Exactly one week ago this afternoon, an EF2 tornado ripped through a neighbourhood in southeast Barrie, damaging several homes and sending 10 injured people to hospital.
Thankfully, no one was killed when the twister touched down around 2:40 p.m., July 15, and everyone has since been released from hospital.
The clean-up efforts and community support began immediately and have continued over the seven days.
Utility companies quickly restored services in the affected area, city staff cleaned up and assessed the condition of homes, not-
for-profits mobilized to provide shelter, and donations started to pile up from the public.
Individuals and organizations, such as the Barrie and District Realtors, have come forward to assist in finding rental accommodations for those displaced, and local businesses have been donating services and products since last Thursday night.
“The character of a community is defined by its response to its most difficult days, and I couldn’t be prouder of the way our city came together over this last week,” Mayor Jeff Lehman said in a news release issued today by the city.
“What makes Barrie great is the people," he added. "We are a city of helpers and we care for our neighbours. When we look back on this tragedy years from now, we’ll no doubt be haunted by the images, but I hope we always remember how our community responded in one of our darkest moments. Thank you, Barrie, for making us all proud to live in this community.”
There will be a community event tonight outside St. Gabriel the Archangel Catholic School, located at 130 Prince William Way, from 5-7 p.m. This event, called Healing After Trauma: Regaining Your Mental Health After A Disaster, will bring together New Path Youth & Family Services, Catholic Family Services and Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care.