Strong Winds Hammer Central Ontario

Wind gusts hit 106km/h in Barrie on Friday afternoon.

Muscular winds blew half of Ontario away Friday afternoon. A low pressure system brought storm watches and warnings with it, but none as severe as the strong winds that downed power lines and tree branches, blew the roofs off some buildings, and knocked out power to tens of thousands across Simcoe County.

Early numbers from Environment Canada show wind gusts hitting the 106 km/per hour mark in Barrie, 89 km/per hour in Muskoka, 119 km/per hour at Pearson Airport in Toronto and 126 km/per hour in Hamilton.

Over 300,000 outages were reported across Ontario into Friday evening. Hydro workers throughout Barrie, Innisfil, and Simcoe County worked well into the evening to restore power to over 80,000 customers. Callers to our newsroom reported light standards, trailers, and even vehicles were blown over.

One listener tells us a bank in Alliston had to close its doors early after part of the roof blew away.

Clearview Fire dispatched crews to deal with multiple wires down and camper trailer on it side on County Rd 124, south of Singhampton. No injuries were reported.

Orillia OPP sent its marine unit and helicopter out to Lake Couchiching with reports of people stranded on the water due to high winds.

Constable Martin Hill tells us it was a close call for 18 people who were in four canoes. They were out on Lake Simcoe when the conditions took a drastic turn for the worse. Their canoes capsized, leaving them floundering in the water. Four were taken to hospital with mild hypothermia. Hill says all were wearing life jackets.