Lightning strikes damage homes, leaving 11 homeless
Firefighters believe lightning strikes sparked several house fires in Ottawa as Tuesday's early evening thunderstorm tore across the capital.
Lightning strikes are believed to have ignited a fire in the attic of a townhouse on Helmo Crescent in Kanata. The flames then spread to two adjoining units. Damage is estimated at $375,000.
Meantime, a second fire caused $100,000 on Scissons Road in Glen Cairn.
Fire investigators say a third lightning strike hit a gas line leading to a home on Tower Road near Algonquin College in Nepean.
The strike sparked a fire that was quickly put out in the exterior wall of the home before it spread.
On Harvest Valley Avenue in Orleans, firefighters believe lightning struck the roof of a home sparking a blaze that caused $300,000 in damage.
There was also widespread but short-lived blackouts in Nepean, Barrhaven and other neighbourhoods as the storm tracked east.
Planes at the Ottawa airport were grounded until the storm had passed.
In the Upper Ottawa Valley, a viewer snapped a photo of the storm outside Jubilee Lodge Marina in Petawawa. High winds damaged a dock, and the storm began to form what appeared to be a funnel cloud.