Canadians across the country just can’t seem to catch a break with the weather at the moment. Most recently, Ottawa lightning struck three different homes, setting them on fire. On top of that, in just the past week, there has been dangerous and potentially life-threatening tornado warnings in Saskatchewan, hailstones the size of quarters in Alberta, and on Thursday night terrifying lightning storms across Ontario.
While the Canada Day long weekend is shaping up to be a warm and sunny one in the province, residents across Ontario are waking up shocked this morning after it was reported a series of lightning storms on Thursday night caused some pretty significant damage.
According to new reports, lightning struck three properties during Thursday night’s thunderstorm, which caused all three homes to go up in flames. Peter Kimbell, a warning preparedness meteorologist with Environment Canada, told CBC News that while the weather was unusual, Ottawa had actually seen fewer lightning storms than usual for this time of year.
The first property that firefighters were called to was on Ambiance Drive, in Ottawa's Barrhaven neighbourhood, at approximately 10:30 PM. Speaking to CTV News, the homeowner said she had heard a bang on her roof, but didn’t realize how serious it was until a neighbour knocked on her door to tell her roof was on fire.
The second property to be struck was a two-storey home in Nepean, at about 1:50 AM. The fire caused considerable damage to the home, scorching the roof and attic. While it is fortunate that nobody was injured, it is reported the two people residing there will be unable to return home.
The third roof fire burned on Waterford Way, south of Hunt Club Road. It took residents four hours after the initial lightning strike to realize that their roof was smoking. Firefighters were called to the four-unit rowhouse at 2:05 AM. It took around two hours to get the blaze under control, and the estimated damage at the property is between $300,000 and $400,000. One family will be unable to return home.
Residents of Ottawa took to Twitter during the lightening storms to share pictures and videos of the intense weather. One user said, “With all this humidity here we go again... some ominous clouds, lots of thunder & lightning! Take cover
Not only are the photos shocking, but Peter Kimbell told CTV there is never any explanation as to why lightning strikes homes or where.
"We've seen this in the past. Sometimes they do hit structures and cause damage. Why three in one night? Can't answer that one. That's mother nature," Kimbell said.
Disclaimer: Cover photo used for illustrative purposes only.