per hour, according to the weather agency.

Officials from Environment Canada interviewed witnesses and assessed the damage, concluding that the wind was moving in rotations rather than gusts, which is the hallmark of a tornado.

Police say a campground and a number of cottages were hit by the winds. They say one camper was lifted off the ground and landed on another, but both were empty.

Lac-aux-Sables Mayor Yvon Bourassa said the campsite and homes on Sainte-Marie Street were evacuated and about 60 people were forced out.

A shelter was set up in the community and the Red Cross is at the scene helping those who need it.

Winds were so strong that they broke trees and knocked down power lines, said regional director of public safety for the region, Sébastien Doire.

Police, paramedics and Hydro-Québec workers were all on the scene Tuesday, he said.

Environment Canada never issued a tornado warning, but did mention the possibility that one could be generated as strong storms swept across Quebec Tuesday afternoon and evening.

Environment Canada meteorologist Antoine Petit said there was no indication that there was a strong potential for tornadoes.
The thunderstorms were generated by a cold front that swept through the area, he explained — persistent humidity in the lower levels of the atmosphere created instability, and the temperatures were very hot.

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