Tornado touches down in Ottawa and Gatineau, Que

Environment Canada weather radar shows a line of strong storm activity northwest of Montreal.					Environment Canada

Environment Canada weather radar shows a line of strong storm activity northwest of Montreal. Environment Canada

The City of Ottawa opened up recreation centres to allow people in the devastated areas to take showers or power their cellphones.

Residents of the Ottawa region are facing widespread power outages and school closures after two tornadoes struck on Friday.

Residents Brian Lowden, left, and Alex Carlson look at the damage to their duplex caused by a tornado in Dunrobin, Ont., west of Ottawa, on Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018. Officials set up shelters for those who couldn't return home and they said crisis counselling would be available.

Environment Canada said that at nearly the same time a second, slightly less powerful, twister touched down in the south Ottawa neighbourhood of Arlington Woods.

The premier was accompanied by city Mayor Jim Watson as he toured houses ravaged by the twister that tore through the tight-knit community before jumping the Ottawa River to Gatineau, Que.

Ford made the pledge Sunday after he arrived in Dunrobin, the Ottawa neighbourhood hardest hit by a pair of tornadoes that snapped power lines and levelled homes.

"A lot of us have never seen anything like it", he said of the destruction.

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'I have got a beer fridge that's sitting in my garage - that is the only thing that is untouched - but everything else has gone, ' Nicholson said. On Saturday, Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard said, "we are concentrating on people, getting people back home as soon as possible, as safely as possible".

"It's heartbreaking to say the least", Ford told reporters Sunday afternoon.

Hydro Ottawa crews are working to restore power to affected areas, involving clearing trees, debris and fallen wires.

Finally, I want to thank my fellow caucus members Merrilee Fullerton, Lisa MacLeod, Steve Clark, Goldie Ghamari and Jeremy Roberts for keeping in touch with me around the clock, and giving me a real sense of what the people of the Ottawa region are facing as the recovery effort gets underway.

"My husband had the wherewithal to say 'Let's just crouch down here by the refrigerator.' So we just huddled together".

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also tweeted Saturday day that he'd spoken with the mayors of Ottawa and Gatineau to offer federal assistance.

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