There are multiple reports of serious damage at the southern end of Barrie after Environment Canada issued hurricane warnings for several areas near Lake Simcoe.
Photos and videos posted on social media revealed extensive damage, particularly to homes on the south end of Barrie.
“A significant weather event has occurred. Barrie Police Department spokesperson Jennett Mays told Global News, adding that it would be up to Environment Canada teams to confirm whether the damage was caused by a hurricane.
“There is substantial damage in the south end of the city.”
Damage to properties ranged from shingles protruding from roofs to more extensive structural damage and vehicle overturning, Mays said. There are no reports of any person suffering serious physical injury.
The heaviest damage was concentrated around Prince William Way and Mapleview Drive East.
Mays urged residents who do not live in the area to stay away as Barrie Police, OPP and other emergency services teams attempt to reach the community and get to their homes.
For those in need of assistance, authorities are sending people to St. William Road, on Prince William Road, where a command post has been set up. Gabriel the Archangel encouraged him to attend Catholic School.
A South Simcoe Police update on Twitter said the service had received reports of property damage in northeastern Innisfil.
GO Transit has suspended service to two GO stations in Barrie due to damaged rail crossings.
Environment Canada first issued a warning just before 2:50 pm that meteorologists were watching a severe storm near Innisfil. The storm was reported to be moving eastward at 65 km/h.
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Residents, as well as areas near Beaverton, Georgina, Sutton, Sibbald Point Provincial Park, Georgina Island, Sunset Beach, Pefferlaw and Dufferin County, have been asked to take cover immediately.
Around 3:30 p.m., warnings were lifted for communities in the northern parts of York and Durham County.
However, at 4:25 p.m. another warning was issued for the Peterborough and Kawartha Lakes areas.
An Environment Canada spokesperson said Global News teams were deployed to the area to assess the damage.
Prime Minister Doug Ford posted a message on Twitter Wednesday afternoon thanking first responders for their work on the ground.
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This is an evolving story that will be updated over the course of the afternoon.
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