Amherst was not struck by a tornado: Environment Canada

Darrell Cole
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AMHERST  While they may never know for sure, officials from Environment Canada are pretty certain Amherst was not hit by a tornado at the height of last weeks fierce electrical storm.

From the information we have right now, its likely it was a result of straight line wind damage rather than a tornado, Linda Libby said. If we get more information well re-assess it.

The departments weather office was kept busy in the aftermath of last weeks storm that cut a swath through the Maritimes knocking out power to thousands and taking down trees. Some of the heaviest damage was in the Havelock, N.B., area.

Libby looked at photos from damage in Amherst and is quite confident trees were felled by a straight line gust. She also said there was a lot of damage from lightning strikes.

Essentially what it is is its a gust that comes straight down from a thunderstorm, or at an angle, hits the ground and spreads out. Its like a big wave, knocking whats available down, Libby said. If there were trees that were a little older or weaker, they would have been impacted by this.

While any investigation of a tornado would require an on-site visit, Libby said most of the damage was cleaned up the day after the storm meaning storm investigators may never know for sure what hit the town.

Most of the damage in Amherst appeared to centre around Curry Park and on Rupert and Agnew streets. No count was taken on how many trees were impacted by the storm and theres no estimate on damage, although several cars and at least one house were damaged by falling branches and trees.

Ron Curtis from the towns Public Works Department has never seen anything like it in his years of service.

It cut a corridor right through the town. It was interesting seeing Curry Park and how there was no damage on either side of the park, but in the middle it was pretty bad, Curtis said.

Organizations: Environment Canada, Public Works Department

Geographic location: Curry Park, Havelock

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