All you could hear in south Ajax on Sunday was the sound of generators and the buzz of chainsaws.
“Mother Nature has shown who is the boss,” said Scott Chamberlain, who lives on Seabreeze Rd., in south Ajax.
A violent storm rolled through southern Ontario on Saturday, killing at least seven people and leaving a swath of damage in its path.
The storm was described by the Weather Network as a Derecho, a fast-moving group of severe thunderstorms that move in a straight line with tornado-force winds.
Environment Canada put the wind gusts upwards to 140 km/h through parts of southern and central Ontario.
Chamberlain stood at the front of their home looking up at a massive tree that snapped at its base smashed down on the front of his home.
“It was very calm and it happened so quickly,” he recalled. “Then there was a weird wind — train sound coming.”
The sky was a weird colour, Chamberlain added, and the winds started howling as the rain pounded on the ground.
“I actually decided to go inside. We went into the house (and) the front tree came down, and I screamed to my wife to go to the basement,” said Scott. “That is the first time we did that in 61 years.”
His wife, Beverley, was luckily in the back of their home on the top floor, closing bedroom windows when she heard a “crack” and a “crash” and saw shattered glass falling from their skylights at the front of the home.
“My husband said ‘Quick, get into the basement,’” said Beverley. “It happened so quickly.”
The pair felt it was one of those Wizard of Oz moments.
“You know what, we watch this stuff on TV,” said Scott. “Now we lived it this time.”
A generator was whirring away, powering part of the home and appliances — as much of their neighbourhood was without power Sunday afternoon.
Throughout the area, Ajax Fire and Durham EMS roamed streets making sure residents were OK and checking for downed power lines.