Disaster struck Barrie on Thursday, July 15, when a tornado touched down in the Ontario region. A city councillor in the area, Natalie Harris, recounted her terrifying experience in an interview with Narcity.

Harris was at her ex, John's, home with their 15-year-old son, Adam. She received a call from John who was at Costco who said that "garbage bins were flying and one hit a car and broke the window."

"So we knew there was a significant storm, but we didn't know it was a tornado. And he said, 'Get get the dogs and get downstairs.' So Adam and I nonchalantly did, like we live in Barry, there are tornado warnings on a regular basis, right?" said Harris.

She told us that 30 seconds after they got to the basement the power went out. "And a couple of seconds after that there was no question that the tornado was above our house. It was just shaking and loud. And dust was coming into the basement."

Adam grabbed his mother's face "because we couldn't hear each other talking. It was so loud. He grabbed my face. He's just screaming, he's like, you're not going upstairs."

The Aftermath


After it seemed to have stopped, Harris told us she decided to go upstairs. "the door was jammed. I couldn't even come up the stairs, and then I saw the sky. The roof is completely gone. The walls at the back of the house are gone. People's stuff is in the front hall."

She said she stepped out the front door and it looked like a movie scene. She screamed, "We just lived through a tornado!" Her Jeep was ruined and not even close to where it had been parked. "But we're alive so who cares?" said Harris.

She said that she hasn't had much time to regroup or call insurance for her vehicle, but that the engineers have been by John's house and no one is allowed in. Harris told us that everyone has been amazing and that she's been overwhelmed with messages of love and support.