Canadian Red Cross deployed after tornado hits near Mascouche, Que.


The Canadian Red Cross is deploying teams to Mascouche, Que., where the organization is expecting to help 50 to 100 people displaced by a tornado that touched down there Monday.

Radio-Canada has confirmed one person has died.

Environment Canada says that, based on videos captured by people in the area, there was at least one tornado, but it is not clear how strong it was or what path it took.

A spokesperson for the Red Cross said an information kiosk will be set up in a community centre at 2510 de Mascouche Boulevard, located about 40 kilometres northeast of  Montreal.

Anybody who is displaced by the tornado can expect care for the next 72 hours from the organization, including food and lodging, the spokesperson said.

The national weather agency issued a series of alerts Monday afternoon, warning of possibly severe thunderstorms, strong winds, hail, lightning and even tornadoes throughout several regions. The warnings covered areas ranging from Montreal’s South Shore to the Quebec City region.

Environment Canada says people should take cover immediately if threatening weather approaches.

“Remember, when thunder roars, go indoors!” Environment Canada says on its website.

Many residents received alerts on their smartphones as the storm passed through. Videos captured in the area show wind funnels forming near homes and high-tension wires, kicking up debris.

Hugues Jobin was in a business when the tornado passed through. He told Radio-Canada that there was damage to buildings and branches were knocked into houses, but authorities have yet to confirm the extent of the damage.

“I was sure the store was going to take off,” he said, but the tornado passed at an angle and missed the building.

“I threw myself on the ground, I was so scared, to be sure to be sure I was safe.”

Simon Legault, a meteorologist with Environment Canada, said the agency is still gathering information on the tornado in Mascouche.

“Right now, we can confirm that there has been a tornado there, but we cannot give any details about the exact location of the damage that occurred there and the length of the track or anything like that,” he said.

“So the speed of the wind, we don’t know right now, but definitely from what we saw in those videos, debris flying around, that’s a clear sign of tornado.”

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