Environment Canada is confirming that an EF1 tornado touched down in the southern part of Simcoe County late this afternoon.  

Tottenham resident Teresa Greco says the sight of the tornado was horrifying.

“The way it started picking up, it's like Wizard of Oz honestly,” she says. “With the amount of debris that was floating around that's the kind of scene that was happening.”

She was driving when it touched down in New Tecumseth and thought she was going to get picked up in its destructive wake.

“I'm like, ‘Oh my god what's happening?’ and then all of a sudden it hit down at this barn right over there and then it picked up the roof and then large pieces of metal were flying around being kicked out and then being pulled up,” she says. “And then I'm like, ‘Oh my god it's coming right towards me.’”

 She managed to stop her car, and the tornado changed direction.

“I feel like so lucky that I managed to pull over on the right part of the road where I didn't get picked up and nothing hit me,” she says.

Environment Canada says the tornado travelled about 10 kilometres west-to-east along the 4th Line of New Tecumseth, to County Road 27. OPP say no one was hurt. Fire crews on scene estimate 15 buildings were damaged.

The tornado hit Ivan Duggan’s property too.

“I saw heavy winds pick up and two-by-fours circling out the window,” he says. “I ran down to the basement. I just got the dogs out of their pen, otherwise they would have, you know, gotten the worst of it because basically it went right through their pen and completely flattened our barn.”

The tornado ripped through his backyard, where an indoor riding ring used to be. Now it's more than a kilometre away, destroyed and lying in a neighbour's field.

 Several other riding arenas in the area were damaged too.

Caroline Holiday's family has horses nearby. With all of the debris flying around some of them got injured and one horse had to be put down.

“The tornado went through my parents place and the horses were out. Most of them are fine but one of them, the debris must have hit him, and he broke his leg and there was nothing that we could do,” she says.

Crews have been on the ground in the area since 4:30 p.m. Fire officials are now saying 18 properties are affected.

As of Tuesday night, building officials have been able to go around and check the buildings. There's only one house where the homeowners have had to leave because of structural problems. Tomorrow it's expected officials from Environment Canada will be on-site to further assess the damage.