Violent thunderstorm causes tree damage in Cornwall

A branch of a tree on Marlborough Street South lays on the boulevard near Montreal Road. Damage from a severe thunderstorm in Cornwall, Ont. on Tuesday, July 30, 2019. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

CORNWALL – A brief but intense thunderstorm has caused widespread tree damage across Cornwall.

The storm rolled through around 12:30 p.m. with lashing rain, thunder and lightning, moments after Environment Canada issued a severe thunderstorm warning.

Trees came down in various areas of the city.

Early numbers show at least 40 trees have come down in the storm.

The hardest hit area appears to be near the river around Cotton Mill Street, Race Street and Marlborough Street South.

Click on a thumbnail below for more pictures of the damage. Story continues below.

The sign at the Legion Park was flattened along with several trees lining Race Street while a car was crushed by a tree on Cotton Mill Street.

Preliminary findings from the city’s parks department suggest the area experienced a downburst or microburst.

Environment Canada is still gathering data to be able to confirm that.

“We were expecting winds to be as strong as 90 kilometers per hour with the thunderstorm or even slightly higher so it’s consistent with what we’ve seen so far,” meteorologist Gerald Cheng told Cornwall Newswatch.

Cheng added that the storm came up quickly.

“Development of thunderstorms is sudden and fast and that’s always the challenge. Also keep in mind, once we see something that is severe on the radar, it takes time for that signal to come back (to us) so it’s already severe on the ground. We issue warnings as quickly as possible, but that is the limit to detection,” Cheng explained.

He encourages people who have video or photos of storm damage to tweet them with the hashtag #onstorm or email them to

City crews and contractors are out cleaning up the mess.

There are no reported injuries associated with the storm.