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Storm destroys barns near Smiths Falls, Ont.

Storm destroys barns near Smiths Falls, Ont.

Some cows suffered minor injuries during the microburst

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

A cattle producer in Montague Township, Ont., will have to rebuild after a storm upended two of his barns on Wednesday.

A microburst, which is a small, intense downdraft that can occur during severe thunderstorms, picked up two of Rob Campbell’s barns and scattered them across his property.

The weather event took one barn “across 15 acres, and I think just twisted up the other one,” Campbell told the Ottawa Citizen yesterday.

One of the barns “is just gone, it blew off the foundations,” he told CBC yesterday. “It’s what scattered across the driveway and across the hay field and little bit into the corn and the horse paddocks.”

The destroyed barns did not qualify for insurance coverage but had sentimental value to Rob. Campbell built them with his late father about 40 years ago. Another barn on the farm, a 150-year-old structure Rob refurbished, remains standing.

The livestock on Campbell’s farm suffered only minor injuries.

“We have some heifer cows … that were near the barn that flew over to the other field and none of them were hurt,” he told CBC. “They had a few scratches on them but they were all okay.”

“Miraculously, the horses weren’t hurt. There wasn’t a nick on them,” Rob’s wife Debbie told CBC.

The community helped the Campbells with the cleanup.

“It’s just been overwhelming, it’s great to see the support,” Debbie told CBC. “We’re lucky here, everybody sticks together and helps each other out.”

Rob estimated the damage at around $100,000 but is thankful that it’s only a monetary loss.

“We’re lucky that nobody got hurt, no animals got hurt – just a big mess, and we’ll build some new barns here in the fall sometime, and it’ll be fine,” he told the Ottawa Citizen.

Matthew Kupfer/CBC photo


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