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Environment Canada has confirmed a tornado ripped through a Barrie, Ont., neighbourhood Thursday afternoon, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake. “At this time, based on images and videos, we can confirm that it was a tornado,” said Steven Flisfeder, a meteorologist at Environment Canada. “One tornado on the south end of Barrie. There’s another potential tornado in Udora. That one is still unconfirmed.” An Environment Canada tornado warning blasted over the airwaves and to cell phones around 2:30 p.m. as the skies darkened over the south end of the city and heavy rain fell. Barrie resident Sheldon Murphy said they were in the kitchen when the warnings sounded. “We saw stuff starting to fly around in the air, spinning. That’s when we got everyone down in the basement. Then five minutes later, it started to clear up.” The storm lasted roughly 10 to 15 minutes and was followed by sirens as emergency crews headed to the Mapleview Drive and Prince William Way area. Barrie police said thousands are without power this afternoon. “It looks very symbolic, unfortunately, to a war zone in places,” said Barrie police spokesperson Peter Leon.

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