Wild weather whips through New Brunswick
Communities in western New Brunswick are cleaning up after a wild storm whipped through the region Wednesday evening.
Environment Canada issued a tornado warning for the Woodstock and Carleton County areas just before 6 p.m. Wednesday.
The warning was lifted about an hour later but a severe thunderstorm warning for Fredericton and parts of the province remained in effect throughout the night.
While there is no confirmation that a tornado actually touched down, the storm resulted in severe damage in Woodstock and surrounding areas. Several trees were uprooted and some buildings were damaged.
Woodstockresident Theresa Blackburn compared the sound of the storm to a freight train.
“We’ve had serious damage to two major buildings here in town,” Blackburn tells CTV News. “The roof came off of the Pantry Shop downtown, it’s an historic building. It has apartments in the top.”
Benjamin Sanders lives in the apartment building damaged by the storm.
“I kept chasing leaks around and then it started pouring right on my couch, pouring into my kitchen. It was right up to my ankles,” says Sanders. “You could feel the walls of the place vibrating and, all of a sudden, she came and said ‘your roof is sitting in the middle of Main Street!’”
“I thought at first, ‘oh well, we have a little leak,’” says building owner Anna Andow. “But then I came down and realized the roof was gone. It was lying in the middle of the street.”
The roof of the Carleton Civic Centre was also damaged in the storm; parts of the roof were spotted all around the property Thursday. The building was already under renovation but will require more repairs after the storm.
Damage was evident in many parts of Woodstock, but some areas were harder hit than others.
“Two main areas, the Connell Road area with the Civic Centre located, and the downtown…I have no reports from outside of the town area about damage, other than uprooted trees, no power,” says Woodstock Fire Chief Ricky Nicholson. “This is probably the worst storm that I’ve seen in my career.”
At one point, more than 12,000 NB Power customers were without electricity. As of 5:30 p.m. Thursday, more than 1,800 people were still without power, mostly in the Fredericton and Woodstock areas.
Rainfall warnings were issued for parts of northwestern New Brunswick on Thursday.
The New Brunswick Emergency Measures Organization says people in the Perth-Andover, Grand Falls and Florenceville-Bristol areas should be aware of the possibility of localized flooding.
The organization is urging residents to prepare emergency supplies for up to 72 hours.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Nick Moore