Windstorm wreaks havoc through Kingston area

Throughout the afternoon and evening of Friday, Apr. 15, 2022, residents of Kingston and surrounding communities battened down their hatches as best they could against a powerful windstorm.

As the windstorm reached the area, Environment Canada warned that winds could reach gusts of up to 90 km/hr. Subsequent data from local weather stations revealed that this was an accurate prediction, with wind speeds registering as high as 87 km/hr at times.

The windstorm wreaked havoc on the area’s power infrastructure, mostly as a result of trees being downed over power lines or due to broken hydro poles. Dozens of power outages were reported by Hydro One throughout the Kingston region, affecting hundreds of households.

In Odessa, a fallen tree brought down a power line at 3:40 p.m., causing a localized power outage and disrupting the traffic lights along the town’s Main Street/Highway 2.

Photo by Cody Stafford-Arenburg

At around 4:20 p.m., Kingston Fire & Rescue responded to the report of damage to the roof of a high-rise building in the 1600-block of Bath Road.

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Also on Highway 2, between Sharpe Road and Townline Road, Loyalist Township crews closed the roadway at 4:40, after a hydro pole was snapped by the strong winds.

At around 5 p.m., Kingston Fire & Rescue crews responded to Cliff Crescent after residents reported material falling from a radio tower. Kingston Police also attended to assist in directing traffic around the affected area.

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At the corner of Victoria Street and Princess Street, a traffic light pole was turned on its axis by the wind, causing its signal stack to face the wrong direction. “The traffic light has been turned by the wind, so it looks like you have a red and a green light at the same time. Could cause a lot of confusion!” said one concerned resident at 5:45 p.m.

The roadway of Highway 38, just north of Burbrook Road, was the scene of some of the most extensive damage from the windstorm. Shortly after 4 p.m., between six and 10 hydro poles collapsed and fell onto the highway. Kingston Police closed the road, rerouting travellers through Cordukes Road or Westbrook Road for the remainder of the day, and Hydro One crews responded to repair the damage. No injuries or damage to vehicles were reported as a result of the collapse.

Photo by Cris Vilela

This section of Highway 38 remained closed through most of Friday evening and into Saturday morning, as Hydro One crews continued to replace and repair the downed hydro poles. The roadway was reopened by Kingston Police early on Saturday morning once the area had been confirmed as safe, with Hydro One reporting that power is expected to be restored to the impacted area by Saturday afternoon.

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