Irene pummels Puerto Rico

Hurricane Irene, 22 Aug 2011 (courtesy NOAA)

The first hurricane of the 2011 Atlantic season has battered the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico and has the Dominican Republic next on its list.

Irene, with maximum winds of about 130 km/h, knocked out power to almost half of the island’s residents.

The storm is moving toward the Bahamas on a path that could take it to the U.S. mainland and Florida by week’s end.

The ninth named storm so far this year, Irene is bringing drenching rains with up to 300 mm expected in some areas.

Tornado tears apart Goderich, ON

Devastation Goderich, ON, 22 Aug 2011 (CP photo)

A powerful tornado devastated the Lake Huron town of Goderich, Ontario yesterday – killing one and injuring at least 37 others.

Environment Canada says residents were warned about the twister about 12 minutes before it hit.

A state of emergency has been declared in the community and there is so much destruction in the downtown area, it has been deemed a “no-go” zone.

As a result of winds up to 300 km/h, roofs were ripped off historic buildings, trees were turned into match sticks, cars were tossed around like toys and power lines were pummelled.

This was Ontario’s most powerful tornado in at least 15 years.