Area rocked by major thunderstorm

Djenka Barkley age 10, kayaking around the ball diamond after Tuesday’s storm. [Photo by Chris Barkley ]

by Brandon Mayer

North Dundas was rocked by a severe thunderstorm on Tuesday, July 20, that left some area residents without power and others with damage to crops and property.

The storm – with torrential rains, strong winds, and even hail at times – was quite a spectacle, even for experienced Winchester storm chaser Connor Mockett.

“Tuesday’s storm was the strongest here in quite some time,” Connor said in correspondence with The North Dundas Times. “I can’t remember hail that big here”. Connor estimated that winds from the storm were as high as 100-130 km/h, all straight-line winds, as there was no tornado, despite one being reported.

Thunderstorms in North Dundas are not uncommon, but social media activity suggests that Tuesday’s storm was more than just an average one for area residents. The Winchester Fire Department was on scene on Main Street West, where a fallen tree was causing a hazard for motorists.

Facebook groups such as What’s Up, Winchester and What’s Up, Chesterville were filled with photos and videos of the storm taken by locals, including a post of a youth riding a kayak in the heavily flooded Winchester baseball diamond, and another showing a flooded Winchester parking lot with significant waves being generated by passing cars.

Many residents in the Hallville area lost power for several hours as a result of the storm.

What may have caused awe in some locals caused significant damage and upset for others, particularly for farmers, some of whom lost crops to the high winds and heavy hail, which Connor Mockett reports was “probably the size of golf balls.”

All parts of North Dundas were affected by the storm, but some were hit worse than others. “Hallville definitely was hit hardest,” Connor stated. “There was significant tree damage, as well as tree leaves being shredded by large hail.”

Affected farmers could not be reached for comment. Crews were still out repairing tree damage several days after the storm.

More information about the storm can be found through Connor’s Facebook page – Connor Mockett, Storm Chaser & Photographer.



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