You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Tornado destroys Paralympic athlete's home in Dunrobin

cbc.ca logo cbc.ca 2018-09-22 CBC/Radio-Canada

The home of a former Paralympic athlete in Dunrobin was torn from its foundation after a tornado ripped through the west Ottawa neighbourhood. 

Todd Nicholson, now Team Canada's mission chief of the 2018 Paralympics, is one of dozens of people whose homes were severely damaged after a tornado ripped through Dunrobin, a rural community in Ottawa's west end. 

"We've pretty much lost everything," Nicholson said Saturday. "Being in a [wheel]chair there was too much devastation all over the road and I wasn't able to get anywhere close to [where my home was]."

The tornado touched down in Dunrobin, where it caused some of the most severe damage in the city.

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson said in a press conference this morning that at least 60 homes were either destroyed or partially destroyed in Dunrobin. 

Todd Nicholson and his family lost their home after it was destroyed by the tornado that touched down in Dunrobin on Sept. 21, 2018. © Estelle Cote-Sroka/CBC Todd Nicholson and his family lost their home after it was destroyed by the tornado that touched down in Dunrobin on Sept. 21, 2018.

Community struggles post-tornado 

Five of the six people taken to hospital overnight, due to injuries, were from the Dunrobin area. Several large trees were snapped and uprooted by the twister and the roofs of dozens of homes were ripped off. 

The powerful tornado, with winds between 220 and 270 km/h, was the force behind the damage, Peter Kimbell from Environment Canada said. 

Photos from Canadian Press

Along with Nicholson's home, several others on Porcupine Trail were completely destroyed and uninhabitable. Those displaced were asked by the City of Ottawa to seek refuge at the Goulbourn Recreation Complex in Stittsville. 

"Being in a chair, it might be a little bit more difficult but I know the community is opening up ... their doors, which is amazing," Nicholson said. 

"I think the most important thing right now is ... to look after all the kids in the neighbourhood, and anyone in the area who needs some help." 

Parts of the area remain unsafe because there are still power lines and trees on the roads, said West Carleton-March Coun. Eli El Chantiry​.

"We [are] still on the recovery... we don't need volunteers to come in at this time because they won't be allowed," he said. "The area will still be under lockdown except for emergency services." 

This home was completely flattened by the Ottawa tornado in Dunrobin, a rural community in Ottawa's west end.

This home was completely flattened by the Ottawa tornado in Dunrobin, a rural community in Ottawa's west end.
© Jennifer Chevalier/CBC
AdChoices
AdChoices
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon