Environment Canada confirmed one tornado touched down north of Montreal and a second is suspected to have hit southwest of the city as severe thunderstorms ripped across eastern Ontario and Quebec on Thursday.
The confirmed tornado was in a field near the airport in Mirabel, Que., where there were no reports of injury or damage, Environment Canada spokesperson Katarina Radovanovic said.
The other tornado is suspected to have hit an area with no built infrastructure in Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, Que., also causing no damage, she said.
Monica Vaswani, a warning preparedness meteorologist with Environment Canada, said the agency had received reports of other rotating cloud formations that may have produced tornadoes in Ontario and Quebec, but it was unable to confirm additional touchdowns.
Environment Canada lifted tornado warnings that earlier in the day covered much of southwestern Quebec, including Montreal, but severe thunderstorm warnings persisted in many areas Thursday afternoon. The agency also issued a warning for a possible “marine tornado” along the St. Lawrence River between Montreal and Trois-Rivières.
In Sorel-Tracy, east of Montreal, there were reports that powerful winds had caused heavy damage.
The alerts in Quebec came after a tornado touched down in the Ottawa neighbourhood of Barrhaven, where about 125 homes were damaged but there were no reports of injuries.
The storm system was accompanied by high winds and torrential rains that led to flooding of some streets and highways in Montreal. The Décarie Expressway was closed in both directions at the height of the evening rush hour because of water accumulation. It reopened about an hour later.
At Montreal’s Trudeau Airport, many flights were delayed or cancelled, and wind gusts up to 98 km/h were recorded.
Mayor Valérie Plante wrote on Twitter late Thursday that “despite the power of the storm, no major damage has been done to municipal infrastructures at this point.”