Tomato Capital Hit By Tornado


LEAMINGTON, Ont. — Known as the Tomato capital of Canada, and home to a major production facility for Heinz Ketchup, Leamington Ont., was hit Sunday by what environment Canada is now calling an F1-grade tornado.

Fortunately no one was hurt by the storm that caused millions of dollars in damages. Reports indicate that many trees, homes, and several of the area’s precious tomato greenhouses were destroyed.

“Severe thunderstorms tracking through Essex county left their mark on the area early Sunday morning,” a rep for Environment Canada said in a statement released today. “Many reports of extensive damage relayed from the OPP covered a swath from near Harrow East to Leamington. Environment Canada Damage Survey team has confirmed the F1 tornado 1 km in length along the Lake Erie shoreline southwest of Leamington. In addition, in the south End of Leamington there is a 1 km wide and 5 km long track of straight line wind damage associated with the same storm.”

“F1” is a step along the scale — called the Fujita — that tornadoes are ranked. The scale starts with F0 being the lowest and F5 the highest. F1 tornados, like the one that ripped through Leamington, carry winds of up to 180 km/h.


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