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Goodale says feds are supporting tornado recovery efforts in Ontario

Last Updated Sep 25, 2018 at 4:39 pm PDT

Damage from a tornado is seen in Dunrobin, Ontario west of Ottawa on Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. A tornado damaged cars in Gatineau, Que., and houses in a community west of Ottawa on Friday afternoon as much of southern Ontario saw severe thunderstorms and high wind gusts, Environment Canada said. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

WATCH: CityNews reporter Nigel Newlove looks at the cleanup efforts in Dunrobin, Ontario

OTTAWA – The federal public safety minister has received a first hand look at the destruction caused by the three tornadoes that struck Ottawa and Gatineau on Friday.

After his personal tour of one of the disaster zones, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said he was astonished by the damage.

“When you see the devastation up front it’s stunning and heart rendering,” he said. “It was just overwhelming.”

He said the government has already provided supports in terms of RCMP as well as technical and weather information and it’s ready to help with any resource the city or province needs.

“We are more than anxious to pay that role,” he said, adding it’s too early to say if federal cash will be provided. “[Right now], everybody’s is focused on making sure that people in an emergency situation get what they need.”

The total damage needs to hit a threshold of about $40-million for the emergency funds to be accessed.

He is however urging people to donate to the Red Cross, which has had 1,500 residents register with them for assistance.

“This is along process for some people,” said the Red Cross’ Conrad Sauve. “It’s going to hit and impact people in different ways.

Police can’t say how long it may be until properties can be returned to owners, saying there are still concerns about the stability of many structures.