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Possible tornado in northern B.C. reportedly damages buildings

Last Updated Jul 6, 2021 at 8:53 am PDT

Power poles were toppled by a powerful storm in the Peace Region last week. (Courtesy Twitter/BC Hydro)

Meteorologist says powerful weather system started above wildfires in the Interior last week

Winds reached peaks of 110 kilometres per hour around Fort St. John on Wednesday

No word yet if tornado was to blame for damage in northern B.C.

FORT ST. JOHN — Environment Canada is investigating the possibility that a tornado swept through the Fort St. John area in northern B.C.

Meteorologist Doug Lundquist says the powerful system started above the wildfires in the Interior last week, on the same day much of the town of Lytton was destroyed by a fire.

Lundquist says the winds reached peaks of 110 kilometres per hour around Fort St. John on Wednesday, but it’s unclear yet if a tornado was responsible for the damage.

Meanwhile, BC Hydro says its crews were called out to address power outages caused by the storm that swept across the Peace Region.

As of Sunday, power had been restored to the majority of customers.

The damage caused was significant, with over 250 spans of wire and a large number of poles, cross-arms and transformers that are needing to be repaired,” the utility said. 

Clarence Apsassin, who lives on the Blueberry River First Nation, is convinced it was a tornado because the sky turned black and he watched as a funnel cloud came down.

Apsassin says hail hammered down and he only had seconds to get into his house before the wind hit, lifting the roof and tearing off his garage.

He says the storm did a lot of damage to the area with outbuildings tossed around, roof tiles stripped and trees flattened.