Wild weather destroys barn near Thedford, rips out hydro poles near Alvinston

Neighbours clean up on the VanEnglen farm

A major storm ripped across Southwestern Ontario leaving downed power lines near Alvinston and heavy destruction to a barn in Lambton Shores.

Environment Canada started issuing warnings mid-morning and by 11 am, the VanEngelens were picking up pieces of their dairy barn which had been struck by what appeared to be a tornado.

Juliette Pearson’s brother, Eddie, is one of the owners of the farm. She was in London when the storm hit. Her sister called her with the news.

“She says the dairy just got hit by a tornado…She sent me pictures and she says I cannot believe what I’m seeing. She’s got a cow on her yard. She was down in the basement doing laundry and then she said, I came up and I thought, but why? What am I seeing out here? I got a cow over here.”

In a matter of minutes, neighbours were at the Gordon Road farm cleaning up debris which hung from trees and was spread nearly one kilometre away.

In Alvinston, a row of hydro poles on Old Walnut Road just off Petrolia Road was taken out the storm. There were also a number of trees which came down.

Alvinston Deputy Fire Chief Kris Redick said power in the area would be out until at least midnight as Bluewater Power tried to repair the damage.

Researchers from Western University were expected in the area Monday to try to determine if it was a tornado which took out the trees.