Hail storm causes extensive damage in McKellar Park and Westboro neighbourhoods

A man clears debris from a fallen tree.
Crews work in the McKellar park neighbourhood to chop up downed trees following Friday’s storm. Photo by Ellen Bond.

By Charlie Senack

Over 6,000 Hydro Ottawa customers in the McKellar Park and Westboro neighborhoods are without power after a hail storm quickly made its way through the capital on July 28. 

Environment Canada issued a severe thunderstorm warning for the region just after 3:00 p.m. Friday. Wind gusts of up to 90 Km/h were possible alongside heavy rain and hail the size of golfballs. 

In Westboro, large pieces of hail blanketed the decks of homes and bounced off of cars. Former Kitchissipi Times writer Paula Roy wrote on Twitter: “That was intense! Almost golf ball sized hail for five minutes.”

At Woodroffe Park, a large section of a tree fell on top of the community building. Nearby, many trees and branches were down, including on Keenan Ave, where branches were over hydro wires. Outside the Byron Apartments, a pine tree was completely uprooted from the ground.

The damage also continued along the Kichi Sibi Mikan parkway where fallen trees blocked bike paths.

About an hour after the storm hit, Ottawa Police said they received over a dozen calls about downed trees and wires.

Tricia Ross, who lives in the McKellar Park community, said her home received extensive damage from the storm. Ottawa Fire crews had to turn off the breaker to Ross’s home after trees fell onto wires in her backyard.

“We’re safe now though and that’s the most important part of all,” she wrote on Twitter. “We have major Hydro damage to our property and some structural damage.”

Alyssa Tompkins, who also lives in the area, said on Twitter her car was damaged from the hail. “Our cars are both full of small dents and our deductible on comprehensive coverage is $5,000. Still feeling fortunate so far,” she wrote. 

Hydro Ottawa said their crews are continuing to work “quickly and safely” to restore power. Restoration was expected by 2:00 a.m., but that timeline has now been pushed back to 11:00 p.m. on July 29.

A tornado warning was issued for the area at around 7:00 p.m. the same night but was later called off. 

Areas of Mooney’s Bay, Alta Vista and Carlington also received damage.

Photo gallery below.

A pine tree is uprooted from the ground and is leaning over a road outside the Carlingwood retirement residence.
A tree is down near the Carlingwood Retirement Residence. Photo by Charlie Senack.
Large parts of a tree sits on top of the community building.
A large portion of a tree fell onto the community building at Woodroffe Park. Photo by Charlie Senack.
A fallen tree and a large puddle of water outside of apartments.
A downed tree sits next to a pool of water outside apartment buildings on Sherbourne Road. Photo by Charlie Senack.
A tree blocks Keenan avenue. A police cruiser is on the side of the road.
A downed tree blocks Keenan Avenue in McKellar Park. Photo by Charlie Senack.

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