Rodrigo Diaz M.

The tornado that swept through a Barrie neighborhood last Thursday has left 71 homes declared uninhabitable and 10 injured.

Currently the cleanup of the area continues, with officials assessing damaged homes, removing debris from the streets and providing assistance to affected residents.

The tornado affected about 150 homes along a trajectory of about five kilometers. At some points, the trajectory was up to 100 meters wide.

Some of the houses may be repaired in the short term, but others will require near-total reconstruction, according to authorities.

One of the area’s highways, Prince William Way, has been reopened to traffic only for local residents and recovery teams. The tornado occurred in the area of ​​Mapleview Drive and Prince William Way.

Utilities, including Alectra Utilities and Enbridge Gas, are on the scene re-establishing electric and gas services little by little.

The area where the tornado occurred is currently a restricted area and cannot be accessed without proper identification.

Barrie city officials said in a news release that they are urging residents who do not live in the restricted area to stay away from closed streets and the surrounding area, as additional traffic prevents inspection work.

Police have said they have submitted reports of people trying to break into damaged houses with signs of uninhabitability posted.

“It is not safe and they could be injured or trapped. Homes that have been rated unsafe can have extensive structural damage. Stay away from damaged buildings until they can be properly assessed, ”the city said in the statement.

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Saint Gabriel the Archangel Catholic School, which has been converted into an evacuation center and the community has donated food, clothing, toiletries and diapers. In fact, there were so many donations that the public had to be asked not to donate more because there was no more space in the school gym.

On Friday afternoon, Ontario Premier Doug Ford toured the devastated area, thanking emergency crews, speaking with residents and seeing firsthand the damage caused by the tornado.

Ford promised residents that the province will help those affected if insurance companies fail to cover the cost of the required repairs.



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