Alvinston storm a downburst with 115 km winds say researchers

A man pulls a trampoline from a tree on River Street

Thursday’s devastating storms spawned at least one tornado in Lambton, but it wasn’t in Alvinston or Sarnia.

Heavy storms moved through southwestern Ontario Thursday leaving thousands without power in Lambton and devastating the tree cover. Alvinston was hit particularly hard, with nearly every street in the East Lambton community blocked by a tree at one point.

Power was also out to the community for about 28 hours.

The Northern Torandoes Project – a research team based at Western University – says and EF0 with wind speeds of up to 115 km/h tore a roof off a barn along Petrolia Line near Oakdale Road, right along Little Bear Creek. There were no injuries.

The group’s preliminary report out Monday says “An NTP ground and drone survey was completed on July 21, 2023, documenting the reported damage along with tree damage, damage to a power pole and some visible tornado damage in crops.”

The swath of damage was about 300 meters wide and lasted about three kilometres.

A microburst with wind speeds of up to 130 km/h also took out a barn near Wilkesport researches say.

Norther Tornadoes Project researchers say an EF0 tornado destroyed this barn near Wilkesport.

The Northern Tornadoes Project classified the storm in Alvinston as a downburst saying the wind speeds were about 115 km/hour.

“Tree damage and damage to a power pole and antenna was reported in the Alvinston area after a storm passed through. Damage to farm equipment, grain elevators and a construction trailer was also reported.”

Researchers added the damage in Sarnia was mostly confined to the northern part of the city with wind speeds of up to 130 km/hour.

The storms also produced a tornado in South Buxton in Chatham-Kent which removed part of a home’s roof and cut a nearly 11 km path toward Lake Erie.