WOODBRIDGE — An elderly Houston Rd. couple’s world caved in around them as a suspected tornado ripped bricks, wooden slats and plaster walls from their home yesterday.
Dominic, a senior who didn’t want his last name used, said his wife was slightly injured by falling debris. After the possible 7:30 p.m. tornado touchdown, shingles, eavestroughs, ripped lumber and trees ripped apart Houston Rd.
Some residents cried and comforted each other after their brush with an angry Mother Nature. Others were laughing in disbelief and relief.
York Regional Police and fire crews barricaded off at least eight uninhabitable homes and several roads north of Martin Grove Rd. and Hwy. 7 were closed.
Comforted by family, Dominic recalled what began as a peaceful evening cooking in his backyard.
“When I started seeing debris in the air,” and later realizing they were roof shingles, “I thought ‘This is dangerous’, and I turned the barbecue off,” he said.
“I ran inside because I was concerned about my wife’s safety,” Dominic said. “When I looked outside again, the barbecue was gone.”
Running to escape by the front door, “I saw everything flying towards us. The roof caved in … then the bricks caved in. “By the time we got out, nothing was happening anymore,” Dominic said.
“I feel really lucky because I came out of there alive,” along with their two dogs, he said.
At his nearby home, Christopher Quattrociocchi, 21, said that he “saw a tornado” through a window.
“The first instinct I had was to run downstairs to the basement,” he said. “I’ve never heard a noise like that before.
“It’s just like the movies,” said Quattrociocchi, who watched the upper levels of eight neighbouring homes ripped off.
In Newmarket, Glenn Phillips said “the clouds were doing something weird, something I’d never, ever seen before.
“When the debris started coming up, I thought ‘look at all those birds scattering’, and then I realized it wasn’t birds, it was shingles and wood and all kinds of crap going straight up,” he said of a suspected twister near his McCowan Rd.-Davis Dr. home.
The destruction of some roofs is fairly intensive, and so damage to windows, siding and doors is possible. Bricks being what they are, it may get quite expensive repairing them (to say nothing of the roofs), but at least you have options with the siding. Instead of brick repairs, I urge home owners to look into having EIFS (synthetic stucco) used on their homes to repair the damage. The cladding was used after World War 2 to repair damaged buildings in Europe less expensively, and now you can use it for it’s original purpose once again.
Add to that the insulating capabilities of EIFS, which can reduce heating bills by as much as 30%, and you may even be able to thank mother nature for saving you money (over the long term), assuming your insurance covers the damage.